Notes Found Inside 'Diabolical Possession and Exorcism' (1974)

Rev. John J. Nicola
Tan Books

Fairly hard-to-find guide to the Catholic doctrines on demonic possession and exorcism, written by none other than the "technical consultant" to the blockbuster devil hit, The Exorcist (1973).  Here is a review from Amazon that I find somewhat difficult to believe:

This book is fascinating! It is referenced in the book "The Rite." What makes it so interesting is the fact that the publisher of "Diabolical Possession and Exorcism" destroyed all the books when he found out there was something in it contrary to Catholicism. All the boxes of books and pallets were burned, not recycled, as they may have fallen into the wrong hands if not burned. Fortunately there are a few of these books still circulating. Possibly 12 in the whole world, as only the employees of TAN Books ever received a copy, as was customary when a book was newly printed. The rest.....burned! 

Given that I just found this copy in a Chicago thrift store some 40 years after the mass "burning," I imagine more than 12 are floating around (in fact, there are 6 used copies for sale on Amazon--pricey, but not "12 in the world" pricey).

At any rate, what makes my copy particularly special is the inclusion of some handwritten notes from the previous owner.  I have reproduced the notes in full below (with the person's name whited-out for privacy).  While many jaded secularists might believe books on Satanism, possession, and all things "occult" were usually bought and read for thrills and chills, I've actually come across quite a few now that have notes like these inside, suggesting the reader bought the book in order to do research on some baffling phenomenon in their life.  The notes below are organized around the general topic of the "poltergeist."  Was this person experiencing unexplained disturbances in his or her home?  Was someone in the family beginning to exhibit bizarre behavior?  We will never know.  One thing is for sure...that stationary is adorable.

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