When you think of the average crime, you think of assault, theft, and murder. Someone finds vengeance or revenge in their sights, and it turns into something more dangerous. Some may have another to blame, a secondary character in their story where they can pass the buck and the sentence. This post is similar to that, but the secondary character is one that you can’t bring to court. Crimes blamed on the paranormal are ones that are flowing in the system and have been for centuries.
Many of these cases happened in the 1970’s as there was a rise in the use of occult. This could have been for many reasons. Bad music, curiosity of the occult, defiance, and the rise in media are all to blame for the possibility of evil to enter your homestead. This isn’t a new thought as evil spirits and demons are one of the oldest paranormal creatures discovered in human culture.
Even back in the Paleolithic era of humanity, evil spirits were around, and humans feared them greatly. There were many ways, some still used today in certain cultures, to keep them from the home, the body, and away from the spirit. It did get more advanced in the Mesolithic era and later, but evil has always seemed to be here.
The Devil in Connecticut
From an article in The New York Times from 1981, demonic possession entered the court room. You know this story from the 2021 movie The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Alan Bono was murdered by Arne Johnson in Connecticut. The main telling of the act was that Johnson was possessed during a fight.
Ed and Lorraine Warren were, in fact, on the job to discuss that Johnson was being influenced by the Devil. The deal was that Johnson wasn’t acting on his own, but was possessed and therefore, wasn’t entitled to such a sentence. Existing, there are many like this one, blaming the action of murder on an evil spirit.
The next biggest case was that of the Amityville murders.
This one dates back to the 1974 where a man named Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his entire family in their sleep. It is a famous story with a multitude of movies going after the case. DeFeo Jr. ending up confessing about the murders after trying to create alibi’s stating he wasn’t there. The home was supposedly haunted, but there are many arguments that lead that to be otherwise.
DeFeo Jr. did state that he heard voices telling him to commit the heinous acts of violence. What also was bizarre about the crime was that no one woke up from the gun shots. Either way, he was sentenced to 6 consecutive life sentences, each 25 years.
Satanic rituals in New Jersey
In 1972, a woman’s forearm was found by a dog in Springfield, New Jersey. It turned out to be the arm of Jeannette DePalma, a 16-year-old who went missing. Her murderers were never found, but a local priest thought her murder was the result of a satanic ritual.
The crime scene had crosses surrounding the body in a “coffin-like” way and the site itself was on a cliff called Devil’s Teeth. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, occult practices were seen to be satanic, and it was literally called “Satanic Panic.” There are other theories, but this one stuck hard as the occult rationale is always the more popular one.
You would have to be living under a rock to not have heard of a witch trial happening in history. Unbeknownst to some, though, these trials are still happening today. In 2020, a woman was beaten to death because she was seen as to being a witch. She was blamed to be the bringer of children births with disabilities. Now, these go even farther, so I just made a list of them.
- Woman charged with burning a witch in Minnesota, USA in 2022.
- Woman killed for possibly conducting witchcraft in Garhwa, India in 2022.
- Man sentenced after killing his two daughters for being accused of being witches in Akamkpa, Nigeria in 2022.
- 3 women killed for being accused of witchcraft in Gujarat, India in 2014.
- 9 women tortured, 4 dead, after being accused of using witchcraft on a man in Papua New Guinea in 2022.
- A man killed his aunt after believing her to be using witchcraft on him in Colorado in 2022.
That is just a few of them. There are many more and most of these occurred in the past year. Witch trials aren’t a thing anymore, but the murder of accused witches still happens to this day.
Djinn fire in Dubai
In 2015, multiple homes were set ablaze with no concern of arson by a human. Instead, the accused were the jinn, a ghoulish creature heavily involved in Islamic mythology. They aren’t like genies like most would want to believe. They can help, and like demons, did offer protection. They slowly became more malevolent as time went on.
In this story, the actual belief is that the jinn were used as a cover up for insurance fraud. There were many stories from years before where certain court actions were granted because of the heavy belief in the jinn.
Cape Town possession
In 2013, a man named Aljar Swartz was accused of murdering Lee Adams in Cape Town, South Africa. Swartz’s defense lawyer stated after the trial that the accused was a satanist and was performing a ritual while being possessed by demons. The original reasoning for the murder was to sell body parts of the deceased.
This case was not re-opened as Swartz never spoke about it when the case was originally going on. There were no accounts of the acts happening and it was never documented. They even got a priest involved, but he wasn’t seen a credible in satanic rituals or possession.
Vampires in Kentucky
Eariler in 2022, a man in Kentucky ran out of gas in Indiana on a highway. A volunteer firefighter named Jacob McClanahan came to his aid but was met with a gunshot and killed. Justin Moore, the accused killer, may have been being hunted by vampires.
Police were already on the scene and ending up returning fire, killing Moore. His mother stated that Moore thought that a variety of paranormal creatures were after him, like the vampires, but also includes werewolves.
Why are the paranormal in the courts?
This is a great question that you probably never asked. Looking at the articles and stories above, it is clear that there are many reasons why the paranormal are in crimes. Firstly, paranormal creatures are a great excuse to avoid penalty or blame. It could have actually happened, but many cases of fraud do occur because of cultural influence or scare tactics.
Secondly, mental health is a major concern around the world. I am not just speaking for my own country here. Mental health problems without adequate help may lead to deadly consequences. Not everyone is able to get that help, and, in turn, they will go to extreme levels to get away from what haunts them. This also goes with cultural superstitions which can lead to the same fear.
Thirdly, it could be very much real. There isn’t any evidence that a paranormal creature could possess you into committing a crime. Culturally, that may be different, but it just isn’t proven. In any of these cases, the paranormal ends up being the star and, at times, the guilty party. They are all tragic and it contain the wonder of how paranormal creatures truly impact our lives.