The real-life exorcism of Anneliese Michel that inspired the scariest movie ever

Many of us have watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose, a 2005 American horror movie which is considered as one of the scariest movies of all time.

But did you that it is inspired by the real-life story of Anneliese Michel, a German teen who underwent Catholic exorcism rites in 1975 and died the following year?

Anneliese was a happy and religious teenager pursuing her education in Germany. But in 1969, at seventeen, she began experiencing epileptic seizure and regular convulsions.

Medical doctors gave her a diagnosis of strong psychosis and temporal lobe epilepsy and treated her at a psychiatric hospital.

However, her treatment in the mental facility did not improve her health, instead worsened her depression. By her 20’s, she became intolerant of various religious objects such as the crucifix.

Her severe depression led to hallucinations such as seeing demons and hearing voices that tell her she was “damned” and would “rot in hell”.

Despite medications and treatment, her condition did not become better and she became suicidal. Her family was convinced that she must have been possessed by demons.

Anneliese’s parents sought religious help and appealed to a Catholic priest for an exorcism. After much hesitation, Fr.Ernst Alt and Arnold Renz decided to help them after getting permission from Bishop Josef Stangl in 1975, and performed a secret exorcism rite on the teen for 10 months.

Reports said that she would make demonic voices and faces, tear her clothes apart, eat coal and lick her own urine. It is also said that the demons lurking inside the girl identified themselves as Lucifer, Cain, Judas Iscariot, Nero, and Hitler.

Later Anneliese began talking of dying as a martyr and refused to eat towards the end. On July 1, 1976 at age 23, Anneliese Michel died of extreme dehydration and starvation after 67 exorcisms.

Though she passed away, the priest claimed that she was finally freed from the demons possessing her because of the exorcism just before her death.

Consequently, her parents and the priests involved in the exorcism were charged with negligent homicide, and were sentenced to six months in jail (reduced to three years of probation), and a fine.

The case has been cited as an example of a misidentified mental illness, negligence, abuse and religious hysteria.

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