Though I never knew him personally, I came across a fascinating interview with the late Lou Gentile the other day. It was recorded in 2004 with a host named “James.” The conversation featured Gentile’s views on demonology, poltergeists, and general hauntings.
Gentile was not only an HVAC professional by trade but also an experienced demonologist and radio talk show host by night. Here is his interview, along with some important points I took away from it, after the break…
A typical poltergeist is known for causing chaos in a home the likes of tossing things about or making loud noises, etc. But there is also something called a “water poltergeist.” Gentile described it as a phenomenon that could start out with a small drip emanating from unknown sources, then six months later lead to a full-out rainstorm in a kitchen or dining room. He recalled such a case that he worked on for Ed and Lorraine Warren once in Rome, NY that involved this type of strangeness, yet he did not get into specifics about that particular instance.
Gentile also mentioned that with most poltergeist cases there is a distinguishable odor prevalent right before the activity occurs. It is the smell of what he best described as “static in the air.” A good similarity is when you step outside, right after a thunder and lightning storm, and you take note of that static smell that permeates in the air. This is what the poltergeist smell resembles apparently.
On portals or doorways…
“That (a portal) is prevalent on some cases but it’s not as common as some people might think.”
Psychics use the “portal” explanation way too often, according to Gentile. This theory alludes to a defined gateway point where the inexplicable activity seems to enter and exit. His research led him to believe that it’s actually quite rare to find this on a case.
On spirit recognition…
“Most hauntings, when they occur, start off very subtle. You may not know you have a haunting until six months after the fact. Or where it’s just too late.”
When you’re dealing with human spirit cases, according to Gentile, these kinds of entities seek the recognition and attention of the living. They have been earthbound for whatever reason. And it is here that they usually try to deliver information or get the living to relay some sort of message.
However, when you’re dealing with the negative, these cases start off with some sort of divination attempt (i.e. Ouija boards). A couple of weeks, months, or possibly even years following the divination, a small haunting builds up then quickly magnifies to a full-blown attack. Unfortunately, there are no definitive signs to look for in the beginning in regards to this type of “slow-simmering” encounter.
Gentile did offer some tips, that could be indicative of something negative starting to fester though— like if a person begins to notice small objects disappearing then reappearing in different places. Or lights constantly turning on and off.
He warns of the dangers in attempting to try and document the haunting. Taking pictures of or recording EVPs when a person suspects their home is haunted are big no-nos. The main reason is that this is in a sense giving recognition to or functioning as divination to these entities, whatever they may be.
The best thing, in this case, would be to contact a respected paranormal professional to get to the bottom of the activity and find out what you may be dealing with first.
On divination and provoking…
“Possession is very, very rare. Oppression is actually very common on cases.”
People often rely on divination to contact deceased relatives. And in doing so, they usually ask for that spirit to give them a “sign” of their presence. But asking for a sign of a spirit’s presence is along the lines of provoking, according to Gentile.
The main reason is that that sign could represent something extreme—like crashing a bookcase on top of your head. And if you are dealing with something negative (which oftentimes masquerades as something seemingly innocuous), you might have a car accident for example, which could be your “sign.”
Now if a spirit is inside of someone, there’s a good chance that that individual will have given that spirit reason to be there. According to Gentile, a spirit isn’t just going to enter in someone—usually, they have had to have given permission first. But permission could come inadvertently. Using an Ouija board is in essence allowing your body to be used as a catalyst for something to take hold of. Automatic writing, using a pendulum, and table tipping are all along the same lines of divination, according to Gentile. These techniques are inviting your body to be used as a catalyst for spirit intervention, communication, and possibly inhabitation.
Bringing up religion is just one key indicator that a person may have a spirit or harmful entity inside of them. Gentile recalled one such case where a skeptical British TV host followed him around for a week for a program. It was during this time, that Gentile received a call to handle a case of possession at a woman’s home. But before going there, Gentile instructed the TV host not to bring up religion in any manner in front of the possessed individual. He was instructed to just ask basic questions and nothing more if he wanted to interact with her for the program.
The TV host thought the entire subject of demonology and paranormal phenomena was a joke and went ahead anyway to ask the possessed woman if she believed in Jesus Christ. In response to the question, the possessed woman “went nuts,” according to Gentile, and threw the TV host across the room.
The experience of a hundred-pound woman hurling him across a room was enough to convince the TV host of its legitimacy. And as a result of the experience, he embarked upon a new quest in search of the paranormal, traveling around the world looking into claims, but from a much more serious side than ever before.
