June 12, 1995 12:00 PM

>BY MORE THAN LOVE POSSESSED What has gotten into some of our favorite soap opera characters lately? Could it be…Satan? On Melrose Place, Kimberly (Marcia Cross) was never too balanced. But last month, every time she looked in a mirror, there was an evil apparition with wild hair and a Fu Manchu-mustache egging her on to murder and mayhem. (Remind anyone of Twin Peaks and its demonic spirit Bob?) In the season-ending cliff-hanger, Kimberly gleefully flicked the switches that would ignite a series of firebombs strategically placed around the show’s eponymous apartment complex. Meanwhile, over on Days of Our Lives, saintly Marlena (Deidre Hall) seems to have had a change of heart. Or soul. As her blue eyes have turned green, yellow and finally Orphan Annie white, Marlena has spoken in tongues, levitated from her bed, dispatched a swarm of bees to sting someone and been transformed briefly into a jaguar. Now she is undergoing an exorcism co-conducted by John (Drake Hogestyn), her former husband who is now a priest. How have viewers responded to this supernatural story line? “Some deeply religious people have taken offense,” says Hall. “At the same time, we have increased enormously in our young demographics. That tells me there are a lot of teenagers out there who are watching vigilantly every day and laughing their fannies off. Then there are my longtime fans who are simply watching and hoping that at the end of all this I wind up getting back together with John.”

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