Hospital exorcism is documented

PUBLISHED: 06:01 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:02 24 May 2010

MEDICAL documents revealing how a villager was possessed with demons and exorcised have been unearthed during a hospital clearout. The chilling tale of how a team of 18th century clergyman exorcised Yatton man George Lukins' evil spirits has only existed

MEDICAL documents revealing how a villager was possessed with demons and exorcised have been unearthed during a hospital clearout.The chilling tale of how a team of 18th century clergyman exorcised Yatton man George Lukins' evil spirits has only existed as local legend until now.Records kept at Barrow Hospital have just been removed from the soon-to-be-closed hospital and among them are yellowing papers documenting how Mr Lukins was possessed with demons and how he was exorcised in Temple Church, Bristol.Several Yatton villagers give evidence in the report and say how Mr Lukins would roar he was the devil, mimic animals and sing with different voices including a woman's.The documents are now being kept at Glenside Hospital Museum in Bristol and copies of them have been posted on the Wrington Village Website, www.wringtonsomerset.org.ukJuilius Herrstein, deputy chairman of the museum, said: "It was quite a find when we came across them. Barrow Hospital had sent us a lot of old books and we found theses papers within them."A lot of Yatton people seem to know about George Lukins and his story but this proves it happened."The report is written by Reverend Joseph Easterbrook, vicar of Temple Church in 1788, who recounts how Mr Lukins was diagnosed as being possessed with demons for 18 years before his eventual curing.The report contains a letter dated June 5 1788, from a Wrington vicar known only as W.R.W. The letter tells how Mr Lukins suffered from fits. At the beginning of the fit he had a 'powerful agitation of the right hand'. Later he describes how Mr Lukins 'declares in a roaring voice that he is the devil'.Seven ministers performed his 'deliverance' by singing hymns for more than two hours in Temple Church, which was reduced to ruins during World War Two.In scenes reminiscent of 1973 film The Exorcist, Mr Lukins is said to have spoken in a deep voice and laughed 'hideously'. When asked his name he replied: "I am the devil." After the ministers prayed for more than two hours the report says Mr Lukins was eventually cured and had no memory of what had happened to him.

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