Priest Says He Felt “Pushed Back” During Mandalay Bay Resort “Blessing”

From Newsweek:

Chicago Reverend Clete Kiley felt something push him back as he stepped into the eerie hallway leading to the room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where Stephen Paddock fired off rounds of bullets—killing dozens of people and injuring hundreds who were enjoying a concert.

…Kiley was praying with a few hundred staff members and consoling them as they cried when the hotel manager approached him. She asked the priest if he would perform a blessing because the FBI had just released Paddock’s room back to the hotel.

…When the priest reached the hallway of the 32nd floor, he noticed a temporary door blocking the hallway. As he opened the door, he said he instantly felt something indescribable.

“I felt like I was being pushed back, like don’t come in here,” he said. “On the inside, I’m going, ‘Oh no, you have to go.'”

…Kiley could sense the evil in the room and what had happened there, he said.

Only the most hardened rationalist would be able to attend such a scene on their own and be able to say truthfully that they did not feel uneasy. A formal ceremony that recognises the very real emotional power of such sites may help to put some people at ease, to dispel some of the negative “atmosphere” that they evoke in the human imagination, and to dampen down the notoriety that in some comparable cases (e.g. Jeffrey Dahmer) has necessitated demolition – hardly a practical solution in this instance. The room will probably be a headache for the owners for years to come, with many guests (and staff) wanting to shun the area and the ghoulishly minded seeking it out.

Kiley told Newsweek that staff “felt relieved” after the blessing. It should be noted that although the prayer he used, “St. Michael, the Archangel”, is associated with exorcism, his visit to the room was not a formal exorcism and the word does not appear in the article. However, although this suggests a desire to avoid sensationalism, it seems to me that his account may work against this: rather than making the space mundane again he has instead helped to build a legend that the hotel is a place where tangible supernatural forces may be encountered.

Kiley – who seems to be an intelligent man – experienced what he expected to experience. Would he have felt the same sensations at a location where something similarly terrible had occurred, but that he hadn’t known about? Verifiable reports of such a phenomenon are thin on the ground.

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