Demon exorcisms: The Latin incantation in Supernatural is real


Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW by Sergei Bachlakov Acquired from CW PR

Exorcisms were once the only way to get rid of demons in Supernatural, but did you know the Latin incantation is real?

Now you will usually see the use of angel blades, the demon-killing knife, or (before it broke) the Colt to get rid of demons on Supernatural but once the only way was through exorcisms. The Winchesters had to trap demons to be able to expel the creature from their hosts. That wouldn’t always save a life, but sometimes it was possible.

Did you know that the Latin incantation is actually real? The practice of exorcisms also has deep roots in history and mythology.

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A religious practice from history

For centuries, exorcisms have been used in religious settings. They would expel demons and spirits from human hosts, sending them back to the depths of Hell. This is the exact use that Supernatural took for the show, sending demons back to the place they came from.

The Christian religion is usually the one portrayed, but other religions have used exorcisms too. The Latin incantation is the one from the Christian roots, which makes sense considering the Christian mythology and stories used throughout the series. Supernatural uses the Protestant version of exorcism, as there isn’t the use of the sacramentals and icons the Catholic religion traditionally uses.

When performing an exorcism, the aim is to save the human host. Stories of the past will tell you that the human host isn’t always saved, whether this is from the exorcism or because the problem wasn’t spiritual/demonic in nature would never be recorded. In Supernatural the human hosts aren’t saved because they were either dead to start with or they were hurt beyond repair while being possessed.

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The Latin incantation

In Supernatural, the Latin incantation used first is:

"“Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica. Ergo, omnis legio diabolica, adiuramus te…cessa decipere humanas creaturas, eisque æternæ perditionìs venenum propinare…Vade, satana, inventor et magister omnis fallaciæ, hostis humanæ salutis…Humiliare sub potenti manu Dei; contremisce et effuge, invocato a nobis sancto et terribili nomine…quem inferi tremunt…Ab insidiis diaboli, libera nos, Domine. Ut Ecclesiam tuam secura tibi facias libertate servire, te rogamus, audi nos."

This was used in “Phantom Traveller” but hasn’t been used frequently throughout the series. There are some other versions used, with many shorter versions likely for the filming rather than purposeful continuity errors.

In all cases, the Latin is real. It’s all linked to the exorcism of spirits and demons, calling on God and the church to send the creature back to Hell.

The reverse exorcism

In “What’s Up, Tiger Mommy,” Sam performs the reverse exorcism. It’s one of those off-the-cuff moments that shows off Sam’s smarts. He didn’t know if it would work, but took a guess in the hope of keeping the demon within the host’s body to get some answers. He opted to say the exorcism backwards, also showing off his Latin skills and memory.

There is no lore that connects to this. Clearly it was just one of those things created for Supernatural based on the original exorcism lore.

Next: Supernatural lore: The Princes of Hell explained

Did you know the Latin incantation for exorcisms was real? Share your exorcism knowledge in the comments below.

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