"It's not real."
I remember hearing that explanation quite often when I was a kid. Ghosts aren't real. Witches aren't real. Magic isn't real. Spells aren't real. Curses aren't real. Don't worry, it can't hurt you because it doesn't exist. My mother was very firm and practical about it, and I was satisfied with that. After all, if we had a choice, most of us would prefer to live in a world in which dark spiritual complications don't exist. Unfortunately, I've been doing a bit of research over the past few years, and guess what . . .
It's all real.
Growing up in a Catholic home, we never questioned the existence of Satan. Demons were simply a fact of life, as were angels, heaven, hell, and purgatory. That, however, was the extent of our awareness of the spiritual world. To some degree we felt, like the rest of the modern population, that we lived in a rational scientific world in which things like witchcraft were at worst a pathetic waste of time. Now, as I read the accounts of respected modern exorcists who deal with preternatural phenomena on a regular basis, I'm discovering that some of those things we dismissed in our childhood are actually very real and can be very dangerous.
But, before anybody decides to sleep with the lights on, rest assured the Catholic Church has an answer for all these problems. Some people would prefer not to know about any of this for their own peace of mind, but ignorance is no protection. I would rather be informed and have a plan of action before I am ever confronted by something the exterminator can't explain away. Forewarned is forearmed, after all.