(OPINION) Exorcism, possession, and diabolical evil are mainstays in many Hollywood productions. However, these themes are also deeply rooted in Scripture, with the New Testament highlighting Jesus’ ministry of expelling the demonic from afflicted individuals.

These are themes at the heart of “The Exorcist Files,” a podcast created and hosted by Ryan Bethea. The show is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund season two and has blown past its goal.

Bethea told CBN News he initially created the show with a “lighthearted desire to document … metaphysical phenomenon.”


“I’ve always been fascinated with just the idea of … what are those crazy coincidences, or miraculous answers to prayer, or even just healings,” he said. “I don’t want to mislead people to thinking that I’ve seen hundreds of people healed of crazy things, but … there’s a lot of cool things going on that can’t be explained in our world.”

After meeting some leaders at the Vatican, Bethea said the idea for “The Exorcist Files” was born. He soon met Carlos Martins, a Catholic priest and exorcist who expels evil.

Bethea and Martins teamed up, started parsing through Martins’ case files, and put the show together.

But unlike some Hollywood productions bent on simply scaring people, Bethea said “The Exorcist Files” is quite different. While the show includes dramatic reenactments and guides listeners through some spine-chilling stories, the host said the podcast has a deeper meaning and intent, especially for Martins.

“This is a very serious, and to [Martins’] credit, he actually was very reluctant to share this,” Bethea said. “It was only out of a desire to say, ‘Hey, I want to warn people about the dangers of dabbling in the occult.’”

Bethea, a Christian, believes in the supernatural but has a healthy skepticism about possession stories.

“I just come at everything very skeptical,” he said. “I’m playing the skeptic on the show, which is like, ‘Hey, I’m just putting the evidence out there and you can decide whether all these people are making this up or not.”

One staple of the podcast is the inclusion of well-respected experts who have had experiences with the demonic they cannot explain — situations some believe prove the existence of true evil. Bethea said the issue of evil isn’t debated in many parts of the world; it’s simply a settled reality.

“You travel the world, and in many different countries … the idea that the supernatural is very real, this is not a controversial topic,” he said. “It seems to be more in our sort of Western, post-modern world.”

Bethea said it’s fascinating that so many churches don’t speak about the issue despite the fact that some could argue that Jesus spent a substantial amount of time dealing with it in the Gospels.