Despite what INXS may have insisted, not every single one of us has the devil inside. Which is good news for R.H. Stavis, an exorcist who also works as a screenwriter, and thus doesn’t have time to cast the demons out of your extended family. Though she did, oddly, find time to respond to my email questions about her new memoir, Sister Of Darkness: The Chronicles Of A Modern Exorcist (hardcover, Kindle), which she co-wrote with Sarah Durand.
Photo Credit: Michelle X Star
Sister Of Darkness is a memoir. But for those who don’t know you, who are you and what to do you?
My name is Rachel Stavis, and I am a nondenominational exorcist. I remove entities from people and places.
And what does ” nondenominational exorcist” mean?
I don’t work in any specific religious or even spiritual way. I’m not affiliated with a church, I’m not a shaman, I don’t carry a specific belief, other than that of Spirit itself. That gives me the opportunity to see and work with everyone from all backgrounds, as well as work with High Beings of all kinds. It’s expansive, not limited.
Memoirs take many forms. What tone did you strike with Sister Of Darkness — serious, light-hearted… — and why did you feel this would work best for it?
I think it’s a bit of all, to be honest. I felt like simply telling my story, in my own words, would work best because the subject matter is so controversial and has been, for the most part, told in dark, sinister terms. But there’s so much more to it than what people know, and not all of it is terrible and tragic.
Is Sister Of Darkness instructional at all? Like, will I learn how to conduct an exorcism from reading it, or will I just learn what makes you tick?
I definitely wouldn’t recommend that people try this at home. It’s an incredibly specialized thing that, even with my gift of sight, took years to cultivate and do correctly. But people will learn how to protect themselves from attachment and what they can do if they feel they have it already. That was the goal: telling the world about entity, why entity attaches, and how to help heal yourself and your life.
In writing Sister Of Darkness, did you look at anyone else’s memoirs to see what you should do?
No, and it’s for the same reason I won’t read works of fiction while I write fiction: I don’t like to be influenced in any way.
Now, you had help on Sister Of Darkness from Sarah Durand, who previously worked with professional soccer player Alex Morgan on her memoir, Breakaway, as well as pro basketball player Elena Delle Donne on hers, My Shot. First off, what exactly did Sarah do for the book? Did she co-write it, push you in the right directions, what?
She did both, really. It’s difficult to go through everything I know and pick out what’s most interesting, what needs further explanation, details, etc. She was an incredible guide through that process, because I’ve lived this life every day since day one.
So what made you think Sarah would be a good collaborator for Sister Of Darkness?
Sarah is great. She’s so easy to talk to and asks all the right questions. She also captures the story beautifully. I will write all my books with her.
Prior to writing Sister Of Darkness, you wrote some movies, TV shows, and video games. Why did you decide to write Sister Of Darkness as something else?
I felt like the audience I wanted to reach would be book first because there is just so much to explain, and so many details.
So has there been any interest in adapting Sister Of Darkness into a movie, TV show, or video game?
There has, but I can’t actually talk about it just yet. We are figuring everything out.
And if it was up to you, who would you cast in the lead role of, uh, you?
Well, I called dibs on Kristen Ritter before Jessica Jones, but now that she’s so fabulously busy, I’ll have to find someone else.
That reminds me, is there a movie, TV show, or game that gets exorcisms, right? Or close to it?
To be honest, not really. Exorcism shows and movies have really only shown one type of exorcism, the “movie style” kind, and that really only works for one kind of entity. There is so much more. What we see — or at least what we’ve seen so far — is just the tip of the iceberg.
Finally, if someone enjoys Sister Of Darkness, what real-life story of the demonic would you suggest they read and why that?
Though it’s “based” on a true story and is a work of fiction, [William Peter Blatty’s] The Exorcist is actually my favorite book. I know how that sounds, but it’s an incredible read. And if people want to expand on that further, they can look into the exorcism of Roland Doe, which is what inspired the story.