What are some signs to look for, if you've been exposed to these things?
First, how does this suddenly change your relationships? Are you suddenly fighting with your spouse? Are you angry all the time, getting in a lot of arguments? One of the things the devil will have for all eternity is his own rage, and he likes to spill it out on to people who don't suspect it. Ask, "Why is this happening?"
Second, you'll experience disruptions in your sleep. You'll awake in the middle of the night, frightened, seeing things in the bedroom shadows. Sometimes you feel like someone is there in the room with you, but invisible.
That person definitely has to take the steps: First, to go to confession; then start receiving communion after confession. If it still continues and you can't find a way to deal with it, you go to the priest and tell him about it. Most priests would pray over the person, maybe not specifically for freedom from demonic oppression, but for peace of mind, etc.
I use the analogy of lint on your clothing, because it starts when you go to a psychic with your friends, and then things start changing. Weird things are happening and you don't know why, and you think, "But it couldn't be me going to the psychic!"
I've heard of demonic influences clinging to objects, but if someone you love is involved with the occult, is it dangerous to touch them and hug them?
Don't get frightened. The devil wants us to be afraid. When you hug your loved one, in your conscious mind ask the Holy Spirit to be between you like a blanket. Then it's the Holy Spirit wrapping around her and you're insulated. A hug might be one of the things that could actually be helpful to her. Remember, she's not the psychic, she's the victim of the psychic.
St. Ignatius of Loyola said in his spiritual exercises, that the devil is a coward. If you stand up to him, he runs. If you can expose his presence to somebody, he'll back off. At first he'll scream and shout, but ultimately it's Christ working through you, by the Holy Spirit, and he doesn't want that and he runs away. He's a bully, but there's nothing he can do to you. If you're with the Lord and living a good Catholic life, there's nothing to worry about. He'll just run.
An image I like to use with people sometimes is that the bully in class has picked you out and is intimidating you and making your life miserable. So you come back with your big brother, Jesus, and you stand behind him and let him do the talking and tell this bully to get out and never come back. There's no way the evil one can get to you when you're standing behind Jesus.
Thank you, Father Reynolds!
I'd like to close with some scriptural passages:
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people (Eph. 6:10-18).