How do you deal with a toddler who has pneumonia? One family decided to hold an exorcism.
Shaman healers were called to the family's house in Russia to care for an ailing grandmother, but once there, they told Dmitry Kazachuk's parents that the 4-year-old had put a curse on the family and referred to him as "Lucifer the demon."
The parents agreed to let the healers conduct a ritual to exorcise the "evil spirits" that were allegedly plaguing the boy.
The parents were hypnotized and then left their son alone in a room with the healers. He died of suffocation during the ritual. Authorities found no evidence of violence and they aren't ruling out that the boy actually died from pneumonia, but a criminal investigation is underway.
Exorcism makes me think horror movie, but the ritual is still performed by many cultures and religions (including Catholicism and Islam) around the world. The ancient practice of shaman healing has been prevalent in Siberia for centuries and the rituals have become more common since the break up of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of Communism.
This video shows the exorcism of a young boy in the Philippines -- his mother believed he was possessed.
Image via Denise Cross/Flickr