Demonic possession is held by many belief systems to be the spirit possession of an individual by a malevolent preternatural being, commonly known as a demon. Descriptions of demonic possessions often include erased memories or personalities, convulsions, “fits” and fainting as if one were dying.
Pazuzu is the demon that possesses characters in The Exorcist novels and films. He is often comfronted by Father Merrin, whom Pazuzu assumingly fears. It initially lurks and disturbs Regan MacNeil by causing her bed to shake and impulsing her body. Inside her, the demon forces Regan into saying obscenities with frequency, attacking others and masturbating with a crucifix. The demon visibly leaves Regan sick and with several bruises and scratches on her face. In one occasion, Regan left her bedroom and walked down the stairs in a spider-like style, horrifying her mother. In Regan, Pazuzu presumably left the house and vandalized a statue of the Virgin Mary, which was later discovered by a priest. The possessed Regan also killed Burke Dennings and threw him out of Regan's window. Apart from superstrenght, the demon also manifested telekinetic abilities and xenoglossia through Regan. The demon intensely taunted Father Karras by mentioning his deceased mother. When asked by Father Karras about why Pazuzu would choose Regan, a young girl, Merrin replied that its intention could be make humanity despair and reject the possibility that God could love us.
- Ferber, Sarah. Demonic Possession and Exorcism in Early Modern France. London: Routledge, 2004. (pg. 25, 116) ISBN: 0415212642.