Ask Me Anything: Father Vincent Lampert

Renowned exorcist
Father Vincent Lampert, of Saints Francis and Clare in Greenwood, is one of the nation’s few Vatican-trained exorcists. And he wants you to toss that Ouija board.
How did you train for this job?
I lived in Rome for three months and participated in 40 exorcisms.
Any head-spinning?
Those manifestations of evil are meant to be a distraction. I saw someone levitate. Now, is that really happening, or is the devil working on one’s imagination?
What about people who fake it for attention?
We have a few tricks. Maybe you have “holy water” with you, but it’s just tap water. If a demon is present, the demon will know.
What makes someone vulnerable to possession?
One of the ways is dabbling in things associated with the occult. Chapter 18 of Deuteronomy says that we shouldn’t consult with spirits of the dead. Most exorcists would agree that when people go on ghost hunts, they’re really encountering demons.
How can people stay safe?
I always say, “I want you to go to church, and I want you to pray,” and people look at me like I’m crazy. But if I said, “Well, you’ve got to get a dead cat and fling it around your head on the night of the next full moon,” people would say, “Where do I get the cat?” The ordinary things are the best defense against evil.