Portugal's "Sorcerer of Fafe" opens exorcism ward

Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:25am EST
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By Andrei Khalip

FAFE, Portugal (Reuters Life!) - Surrounded by clean hospital beds in his new Occult Sciences Center in northern Portugal, Fernando Nogueira makes exorcism sound almost mundane.

A metal plaque above one door says, matter-of-factly, "Exorcism room." Inside, a pale, female patient lies under a blanket, a crucifix hangs on the wall alongside dozens of newspaper clips about Nogueira's paranormal abilities.

"She is suicidal. This is basically my emergency room," says 46-year-old Nogueira, popularly known as The Sorcerer of Fafe. Fafe is the place where he started practicing trance mediumship, and later also exorcisms, around 25 years ago. Before that, he spent some time in a psychiatric clinic as a patient.

There are six more rooms in Portugal's first and only occult center with in-patient admission -- and Nogueira plans further expansions. Patients normally stay up to three days.

"Many of those who come here pass out during treatment and they used to spend hours on the floor on top of an overcoat while they recovered their senses," said the bald, stout man wearing comfortable casual clothes.

"Here they can be treated with dignity," he said.

Crucifixes and wooden statues of Catholic saints stand behind a large glass wall like in a museum in his modern reception office and a line of half a dozen patients forms outside. A testament to the sorcerer's popularity.

Nogueira pays his taxes as a parapsychologist although he considers himself a medium who communicates with spirits. The center functions in the backyard of his home and as a private, non-medical practice requires no special license, he says.   Continued...