The Exorcism of Emily Rose was one of the creepiest films of 2005 – in fact, the Chicago Film Critics Association considers it to be one of the creepiest films of all time.
In 2006, it clocked in at #86 on their coveted list of “Top 100 Scariest Films Ever Made.” But what’s even creepier than the film’s demonic dialog or the convincing, convulsing performance by Jennifer Carpenter is the fact that it’s based on a true story: the Anneliese Michel possession of the 1970’s.
And much like the plot of the Emily Rose film, the Anneliese Michel case was hotly debated and highly contested in Eastern European courtrooms.
So was Anneliese Michel actually possessed? And what about those creepy Anneliese Michel tapes? Do those prove demonic possession… or just a tragic case of misdiagnosed mental illness?
Health and Family Background
Anneliese Michel was born into a devout Catholic family on September 21st, 1952 in West Germany. She was the youngest of four sisters all born to her parents, Josef and Anna.
As Anneliese grew up, she followed in the footsteps of her spiritual family members. Deeply religious, she attended Catholic mass at least twice a week.
As Anneliese grew, she began to develop serious health problems. At the age of 16, she suffered a severe convulsion and was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy shortly thereafter.
Alleged Demonic Possession
Anneliese’s health became a greater cause for concern as time wore on. She continued to experience epileptic seizures, hallucinations, paranoia and anxiety. In 1973 during her first year at the University of Würzburg, she fell into a deep depression. She experienced terrifying apparitions while praying and reported hearing strange voices telling her that she was “damned” and doomed to “rot in hell.”
Later that year, Anneliese accompanied a family friend on a religious pilgrimage to San Damiano. On this trip, her escort noticed that she was unable to walk past certain religious icons and refused to drink water from a holy spring.
Based on these events, the escort was the first to conclude that Anneliese was suffering demonic possession. Both Anneliese and her family were also convinced and began to consult their parish and priests, pleading for an exorcism.http://web.archive.org/web/20191214000151if_/https://www.youtube.com/embed/-4xiT67GrbY
The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel
Initially, the Catholic Church had declined to exorcise Anneliese. Exorcism rites had not been used for centuries and were highly controversial in the …Read More »