A Man of Wealth and Taste — The Three Kings Ritual
Scary Stories Session 17 is all about that most feared of supernatural foes — the Devil. While it explains how much of our fear of the Devil arose from the interaction of sects like the Cathars with mainstream Christianity, it concludes with a retelling of a ritual that is supposed to conjure spirits from beyond the veil with some vague suggestions that it could even bring forth the Devil himself.
The ritual was first posted to reddit/nosleep in 2012 byFableForge. Nosleep, while understood to be completely fabricated creepy pastas, encourages users to interact with them as if they are real. And so it is within this context that the Three Kings Ritual was posted. With a surprising amount of detail but enough specifications to make it very difficult for anyone to actually complete, the ritual goes through how to carry out the process in order to conjure two spirits, most likely one of these at least will be malevolent.
But this has since become a very popular thread and spawned numerous additional posts of people attempting the ritual themselves. The strange thing is that the whole thing is quite obviously made up, but there are enough suggestions and enough reliance on the possibility of demonic forces that people’s own fears and superstitions get the better of them. Not only then do they try and replicate the ritual as best they can but they feels its effects. This perhaps does not show the power of the otherworldly but the deep seated fears we all have of the dark side of religion.