8 Signs of Demonic Possession

Demonic possession is the control over a human being by a demon / evil spirit to the extent that the human being is unable or unwilling to resist the demon’s control.

However, what are the signs of demon possession? According to the Bible, what happens when a person is demon possessed? What are the false beliefs and practices that can open doors which lead to demonic possession? Can Christians become demon possessed?

The Bible reminds us that our battle on this earth is not against flesh and blood, but it is against spiritual forces of darkness with satan as the archenemy (Ephesians 6:12). Therefore the Christian battle is not a physical warfare – but it is a spiritual warfare.

The Scriptures reveal to us specific things that happen when people are demon possessed. Furthermore, the Bible also reveals various beliefs and practices that can lead individuals to become possessed by evil spirits.


Below are 8 signs of demonic possession

1. Possessed people can have Superhuman Strength and Unnatural Body Movements
Mark 5:2-4 reveals that there was a demon possessed man who had unnatural human strength to the extent that he could twist and break metal chains and shackles apart. Furthermore, this possessed man was so strong that he could not be physically subdued by any other individual or group of people.

Mark 5:2-4 says: And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3  He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him.


2. Possessed people can have Persistent Suicidal Tendencies or Self-mutilation
Mark 5:5 also reveals that another sign of demon possession is when a person has a persistent desire to injure, self-mutilate or commit suicide.
According to Mark 5:5, the demon possessed man who could break his chains and shackles would often “bruised himself with stones” night and day.

In another incident, in Mark 9:21-22 a father brought his demon possessed son to Jesus because one of the signs of his demonic possession was that the evil spirit would “often cast him (the child) into fire and into water, to destroy him.”

Therefore the tendency for a person to attempt to mutilate themselves or consistently attempt to kill themselves can be a sign of a person who is influenced and troubled by evil spirits.


3. Demon possessed people can have Divination Abilities
The Bible discourages divination and fortune telling (Deuteronomy 18:10).
Acts 16:16-18 speaks of a girl who was possessed by a spirit of divination. This evil spirit gave the girl the ability to supposedly foretell the future and other powers of divination.
Therefore the Bible discourages the consultation of people such as astrologers, fortune-tellers, soothsayers and even false prophets.

1 John 4:1 says: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Therefore, there is always a high probability that many people who practice fortune-telling, astrology and even false prophets, that such people are likely influenced or possessed by evil spirits. Hence the Bible’s warning to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God”.


4. Possessed people can become a Medium between the Spirit world and the Physical world
There are many people who act as spiritual mediums. They provide themselves as a human channel between the spirit realm and physical realm through séances or necromancy so as to enable others to supposedly speak to the dead or other spirits.

However the occult practice of séances and necromancy are spiritually dangerous and they open doors for a person who practices them to be demon possessed. Therefore possession by evil spirits not only occurs with the spirit medium but demonic possession can also transfer to those who consistently seek the help or guidance of spirit mediums, spirit guides and other occult practices.

Leviticus 19:31 says: Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says: There shall not be found among you anyone who interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11 or a charmer or a medium or a wizard or a necromancer, 12 for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord…


5. Possessed people can have Unbiblical Access to Secret Knowledge and Occult Practices
1 Timothy 4:1 says: Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons
This means some men and women are possessed or influenced by demons so that they teach false doctrines or and provide demonic knowledge.

Many occult practitioners, sorcerers, magicians and false prophets claim to have access to hidden or secret knowledge yet most of this secret knowledge is deception which is sourced from demons.
Furthermore, many cults, religions, New Age concepts and belief systems in the world have been founded by people who have been inspired by a spiritual entity.

An example is theosophist and New Ager Alice Bailey (1880 – 1949) who stated that her work or writings were inspired and dictated by spiritual entities. According to Wikipedia “she described the majority of her work as having been telepathically dictated to her by a Master of Wisdom, initially referred to only as “the Tibetan” or by the initials “D.K.”, later identified as Djwal Khul.”

Therefore it is also important to note that demon possession does not always require a possessed person to appear like a crazy lunatic by screaming or make awkward body movements. Instead a demon possessed person can actually speak normally and appear decent & composed, but yet be a wolf in sheep’s clothing who is disguised as an “angel of light” and “servant of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Matthew 7:15).
Therefore a demon possessed person is capable of appearing outwardly normal, even charismatic or popular, and humanly sane whilst teaching or preaching various doctrines of demons, or revealing hidden/secret knowledge sourced from evil spirits.


