Today’s tale may have surfaced more recently among the creepypasta community, but the most commonly-shared version is reportedly derived from the testimony of multiple witnesses during a church ceremony which took place in a small New England town in the early 1980s.
Details of some events may have been altered, and the names of certain individuals involved have either been changed or combined, but one element is consistent across all variations on the story: the church wherein this incident is said to have taken place — St. Andrew’s Church in Laureldale, Pennsylvania — was completely destroyed by fire in 1982. That fire also reportedly claimed the lives of 49 parishioners.
The following is an account of the events immediately preceding that incident.
Those in attendance that Sunday morning knew something was amiss when, instead of his usual warm greeting to the congregation, the minister announced that the day’s service would begin with “a special event.” He then promptly gestured to a deacon and two volunteers, who led a girl up to the altar to stand facing the seated congregants. The girl — whom the pastor introduced as “Michelle” — looked to be about twelve years old, and was clearly frightened, despite the polite, welcoming applause which greeted her.
“Today, we will be helping a dear friend of ours,” the pastor announced. “She is in desperate need of the Lord.”
The crowd’s puzzlement turned to shock when he continued: “Michelle here is harboring a demon within her.”
The girl’s look of fear and faint sounds of denial made it appear that she had been brought forward against her will… or at least without much understanding of what was happening.
One of the surviving witnesses also mentioned seeing one of their friends present that morning — a teenager named Jason, whose mother was one of two volunteers assisting the deacon who brought Michelle forward. This witness saw them put their hands on her forcefully, as if preparing for violent resistance.
The pastor began leading the congregation in a prayer, the words of which sounded oddly ritualized and formal… but the witness spoke them along with all the others, all the time watching the girl begin to struggle and cry, insisting she was not possessed.
“Show yourself, being of Hell,” the pastor commanded, mustering as much power in his voice as his growing fear would allow.
As he began to gesture the sign of the cross before the girl’s face, her expression transformed from terror to absolute rage… then the crowd could be heard gasping collectively as the girl’s eyes suddenly rolled back into her head.
A deep, guttural voice — clearly not that of a young girl — then rattled from her throat.
“Leave me alone,” it growled.
A tremor of fear surged through the audience as the sound of popping and cracking came from within the girl’s body, as the joints of her arms and legs twisted in violent resistance to the hands which held her. The two attendants could be seen recoiling in terror.
“What is your name, demon?” the man asked.
The girl responded with more unearthly growling… but all at once, the noises ceased, and she turned to one of the two parishioners holding her down, addressing her with a twisted parody of a polite smile.
“What is your name?” the girl asked the woman on the right — the mother of the teenage boy mentioned earlier.
“Do not answer it!” the pastor commanded. But the woman seemed to be entranced by the girl’s unnatural smile.
“Janet,” the woman whispered.
The minister continued his recitations, but the witness could see the girl was still speaking quietly to his friend’s mother: “Janet,” she asked, “tell me, do you know this girl?”
“No,” Janet responded. “But she needs our help…”
The girl ignored this, turning to the other attendant. “What’s your name?” it asked her. The woman on the left initially refused to respond.
“Answer me!” the girl shouted.
“Tell me yours first,” the woman on the left said sternly. The girl just laughed at her, and promptly turned back toward the minister.
“Demon, leave!” the man shouted again. His command was met with more laughter from the girl.
“Why?” She said, her head cocked at an unnatural angle. “We just got here.”
“We?” The pastor seemed surprised at this. “How many of you are there?”
“Take a guess.”
“Tell me your names, unclean ones, that I may know you!” the man countered. He made the sign of the cross over the girl once more, which seemed to initiate another physical change — her skin color and bone structure seemed to be twisting beyond human limits, and blood flowed freely from her mouth.
She hissed the words at him: “Ba’al… Ademem… Samael… Furfur… Ihael… Akrit… Laas… Hanahap… Donan… Naret…” Each name was spoken in a completely different voice — none of which would have originated from the frail body of this child.
Seemingly fortified by the knowledge of these names, the minister renewed his recitations, commanding them to leave the girl’s body. She responded with more violent convulsions… but the voices eventually subsided. After a few minutes, the church was virtually silent, save the sounds of the parishioners’ panicked breathing.
“Who is in her now?” the pastor asked, quietly this time.
“Asmodeus,” the girl answered in a much older woman’s voice. Then it spoke in the deep tones of a large man: “Lucifer.”
The minster was clearly shocked to hear this. The girl noticed, and smiled.
“Which of us should stay with her?” she asked him.
“None!” the man shouted, his voice cracking now. “You must both leave her at once! I command it in the Lord’s name!”
“But you called us,” the second, deeper voice spoke from the girl. “So you choose which one will stay. Do it now, before we choose for you.”
The pastor was too agitated to respond immediately, but rose to his full height nonetheless. “Neither of you will stay!” he finally shouted, finding his courage again: “You must leave her now! I command you!”
A thunderous roar shook the small church, causing a collective scream among the parishioners, who recoiled from the horrific spectacle at the altar. Then, all at once, the inhuman cries stopped.
The crowd slowly settled, and they watched both the girl and their pastor with fearful fascination.
“I’m… I’m sorry…” Michelle whispered, tears forming in her eyes. Her face and body seemed to have reverted back to that of a frightened young girl.
“It’s okay,” the minister said, his voice calm and authoritative. “They’re gone now. It’s over.”
The girl smiled… but it was not a smile of relief. It was a faint smirk of satisfaction, made even more sinister by the blood that stained her lips.
“You are a fool,” she told him. “You tried to remove one who was never inside her… and so doing, you invited me.”
The attendants stepped back in shock. The person before them sounded like Michelle, but her smile… her smile…
The minister’s voice cracked again as he mustered the question: “To whom are we speaking?”
“I am Baphomet,” the girl answered sweetly. The inhuman smile never wavered. “As I was invited, I will not be leaving. I shall dwell within her forever.”
Suddenly, without warning, the girl stood up and walked forward, addressing the congregation. Even the pastor flinched in response this time.
“If you try this again,” Michelle said — her voice confident now, but still that of a young girl — “I will kill you all.” It did not sound like a threat, but a calm, assured statement of fact.
At this point, per the witness’s statement, their friend Jason stepped forward for a closer look, which drew the girl’s attention to him.
“Why are you not scared?” she asked him.
“I have God on my side,” Jason responded.
The girl’s expression turned to one of mock surprise.
“Oh,” she said. “Do you really?”
Michelle gently reached out to Jason… upon which he promptly fell to the floor. His panicked mother and several other parishioners rushed to his aid.
“Jason!” the boy’s mother cried out. “Jason, answer me!”
But the eyes which opened to look at her were not those of her son.
“My name is Leviathan,” the boy said, in a voice much deeper than his age allowed.
With that, he sprang upright, standing, and caused the crowd to recoil, unwittingly clearing a path for him as he walked toward Michelle — who reached out both hands to him in greeting.
“Greetings, Goat,” he said to her.
“Hello, Fish,” she responded — in a deep, male voice.
The details of what happened afterward vary across multiple survivors’ testimonies… but all their accounts end with a description of the flash fire that destroyed St. Andrew’s Church within less than 30 minutes, killing 49 of the 63 people in attendance — including Reverend Dr. Harold P. Taylor, Deacon Marc Ingraham and their assistants in the exorcism, including Mrs. Janet Chase-Wainwright.
Police records also indicate the identities of all those killed in the fire have been accounted for… except for 12-year-old Michelle Rao and 16-year-old Jason Wainwright, whose bodies were never found.