Chris Diaz’s “Exorcist story” (York Story Slam, October 2017)

Chris Diaz, winner of the October 2017 York Story Slam (Isaac Edmondson Photography)

The following is the winning story — told by Chris Diaz— from the October 2017 York Story Slam event. In partnership with York Story Slam, Our York Media will publish a transcript of a featured story from each month’s event on OurYorkMedia.com. The text is only edited for minor punctuation and formatting purposes. 

Since it’s Halloween, I’m going to start off with something a little more spooky. I’m going to go with the exorcist story that I have in my life. It’s not really an exorcist story. It’s more of a biblical thing.

So, 12 years old, take back to Florida. Pentecostals celebrate things and do things a little bit differently than most religions. Women are not allowed to wear jeans. They’re not allowed to get their ears pierced. Men have to have clean cuts. It’s just a very, very unique way of looking at things.

We go to church about four times a week back then. At this point, I’m friends with a couple guys, and we would go there after church on Sundays. And there was this one Sunday where particularly when one of the people, one of the family members that we were friends with, I heard the mom and dad talking in Spanish.

They were like, “Oh my gosh. Our son’s been doing this, and he’s been doing that.”

I’m over here trying to peek my ear in. I’m very, very confused of what they’re talking about.

I find out that they’re talking about this game called “Kingdom Hearts.” I don’t know if any of you guys know what this game is but basically what it is is it’s a Disney game, but the bad guys are kind of like nightmare spooky things. In the game, your whole thing is to beat these nightmare and dark souls in the video game.

Apparently, their son was playing this three nights in a row, and they believed that somehow that his soul was getting possessed by this demon in the game that was controlling them.

“That’s it. No more. This game is going to control your life. It’s going to take your life.”

Me, 12 years old, beaten both Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, was very confused of what demon was taking his soul.

We go to their house, and they’re like – they have us all sit around this table – and they want us to have a conversation about the game with the family. I’m sitting there and I’m like, “I love the game.”

My mom kind of looks at me like, “What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with you? Why do you like this game?”

Apparently, they were all discussing for hours before how bad this game is and “You’re gonna go to hell.”

That’s kind of what Pentecostals do. They kind of over-hype things. You’re gonna go to hell about everything. This was one of those things you’re going to go to hell with.

Their son was playing this game for three days straight. It’s summertime, so obviously, 14-, 15-year-old, any game we’re playing three days straight.

They sit us around the table, and they have us all there together with everybody else and they’re like, “All of you are going to stop playing this game. That’s it. No more. This game is going to control your life. It’s going to take your life.”

Chris Diaz, winner of the October 2017 York Story Slam (Isaac Edmondson Photography)

The son’s like, “This is not happening.”

He’s like, “I have a couple of levels left. I’m beating this game. You’re going to get over it. That’s just how it was going to go.”

They’re like, “You’re gonna go to hell. You’re not going to make it. It’s out of the world.”

Basically, they have him stand up, and they’re like, “We’re going to pray for you.”

In his mind, he’s like, “I don’t know what’s going on.”

A regular person is just like, “It’s just a video game.”

They have him stand up. We’re all standing around him. We’re all holding hands. All of a sudden, I don’t know how it turned from just a praying thing and all of a sudden it turned into an exorcist.

He, in his mind, I guess he was just trying to convince his parents that he didn’t want to lose the video game, so 14-year-old with controlling parents, I guess you try anything.

He just thought in his mind that he was going to fake an exorcism.

All of a sudden, he’s just shaking like crazy, and my mom’s like, “Close your eyes. Close your eyes no matter what. Close your eyes.”

I’m closing my eyes and all I hear is prayers in Spanish.

I don’t know if you guys know anything about Spanish people but it’s very, very intense, if I can say that myself.

These prayers are like, “[Spanish prayer] SOS.”

I have my eyes closed. I’m like 11. I’m like, “I’ve played this game. What is going on?”

I open my eyes, and I see my friend all of a sudden just kind of going [demonic hiss].

I’m so confused. In my head, I’m like, “I’m going to hell too because apparently the demons are going to come in my soul.”

I close my eyes and I start going, “[screaming sound]”.

Everyone around me is doing the exact same thing.

I’m so confused. In my head, I’m like, “I’m going to hell too because apparently the demons are going to come in my soul.”

Five minutes later goes by. We’re doing this for a little bit. It’s a while. I open my eyes. I looked at him. He’s on his knees all of a sudden and tears are coming down his face. Tears are going down everyone else’s face.

I’m like, “Dang. This demon from Kingdom Hearts really took his soul.” I’m lost out of my mind.

The end of it, everyone kind of stops praying and everyone’s come together. All of a sudden they’re like, “You need to break the game.” They tell him, “You need to break the game.”

I’ve never seen someone cry more than he was crying in that moment about breaking that game. He takes the game out of the PlayStation, PS2. He opens it, takes it, and goes, “[whining noise]”.

He’s hesitating to break it. All of a sudden, it breaks and they’re like, “We’re doing this for God. We’re doing this for Jesus. This is the way it’s going to go. We might even get rid of the PS2.”

He walked away at that point. He just walked away in sadness. I’m looking at him in sympathy because I understand that this game is really important. I feel you, man. I feel you.

Fast forward. It’s about two months later. I hang out with him again. I start having a conversation with him. I was like, “That whole exorcist thing, what happened?” I’m confused. I’m 11 years old. I don’t understand what’s happening.

He ends up telling me, “That was all bullshit. I was hoping I was going to still be able to play the video game afterwards.”

That’s kind of it. I guess I can bring this up this way. He saved the memory card and I’ve talked to him two years ago. He still has the memory card to this day.

Story presented by Our York Media in partnership with York Story Slam

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