Monday, October 30, 2006

Spooky Story Six: Demonic Possession - The real 'Emily Rose'

Warning: This post contains some very disturbing images...

Last year, as part of my spooky stories series, I did a post about the true story behind the movie The Exorcist. If you dare, you can read the post

The movie is based on the exorcisms of a little boy that actually took place here in St. Louis. In fact, I recently visited the hospital where many of the rituals were performed.

But that's another story... (If you're feeling brave, make sure to read my Epilogue at the bottom).

Is demonic possession real? Or is it simply attributing something spiritual where the problem is clearly psychological and mental?

In 2005, a movie about demonic possession was released, titled The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The makers of the film said that they based their movie on a true story. In reality, the girl's name was Anneliese Michel, and she lived in Germany. Anneliese believed she was possessed by six demons, and the Catholic church allowed local priests to perform the rite of Exorcism. In the end, it wasn't enough. On July 1, 1976, 23 year old Anneliese died.

Growing up, Anneliese Michel (pictured right) was part of a very devout family in Klingenberg, Germany. She was perfectly healthy until she was 16 years old. Very suddenly, Anneliese suffered from convulsions. She was diagnosed with Grand Mal epilespsy. Soon thereafter, she began to see demonic faces and hear evil voices.

She was unable to attend college, as her seizures and hallucinations began to increase in severity by age 22. Conventional medicine didn't have an answer, so the family turned to the Church. Anneliese and her parents were convinced she was possessed by several demons. Her mother reported stigmata, her speaking in tongues, and making predictions that did come true.

The Catholic Church at first refused. However, Father Arnold Renz and Pastor Ernst Alt visited the Michel family and recorded Anneliese speaking in tongues and in different voices (pictured left). After playing the tape for the Bishop, the Church finally agreed. The priest and pastor carried out 67 rites of exorcism, the official ritual known as "Rituale Romanum." Anneliese was also taking very powerful drugs at the time. These included Tegretol and Aolept.

Poor Anneliese exhibited strange and terrible behavior (pictured right). She licked her own urine off the floor, bit the head off of a dead bird, barked like a dog continuously, and she ate insects and coal. Eventually, she refused to eat alltogether. During one exorcism, the priests demanded the names of the six demons inside of her. In an evil and animalistic voice, she replied that she was possessed by: Lucifer, Cain, Nero, Judas, Fleischmann (a shamed 17th century priest), and Hitler.

Anneliese had predicted the day she would be free of the demons: July 1, 1976. At midnight, her parents and the priests reported that her violent outbursts abruptly stopped. She weighed a mere 68 pounds and was suffering from pneumonia (pictured left)During the early morning, she told the priests to "beg for absolution." And her final words were to her mother when she said, "Mother, I'm afraid."

She never woke up that morning.

A sensational trial took place immediately after, where prosecutors claimed that Anneliese's parents and the Church were responsible for her death. She should've been put in an insitution, something Anneliese refused. Doctors said she should've been force fed as well.

Her parents and the priests were all found guilty, but received only 3 years probation.

Was Anneliese a poor victim of misplaced religious beliefs? Or was she truly possessed by demons, including Lucifer himself? Is demonic possession even a possibility?


1) The movie The Exorcist is a Hollywood version of real events that took place here in St. Louis. Father Bowdern and Father Halloran performed several rites of exorcism at Alexian Brothers Hospital. Soon thereafter, the boy's room was locked up...and eventually, the whole fifth floor was abandoned as well. There were many reports of strange things coming from that room, long after the boy was gone. The wing was eventually demolished. A construction worker found Father Bowdern's journal in the room before demolition, and that diary was the basis for the film.

St. Alexius is the new hospital built, literally next door to the old Alexian Brothers building. I was speaking with a hospital executive there just this last week. He said that when they were installing a new security fence along the hospital's perimeter, they were digging and struck the old Alexian Brothers Hospital's foundation.

That day, elevators were constantly getting stuck on the fifth floor, and only on that
fifth floor.

2) Christianity is far from the only religion dealing with demonic possession. From voodoo to Islam, many other religions have their own rituals and rites in dealing with such evil.
Feeling brave? See video footage of an Islamic exorcism HERE.

FEELING SUPER BRAVE? Listen HERE to one of the 43 actual recordings of Anneliese's exorcism. (A German website released some recordings just after the Emily Rose movie was released).


David Amulet said...

The perfect halloween post. Great timing, as usual.

May your holiday pass with only feigned possessions and contrived horror.

-- david

Phats said...

This post scares me a little bit, I hope you're happy that you're going to give me nightmares now!

The exorcist is a great scary movie I love it, but I would never in a million years step foot anywhere near that hospital, or where anything to do with that movie is. Bad vibes!

Happy Halloween

delmer said...

This is another one that gives me chills.

