In 2004, the SyFy channel re-introduced the world to paranormal programming with the premiere of “Ghost Hunters”, a show whose title blatantly gives away its entire premise. Following the exploits of two daytime plumbers turned nighttime paranormal investigators and their team of investigators, researchers and demonologists, the show documented their search to record and explain paranormal phenomena across the United States. The show became an immediate success and soon every basic cable network that could justify it on their schedule was airing paranormal programming.

Paranormal investigators shot to fame as the audience grabbing search for proof of life after death continued to gain steam. For over a decade shows came and went with varying degrees of popularity. Some survived for less than a season and other continue to this day. Eventually though something happened, the audience wanted more than just endless night vision shots of people walking through a building. They wanted to see ghosts and they wanted to be scared.

The savy producers and hosts knew they had to give their audiences something. That’s when the demons began to take hold. The show “Ghost Adventures” was one of the first to highlight a demonic possession in their second season when Nick Groff appeared to be possessed at the Moon River Brewing Company. The turmoil and drama created by Nick’s possession was a creepy and new aspect to paranormal television and the rise in ratings showed that it was what viewers wanted.

Producers love special interest topics, especially popular ones and Demon’s were set to become the new ratings raising fad. Soon shows focusing only on possession, such as The Exorcist Files, I was Possessed and The Demon Files began to fill the paranormal airwaves. Today demons are in demand, the fear and evil nature of these malevolent spirits brings horror into the eyes of an audience grown tired of the never ending and no longer frightening search for ghosts.

As the demons popularity grew, so did the field of demonology. Soon, a field once practiced by trained and ordained clergy members saw a plethora of people who claimed to be experts in the study of demonology and all of the rituals within it. How does a person become an expert demonologist without years of sanctioned religious study? Apparently through reading. There are dozens of books available written from a variety of perspectives on the practice of demonology, and if reading is still too much a prayer is always an option. With some simple memorization, reciting Ephesians 6:12, a prayer to St. Michael, instills upon the person all the power and knowledge regarding demons that some studied for years to understand.

Today’s demonologist comes in all shapes and styles from the self-proclaimed enthusiast to the educated and respectful, all with varying rates of success. It is important to take care in who you call because you might just tangle with more that you bargained for when dealing with these newly self-ordained exorcists. As the idea of demons becomes more popular and socially accepted more unauthorized and untrained individuals are entering the field, and peoples homes, often with unexpected and dire effects. Advertising their services on the internet and newspapers, they offer cleansings and exorcisms for a price but may only leave the victims a little poorer and with more spiritual problems than they began with.

So what should someone do if they truly feel they need demons removed from their life or home? Research. Avoid the ghost hunters who claim they can solve the problem once a fee is paid and the psychic with little to no reputation or verifiable results. Instead remember that there are real demonologists out there but they probably won’t just appear at your doorstep, you are going to have to find them. Begin with local religious organizations and let them guide you, after all, they are the ones who have most likely studied and recognize true demonic activity and understand how it should be handled.

True demonic activity is hard to classify and harder to prove. Is the current wave just a result of demons being popularized by media or are they working to make their presence known and felt more aggressively. Both are difficult theories to test but regardless of what is causing activity no good can come from an amateur trying to do the work of a trained professional.