Possession, Movies and True Stories

Possession is surely a topic up for plenty of discussion in today’s society as it has been in the past. There are those who believe it exists and those who think it is nonsense. Some religions recognize it as a real phenomenon while science views it as undiagnosed health problems.

Despite this, the movie world has not shied away from the subject and has created a few frighteningly disturbed movies that feature some rather scary demonic possessions inspired by some rather true scary events.

In 1971, William Peter Blatty wrote the book called “The Exorcist.” He told the story of a young girl who becomes possessed by a demon. With the help of two priests, the girl is finally able to rid the demon from her body. In 1973, the motion picture of the same name went to theaters and irked millions. The mere sight of a 12 year old Linda Blair cursing, spewing pea soup, and rotating her head was enough to cause people to rush to churches and pick up a Bible.

The core of the story was inspired by an alleged exorcism of a young boy in the Washington D.C. area in the 1940s. The exorcism was allegedly documented and was what inspired Blatty to write the book. He changed characters and some events but kept the main idea. A reporter in the latter 1990s combated these claims by researching the story and coming to his conclusion that the boy was not possessed. The priest, who allegedly assisted in the exorcism on the boy, was also interviewed.

The events of the book, movie, and even the real story created two sides: those who believed it and those who did not. Debates aside, the idea of a demon occupying a body of a young child is still scary. The fact that it could be true only adds to the already existing fear.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose” is another popular movie based around possession.

Released in 2005, the movie spurred many to compare it to its predecessor “The Exorcist.” The movie starred Jennifer Carpenter as Emily Rose, a young college girl who slowly becomes possessed by six demons that include Cain, Nero and Lucifer. The tortured girl spoke different languages and suffered from eerie body contortions. Despite the help of a priest, Emily died. The movie sets itself up nicely as the audience slowly learns and witnesses the demise of a young innocent girl. The movie is based on an alleged true account. Anneliese Michel was only 17 and living in Germany when the possession began to occur.

She too succumbed to the possession of six demons and partook in an exorcism. Medical experts tried to explain the strange and horrid events. She was diagnosed with Epilepsy and prescribed medications to no avail. She died in 1976. Some believed the demons inside her were ultimately what killed her. An autopsy was performed and confirmed her death was due to dehydration and malnutrition.

Once again, science vs. religion was the center of attention. Even though it took place decades ago, people now are still debating whether Michel was truly possessed or simply sick. There are alleged documents of the exorcism along with audio of Michel during it. (To read more about the case and to hear the audio click here; the audio is near the bottom of the article.) Another movie called “Requiem” was also loosely based on Michel’s case and is in German.

Possession will always be a topic surrounded by controversy thanks to the lifelong battle between science and religion. The horror world has and will continue to push the topic front and center for the movie audiences to see. Does possession exist? Can a demon of sorts enter a body? Perhaps the answer will come though others say they have it already. Whether one believes or not, this occurrence will always acquire some kind of response. Silence is never an option when it comes to possessions.

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