I am skeptical of things like this. I just don't know.

A guy I work with, and who seems very sane, participated in something like an exorcism. He and a group of others sat around someone and prayed continually for them as they felt they were possessed. Something visible happened -- maybe a shadow was seen leaving the person; I don't recall all the details.

I'm not giving the above story its due. I'm sure the problem was more than the person felt he was possessed. I think it was something other people could see.

Even though I'm skeptical ... the whole thing gives me the creeps.

starbender said...

i just hope all these people who are busy conjuring up all these demons, are smart enough 2 deal with 'em when they arrive!

Jennifer said...

They fascinate me, seriously.

No way in hell was I watching tht excorcism. I'd pee myself.

Jay said...

You're a real devil to be posting this stuff you know.

the weirdgirl said...

I'm interested in hearing the audio recordings even though I believe that most "demonic possessions" are probably people suffering from schizophrenia or other mental/chemical disorders. It just seems that a lot of possessions hit kids in their early to late teens - the same age schizophrenia normally presents.

However, it's late at night and there is NO WAY I'm listening to those recordings right before I go to sleep! It's still totally creepy.

DaBich said...

I most certainly DO believe in demonic possession. It happens to inanimate things too. (Like houses).
I saw the Exorcist movies and Emily Rose...I'm a believer!

O Ceallaigh said...

Since I don't accept the material existence of Supreme Beings, I do not accept the possibility of demons, never mind demonic possession.

Since I do accept the powerful role of the metaphor of (the) Supreme Being(s) in human society, especially as a means of explaining the unexplained and using that explanation to rally a group around the explanation, or the subtending metaphor ("God help us!"), I cannot just "wave this away".

I do not, and cannot, know all the facts. I can suppose that an illness, not immediately explicable through the medical profession, imposed on the devout (superstitious?) upbringing, could have resulted in this "possession/exorcism" tragedy.

Though I sympathize with those who felt the urge to prosecute, I would not have done so. It is useless ... the grave was dug, and the stone engraved, many years before. I can only hope to educate people away from fears and superstitions, and towards a level of human understanding that will permit a more rational, and effective, treatment of these conditions.

I note that, when I was in Germany at the end of October one year, that they didn't celebrate Hallowe'en. All Saints Day was another matter. Everybody say What??


angel, jr. said...

Happy Halloween!!

OnMyWatch said...

I've seen the Emily Rose movie and thought it was believable. I think it's possible to be demonically possessed, however, I don't think all who make those claims are real.

I'm still not brave enough to listen to those links though. I'll wait till my husband gets home. :)

The Phoenix said...

Personally, I'm really on the fence with this stuff. I believe maybe 90% of people claiming to be possessed are either mentally ill or are really seeking attention. It's possible they actual brainwash themselves.

Then there are those cases, like of the boy that was brought here to St. Louis for exorcism. There are too many people in town that witnessed strange stuff surrounding it.

Curare_Z said...

I'm fascinated with this stuff too. I watched the video...

My questions....What's with the dude's hand? Are those demonic gang signs?

mad said...

I hope I never get what she had. Whoa.

Carmel said...

I don't know what to think of her really, as to whether she really was possesed or not. She certainly looks terrible.
To posess is really to take ownership of someone, and i'm not so sure that a devil or anything could take ownership of one persons body, unless there is more to the story. who knows, but it's certainly chilling, yikes! You may give me nightmares too.

Grafs said...

Sweet! Possessions scare me to death though. The scientist in me likes to think maybe it's severe psychosis with a pinch of epilepsy.

KC said...

Once again, Phoenix, you have come up with some truly scary stuff! I never knew that the Emily Rose movie was based on a true story. See. I learn all kinds of stuff here from you!

Pixie said...

I hate the exorcist, I cant watch it. The exorcism of Emily Rose was a pretty good film though. I read up on the true story after I had watched it.

Happy Halloween :)

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

The movie "The Exorcist" is the scariest movie I have EVER seen (even to this day).

And even if I weren't at work, there's NO WAY I could bring myself to listen to that original recording. I've actually been wanting to rent the Emily Rose movie but I can't make myself do it.

37 years old and the thought of someone being possessed by demonic entities still scares the crap out of me.

Jamie Dawn said...

I've got the shivers!! It's Halloween!!!!!!
Her behavior sounds a bit like Lycanthropy, a disease where people exhibit animal behavior.
I saw the movie and it was pretty wicked.
That poor girl went through hell. I don't know what all was in play there, but evil certainly was a factor in that story.
Have some chocolate! Happy Halloween!!

OnMyWatch said...

OK, so I finally got up enough nerve to watch the video. Weird. I think it would've been more strange though if the guy would've spoken in English, considering the usual. ;)

The Phoenix said...

I hope everyone has a fantastic Halloween tonight!

