It's a made for video movie, on a second-rate cable channel, but it's a good one. The girls are cute, the Wizard is appropriately old, slightly pedo and looks like he'd borrowed Emperor Palpatine's image consultant for the week. (We're talking about a guy who drools ink.) He's game, however when asked for demon summoning instructions. He shuffles over to the bookcase and gives them a suitably ancient volume.

"And this is how you summon the demon Asmodeus..."


It's the sleepover. The set designer has laid out a circle on the floor, with thirteen candles equally spaced around it, the girls are also, and are chanting...All at once, there's a puff of smoke, and a tongue of flame and He appears!

Wrong. 

Blame Hollywood, but most of this is bunk, even if you do believe in the supernatural. It goes along with the demon in question usually being played by an actor either looking like a leading man (fake form) or heavily made up by a disciple of Dick Smith (real form), and the fact that these kids can not simply evoke, or invoke but summon a demon first time and from vague instructions in 16th century English. Oh, and the fact that the girls naturally let him hang out on our plane afterwards, if they don't ask him to be their boyfriend, possess someone, or make a deal for their souls.

You know, normal slumber party stuff.

In the real occult, as in The Magus, or The Grand Grimoire, it takes about five years of study and practice to learn to do spirit work well enough to get a given demon (much less a major-league Prince of Hell) to appear at least part of the time. And the spirit isn't always going to be in corporeal form, much less look like a human. And what you're supposed to do with it is to boss it around, then banish it. And the demon is supposed to apparate outside the circle, while the caster is in it.

I know. It's just not going to work dramatically, if the girls are middle-aged, and they've been at this awhile. And you're going to want to have a handsome demon, because it's easier and more interesting to write in a romantic interest than to have a connection with a wavery shadow that (the audience is told) smells like roses. And it just seems to work, that there's this ring of fire, and chanting, and poof! you have a demon.

Anyway, I think you get my point. Now, stifle your giggles the next time you see a frightener that was supposedly "taken from real life", or "researched."

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