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Berserker's avatar

Have some people ever claimed to see the Devil?

Asked by Berserker (33524points) October 10th, 2011

Disclaimer; I’m not wanting to start a debate on religion and beliefs, nor am I asking this to make fun of religion and believers. If people do want to discuss this, it’s fine of course, but please know that it isn’t my primary intent here. This is a curiosity thing, whether it’s real or not, and despite whatever I believe or don’t believe, thanks.

I read a short story by Stephen King today, called The Man in the Black Suit.
It takes place in 1914, where a nine year old boy has a frightening encounter with the Devil himself. (he is recounting this story in his nineties)
The Devil’s physical definition was a tall man with pale skin, claws instead of fingernails, and fire in his eyes. He also smelled like matches and sulfur, and his breath smelled quite horrible. Grass died wherever he stood, and this was used as proof for the boy’s father, a strict but fair hardcore religious farmer, that something messed up had indeed went down.

While this work was initially influenced by a story called ’‘Young Goodman Brown’’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne, King says that a lot of what influenced his story came from a story a friend of his told him. That friend said that his grandfather swears he had an encounter with the Devil, and the description given was basically what King used in his story.

I’m wondering how common ’‘devil sightings’’ are. Ones that might be in the same nature of ghost, alien and monster sightings. Are there any websites about this? Would Satan even show up like that to people? And would he look all stereotypical like he did in King’s story?

What do you think? You ever hear of devil sightings? Any personal experiences? I ain’t here to laugh.

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22 Answers

filmfann's avatar

I used to work for one of his minions, but I never saw his boss.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Every time my mother wakes me up by screaming at me ‘Are you asleep?!!’

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t think it’s all that common. I think when people claim to have visions or apparitions, it’s not usually the “major players,” like god or satan that they claim to see. It’s usually ghosts, or angels or demons; not the big guys, but I’m no expert on these things.

Blackberry's avatar

Usually the devil takes form in other people or as temptation.

Coloma's avatar

The “devil” is the sociopathic ego, so yes, most of us will know a devil or two in our lives. lol

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If you’re male, you expect it all the time.

Berserker's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe BOO.

@lillycoyote Yeah, so far as I can see from my searches, this isn’t much common at all. I keep winding up in sites that talk about sightings of the Virgin Mary on people’s walls and Jesus in toast, but not much else. :/

Once, in MontrĂ©al, I saw a really old dude, all dressed in black. He was as white as a ghost and extremely tall, and moving really fast through the crowd. I thought to myself then, if I believed in vampires, then maybe I would think that guy was one. My question reminded me of this lol. Of course, in MontrĂ©al, there’s all sortsa people everywhere. Everyone might as well be Satan or a vampire lol.

MNCgirl's avatar

During the Salem Witch Trials, some people claimed to be colluding with the devil, and name others who were as well, to throw the blame off their shoulders.

Berserker's avatar

@MNCgirl Yeah. I read a lot about that. At one point, everyone was a suspect, even nobles and other high placed people. One guy, who’s name I would name if I bothered to check my book, even said to the inquisitor that he would tell all the truths he knew as to who was involved in witchcraft and devil worship, under the menace of a certain nasty torture tool…he was all like, yeah I’ll tell you what you wanna know. But don’t blame me if your name pops up.

He was let free.

snowberry's avatar

I believe I saw a demon in a dream once. It scared me so much I woke right up.

Coloma's avatar

It’s likely the Salem witch trials were really about a hallucinogenic fungus called Ergot that grew on Rye, the predominant grain crop in rainy, damp weather.
When the rye was ground into flour…VIOLA…magic bread that had entire communities tripping. lol

lillycoyote's avatar

@Symbeline I remember when I was living in Austin, I read in the paper that there was quite a bit of excitement when seemed that the image of Jesus was starting to appear on some wall, somewhere in Texas; I don’t remember the details, but, unfortunately, for the people who hope for such things, it turned out that someone had whitewashed over a poster advertising a Willie Nelson concert and the paint was starting to wear off. :-)

dappled_leaves's avatar

@lillycoyote That poster story is hilarious!

lillycoyote's avatar

@Coloma Same with the devils of Loudun, an incident at an Ursuline convent in France in the 17th century, believed to be caused by ergot poisoning, that inspired an interesting book by Aldous Huxley and Ken Russell’s kind of trippie movie, The Devils.

Rarebear's avatar

Absolutely. I dated her in med school. Well, technically she was a succubus, but same difference.

Coloma's avatar


Hahaha…very good!

fundevogel's avatar

My mom and her mother think they have seen the devil. I think this is the sort of thing you have to be predisposed for. The two of them are batty about religion and related superstitions.

They also think they have seen/interacted with the dead and that they have had premonitions, usually in dreams. My grandmother used to read playing cards to see if it was safe to travel. She stopped because she decided that God didn’t approve.

mazingerz88's avatar

Yes, but just metaphorical in nature, I guess. As for seeing the real Devil-? I have heard of no claim that has been made famous enough to be seriously scrutinized so I guess there’s none.

But see—this is maybe the time in history where opportunity abounds since most people now has a camera equipped cellphone. Hee hee. : )

XOIIO's avatar

<——Right there.

ucme's avatar

I’ve seen him, oh yes. His name is Trevor & he works in accounts. Everybody & I do mean everybody hates his guts. The man is definitely the spawn of Satan, or at least a distant cousin.

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