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Exorcism-resistant Ghost Possession Treated with Clopenthixol

  • Anthony S. Hale (a1) and Narsimha R. Pinninti (a1)

An Indian man now in Britain explained his criminal behaviour as episodic ghost possession. Traditional exorcisms failed to help.


‘Western’ diagnosis of dissociative state or paranoid schizophrenia was made. Treatment commenced using trifluoperazine and clopenthixol.


The patient underwent remission during neuroleptic treatment, despite previous evidence of genuine possession.


Many cultures give rise to apparently genuine cases of ghost possession. Neuroleptics may relieve symptoms of exorcism-resistant possession.

Corresponding author
Dr Hale, Department of Psychiatry, UMDS Guy's and St Thomas's, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EH
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Exorcism-resistant Ghost Possession Treated with Clopenthixol

  • Anthony S. Hale (a1) and Narsimha R. Pinninti (a1)
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