Need a career change? How about exorcism*?

According to MSNBC, the Catholic Church in the U.S. has a shortage of trained priests to perform exorcisms.

On November 12 and 13th, the Catholic Church held a special training session to instruct priests how to perform the rite. Over 110 bishops and priests attended, hoping to learn more about how to cast out demons from the bodies of possessed people.

The article states that an exorcism includes “includes sprinkling holy water, reciting Psalms, reading aloud from the Gospel, laying on of hands and reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Some adaptations are allowed for different circumstances. The exorcist can invoke the Holy Spirit then blow in the face of the possessed person, trace the sign of the cross on the person’s forehead and command the devil to leave.”

Neal Lozano, author of Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance” says one Catholic exorcist gets about 400 requests per year. But the rite is rarely performed–that same exorcist performs only two or three exorcisms yearly.

Read the full article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40151974/ns/us_news/?gt1=43001

*Women need not apply.

The First Vampire Exorcism?

Venice, 1576.

A great plague is devastating the city. No one knows the reason, and no one knows the cure. People are living–and dying–in fear.

The island of Lazzaretto, south of the city, is hit so bad that it’s designated a quarantine zone. There is no one there except the dying and the dead and the ones who bury the bodies in mass graves.

One of these gravediggers opens a grave with thousands of bodies in it, to add a few more to the pile–one catches his eye, making him stand back, lean on his shovel, and crosses himself.

The corpse looks ruddy, healthy, and fat. And most frightening of all, there is a hole in the shroud, in front of the woman’s face, as if she’s been eating the graveclothes.

The gravedigger knows the legends of the vampires who eat their shrouds, consume blood, and spread plague. So what do you do?

Four hundred and thirty years later, Discovery has the full story.