Despite always believing in the existence of good, evil and God, ex-New York Police Department sergeant Ralph Sarchie didn't consider himself a particularly religious guy — that is, until he began battling what he says are dangerous, supernatural forces.
Sarchie, a self-described demonologist who was once a cop for the 46th police precinct in New York City — and the inspiration for the new Hollywood film "Deliver Us From Evil" — told TheBlaze that he believes possessions and infestations are on the rise.
"It's definitely on the rise. I hate to say it," Sarchie said in an interview. "As society pushes God out, no one can deny that that's happening. There's a good portion of society that just cannot stomach Jesus Christ and when I see that, I have to wonder where that hatred comes from."
Watch Sarchie discuss his uncommon career below (caution: disturbing themes and images):
Of the many exorcisms he has participated in and assisted with, Sarchie — who became an independent part-time paranormal investigator while working with the NYPD — said the most terrifying thing he has seen occurred when he placed a crucifix next to a supposedly possessed individual's head.
"We had a couple of relics in the church that day and mine was on the right side of this person's head near the ear area … I usually stand in front," he said. "I could see the eyes — that one eye looking over at the crucifix, but not turning the head. The head was like a statue … the eyes were going back and forth and that was a frightening thing to see."
Sarchie described the person as looking like a trapped animal who was scared but still very much a volatile predator attempting an escape.
"I've been a cop for a long time. I dealt with a lot of emotionally disturbed persons [and] I've arrested some pretty bad people and I have never, never in my life in the street seen anything like that," he said. "A murderer's look from a person is nothing like a person who is under possession."
As for his work — a career that is certainly unconventional — the former cop broke his professional life down in simple terms.
Retired NYPD sergeant and film subject Ralph Sarchie attends a special screening of "Deliver Us From Evil," June 23, 2014 in New York City. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Entertainment)
"Demonology is the study of demons. It's like all your all other 'ologies,'" Sarchie said. "I approach it from a religious point of view."
While he wasn't always the strong Roman Catholic he is today, Sarchie said that he realized that battling the forces of evil meant securing a good relationship with God.
"If I was going to get involved in battling the devil, I needed to get a strong religion," he said. "I pray every day — I pray my rosary every day and I pray to God every day that what I'm doing in this life is pleasing to him. I can only do what I know he wants me to do."
Sarchie recalled how he became involved in demonology: After getting married and having his first daughter, he connected with Ed and Lorraine Warren, real-life paranormal investigators who were depicted in last year's horror flick "The Conjuring."
"I became one of their students and I started to go out on cases with [the Warrens]," Sarchie told TheBlaze.
He described the signs of possession, including unnatural strength, speaking in different languages, having knowledge of events that one would have no way of knowing, a woman speaking in a man's voice and a person making animal sounds.
Additionally, Sarchie, who said only ordained clergy should perform exorcisms, explained that possessed individuals oftentimes know information about the past sins of exorcists and assistants.
Watch the "Deliver Us From Evil" trailer below:
Despite making a name for himself as a prominent demonologist, Sarchie said he has never accepted a penny for his assistance, always offering his services free of charge. In fact, he said, cases often cost him money, as he must fund his own travel expenses to various localities.
The former cop says he knows there are many who doubt his claims, but he told TheBlaze he doesn't pay them any mind.
"I get word of all these skeptics out there and some of them are getting real nasty," he said. "I'm not interested in what they say, I'm not interested in what they think about me. I don't care."
Be sure to also read TheBlaze's interview with "Deliver Us From Evil" director Scott Derrickson, who watched countless videos showing real-life exorcisms Sarchie participated in while writing the film.