If you can, catch Ghosthunters on Sci-Fi tonight. It's going to be a LIVE ghost hunt!

Anonymous said...

perfect for halloween!

hope yours was scary!!

Daniel Kong said...

Actually the most credible and real exorcism in Christian churches is the Catholic one.
Why? It has a standarized method, first of all it relies in science before any exorcism, they exhaust all rational explanations, from psychology to psychiatry.
Then they check real supernatural phenomena, speaking in tongues never learned before, telekinesis, levitation, among other things, etc...
Note that the Emily Rose case, the Church refused several times the possibility of Exorcism, until the evidence was stunning clear.

There are a few authorized exorcists in the world, and I read the testimony of the only authorized exorcist priest of Argentina. The reporter, a known skeptical guy, couldn't end the article with his special ironic touch. And the magazine was a left-winged one... imagine it...

cube said...

BOK BOK. Call me a chicken, but I'm not touching those links.

Mr. Friendly said...

There might be a good reason to not mess with the links...
or the ouija boards...
or the spiritualists...

Not trying to rain on the parade just be careful people.

BrianAlt said...

Here's something spooky. If it wasn't for me adding my 2 cents late in the game you'd have exactly 26 comments in the last four posts! AND there are 26 letters in the alphabet.

OOOH! Spooky!

Cari said...

thanks for scaring the living crap outta me


phred said...

One thing I DO know, is that I don`t know...

Anonymous said...

dude that's some serious whack shit!

Yawn said...

It's all about the Universal Database. Perhaps certain tumors cause chemical reactions that become susceptible to outside vectors (wills) floating around in the database. So say she had a tumor in a cerebral location with lots of neural pathways. Those pathways have to go around a big blob of tumor but it takes more electrochemical umph (amps and actual chemicals) to make those transmissions process. Eventually the region becomes so dense with certain neurochemicals and electromagnetically charged that it no longer can function properly, thus allowing data from the database to leak in and influence the rest of the organ. This influence is seen initially in behavioral changes and later in visible changes caused by things such as self-mutilation and anorexia.

Jim said...

'Jesuit Involved in Exorcism That Inspired Book, Movie Dies'

vani said...

holy crap! hehe

Kevin H. said...

I have witnessed, on a couple occasions, "THINGS" that defy any rational explanation! I've a brother who's been diagnosed as a "Parinoid Schizophrenic",and I've got to admit...,It sometimes seems there's something else going on!!

Anonymous said...

In Islam,it is also true that Satan can exist in human body, but it is easily cured by the holy quran and it happens alot with muslims but its not a big deal!!!they get treated easily because its written in their holy Quran that The words of Allah(the god)is the only way to get rid of Satan....and it is really true because it is impissible that there is noooo cure it must be...

Anonymous said...

In Islam,it is also true that Satan can exist in human body, but it is easily cured by the holy quran and it happens alot with muslims but its not a big deal!!!they get treated easily because its written in their holy Quran that The words of Allah(the god)is the only way to get rid of Satan....and it is really true because it is impissible that there is noooo cure it must be...

Anonymous said...

I think it is funny how one person commented and said that she would never watch the exorcist because she would pee herself.. if you have seen the exorcist, you would understand why that is silly

hannahbanana said...

Well, I'm a christian and myself and many others believe that you can only be possessed if you ALLOW yourself to be. That's why the Bible says to gaurd your heart. [which i know may sound hypocritical because I'm reading this buy I'm 18 and curious!] But you know alot of people involved in voodoo allow themselves to be possessed and ask for it. i believe these things happened to this girl -- but it's hard to believe that SHE was a devout christian and for no reason was suddenly possessed by 6 demons?? I hope you understand where I'm coming from. HOWEVER -- I do NOT believe that people who claim to be possessed are simply mentally ill. There's no way they could cause those strange things to happen? At my Church camp I saw with my own two eyes an exorcism. The case was certainly not as extreme. But I heard the voices and saw the convulsing. But although these things are scary, as christians we have authority of it and are protected from it by the blood of Jesus. You shouldn't be afraid of it, but certainly should not provoke it. But that also makes me question why they were not able to rid her of the demons .. the story has a lot of questions to it .. I hope you agree with what I am saying. THANKS : )

camarota2k said...

I played that snippet of the "actual" recording of emily rose's exorcism... played it backwards and thought I heard the word Aushwitz(I can't spell German words) but that camp that was a fake concentration camp back in world war 2, whatever it was...

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Anonymous said...

Everyone has there own opinion on this matter,but only those who are simple minded people don't believe in the evil that is out there.people aren't bad,something makes them bad,that is the evil that is out there.Evil is there 365 247 not just on halloween,or because hollywood made a new movie.duh BUT LIKE I SAID SIMPLE MINDED PEOPLE.....:O

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