6. Possessed people exhibit Violence & Murderous Acts & Behaviour
Wicked acts of violence and abuse can also be attributed to demonic possession. For example, according to Matthew 8:28 at the country of the Gadarenes there were two demon-possessed men who were so fierce or violent that no one could pass that way.
It is very possible that many wicked, murderous and violent acts – including sexual abuse and sexual rituals are related to demonic possession or the influence of evil spirits.


7. Possessed people can become Mute and Deaf
Demon possession can cause a person who could once speak and hear to become deaf and mute.
Therefore it is possible for evil spirits rob a person of his/her ability to speak or hear.

Mark 9:17-27 says: And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute”… And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”


8. Possessed people can be Socially and Mentally Unstable
Demon possession can cause people to become unstable psychologically and socially. Such instability can reveal itself through talking to oneself or the appearance of speaking to an invisible person. Other manifestations of instability through demon possession include speaking consistent blasphemies against God. So it is possible that various psychotic, sociopath and even narcissistic disorders might be connected to a form of demon possession.

In Luke 8:26-33 we are told about a man who was possessed by many demons and that the demons were called Legion. This scripture reveals the many personalities or spiritual entities that can manifest in an individual who is possessed by more than one demon.

In Luke 8:27 the man who was demon possessed was always naked; he did not wear clothes and he preferred to live isolated among the tombs. This was also a sign that demons had socially and mentally affected the individual.


Can Christians Become Demon Possessed?

The Bible does not teach that Christians can be possessed by an evil spirit to the extent that they have no control over their bodies. There is no record or incident in the Bible were a Christian became demon possessed.

A Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit and therefore the Holy Spirit and a demon cannot dwell in the same house. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says: Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body

A Christian has been given authority over the enemy. Luke 10:19-20 says: Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.  20  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

Because of Christ, the status of a Christian is higher than the status of the enemy. 1 John 4:4 says: Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Mark 16:17 says: And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues


Human Sin & Avoiding Demonic Possession

It is important to note that not every sin or act of wickedness can be blamed entirely on demonic possession. For example, because of the sin nature of man, it is possible for a person to perform wicked or abusive acts due to the sin that is present in his own heart.
Jeremiah 17:9 says that “the heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked? Who can know it?”

In Matthew 15:19 Jesus said: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”

Therefore a demon or the devil cannot always be blamed for our own sinful actions because by nature man is a sinner and capable of making wicked choices all on his own (Romans 3:10-12; Romans 3:23).

It is also possible for various physical, mental and psychological disorders in an individual to be purely rooted in the fact that we live in a fallen world and not necessarily because one has become demon possessed.

This is why the Bible encourages us to “test everything” and to “test the spirits”. We are encouraged to learn to spiritually discern through the power of the Holy Spirit who gives us the ability to discern between good and evil.

It is also important to avoid any occult practices that may open demonic doors such as witchcraft, divination, consulting spirit mediums, consulting spirit guides or any form of New Age spirituality.

When demon possession occurs in an individual, it is ultimately because the individual has made a freewill choice to rebel or sin against God. However, the answer to avoiding demonic possession is found through genuine repentance and becoming a true born again Christian. When we believe the Gospel, that Jesus Christ paid for our sins on the cross and that He redeemed us by His blood, and accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour through faith, then we become born again. Salvation is a free gift of God received through faith in Jesus Christ.

It is Jesus Christ alone who can individually free a person from demonic possession. We must repent and become born again in order to avoid any kind of evil spirits from having authority and control over our mind and bodies.

It is through Christ that we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and it is through Christ alone that we become God’s adopted sons and daughters (John 1:12).
It is by the blood of Christ that we receive salvation and forgiveness, and by His blood we are redeemed or set free from all forms sin and bondage (John 8:36; Ephesians 1:7; Revelation 12:11).


RECOMMENDED ARTICLE: Are Demons Real? How Do They Operate?




Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17.

For example, if you’ve told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law or commandments means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver.

Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

So you must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.



Luke 13:3 says: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish”

Acts 3:19 says: “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out”

Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;

Therefore God wants you to change your mind about sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.



Romans 10:9 says: “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”

1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”

God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.



John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”

You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.

John 1:12 says: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name”

Through faith you must receive Jesus as your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God


Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have eternal life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and broken your laws and commandments. Today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
Today I repent and I’ve decided to follow You. Thank You for forgiving all my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me a new creation in Christ.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen” 

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