On how demons operate…
“The bottom line is that these things have to abide by certain rules. And the rules are…that they are not out, for the most part, to kill us. Their goal is to take us over and occupy.”
There are instances where demons have been killed. But the purpose is to infiltrate the body and occupy it, because the body is a symbol of God, according to Gentile. And if they can occupy that then they have accomplished their mission.
“They are out of the light of God, and it’s almost like a mass consciousness. That’s how I can explain it. They are very childish and do childish things, but you always have to remember, that there is a lot of power behind these things.”
Another interesting point Gentile referenced was the eerie interaction with the same entity, yet in different cases…
“When you get involved with cases that you investigate and you interview someone and it turns out that they’re oppressed—all of a sudden things start to happen and you bring forth this entity and it starts telling you things that nobody else knows—and saying things to everybody else in the room that nobody else knows. Then the next thing you know, thirty or forty cases down the line, you meet that entity again in somebody else that starts bringing up information from a past case. That’s scary.”
On working with psychics…
How do psychics know they are channeling angels as opposed to demons? Gentile mentioned that he did not bring in psychics to work on cases unless that medium knew how to differentiate between human, negative, and diabolical spirits.
“These things have the wisdom of the ages. These things can play with your mind…You can really mess yourself up and you can become a psychic air ball.”
He stressed the importance of discerning between something that is human, something that is good, and something that is lying to you and has an agenda. It takes a lot of work and time to figure that out. In the cases he had worked on, hard physical evidence was necessary in order to prove to the clergy that something negative was taking place in a home. This could include other witnesses, photographs, audio recordings, etc.
Gentile mentioned that he couldn’t just go into a home and “feel” it out.
On lingering human spirits…
When human spirits attempt to communicate, they are generally trying to convey a message. Gentile’s research showed that for up to 48 hours, the “body” or spirit hangs around on Earth. It may be seen by some at its funeral or at other locations attempting to patch up unfinished business. Some human spirits choose to “go to the light” immediately following death, while others want to remain earthbound.
Yet the danger in having a spirit choose to remain earthbound is the possibility that something negative could attach itself to the human spirit and thus create a violent haunting as a byproduct of the cohabitation. This also presents the idea that something negative could then interfere and manipulate the original information a human spirit was attempting to convey. An untrained psychic might interpret that information as good information, completely unaware of the misinformation brought about from a much darker, controlling force with a much different agenda and intent.
3 things that must be acquired on negative cases…
It takes a lot of research to find out if something is positive or negative, according to Gentile. But there are three things that he took into consideration, first and foremost. The three “Ps” if you will.
1) Is there a PRESENCE in the home, or in the person?
2) Is there a PERSONALITY behind it?
3) Is there POWER to it?
“Usually it doesn’t go beyond step two with a human spirit.”
Another interesting point he made, was that human spirits can only lift up to about 15 lbs of physical matter. Anything beyond that is usually a good indicator of something negative. Fear or naivety can fuel the fire in that type of environment.
On being called to “the work”…
Too many people THINK they want to get involved in demonology, then realize afterward they do not. Gentile doesn’t believe it’s simply common sense to understand this sort of thing, but rather a true gift. There are those like him who are born with the ability to be knowledgeable in this field and are called to bring greater awareness and understanding to it.
“You can only help somebody if they truly want to be helped, and that’s the bottom line.”
On protection in demonic research…
Is there a veil or gate to allow the demonic to suddenly cross into an investigator, researcher or person’s life?
“You become a target—those people are afflicted with a problem, like a parasite. What I do is a little bit different. What I do is I actually foil their (demons) plans, and help the people get out of the problem they are in. And that’s when you become a target.”
On being targeted…
“…Maybe I shouldn’t get too close to this ledge if I’m on top of a roof because something may actually push me off. I thought about that a gazillion times, but at the same time, I know that God won’t let that happen because I’m not doing something to directly provoke them (demons) in a particular case at that particular time.”
Gentile referenced a time when he was working too many cases at once (seven to be exact) and the activity started to plague him in his home. So one week, he sent his whole family down to the shore while he attempted to get rid of the presence with three priests. He recalled instances where he would just hear a random growl out of nowhere that would freak people out. Yet he stressed to his family and friends to just simply ignore it.
“Just ignore it. That’s all you can do. Because if you run, if you freak out, you give it more power and it will come back ten times worse.”
Do you have any stories you’d like to share of the late Lou Gentile? I’d love to hear them. Drop me a line here.