Manuel Acuna sprinkles holy water and waves his crucifix, then lays his hand on the sweating, shrieking woman before him. This is not a horror movie. It is a real-life mass at Acuna’s evangelical exorcism school — thought to be one of the first in Latin America. The bespectacled 54-year-old Lutheran pastor trains lay people as “exorcism consultants”.

“They study the devil’s character and how he works,” he told AFP, amid the rich smell of incense. “The exorcism consultant will be able to determine where there is a case of a demonic presence, possession, oppression, obsession or a curse.” Acuna has a passionate following. Crowds of hundreds flock to his Good Shepherd church on exorcism nights. READ MORE