Some movie buffs who enjoyed shrieking to “The Exorcism of Emilie Rose” are probably unaware that the 2005 horror film was actually inspired by the real-life demonic possession of a German girl named Anneliese Michel.
Anneliese, who underwent clandestine Catholic exorcism rites in 1975, died a year after due to severe dehydration and starvation. At that time, it was Germany’s first official and public case of exorcism in about 50 years, and the only known case to have actual audio recordings.
Warning: This article contains the real pictures and actual audio recording taken during Anneliese’s exorcism. These may be too frightening and disturbing for some readers.
Anneliese was born on September 21, 1952.
She was described as a happy, kind, polite, intelligent, and compassionate young lady.
She was very knowledgeable about the Catholic faith and was deeply religious.
Annaliese with her siblings and parents, Anna and Josef Michel.
But in 1969, at the age of 17, her quiet and peaceful life changed as she started to experience constant epileptic seizures and convulsions. She was diagnosed with severe psychosis and temporal lobe epilepsy. Anneliese received medical treatment at a psychiatric hospital, but this only exacerbated her depression even more.
Three years after, Anneliese began to display an intolerance to religious articles.
According to reports, she also began to hallucinate…
And claimed to see demons and hear voices that condemn her to hell.
No medical treatment seemed to help and she even became suicidal.
This made her family believe that she may be possessed by demons.
Anneliese’s parents, Josef and Anna Michel, sought the help of priests and requested for a Catholic exorcism, but the priests declined and recommended for the continuation of her medical treatment.
Until Fr. Ernst Alt and Arnold Renz decided to help the family.
In 1975, they asked Bishop Josef Stangl for permission to perform clandestine exorcism on the young lady.
The exorcism lasted for 10 months.
During Anneliese’s “episodes”, her voice and face would change into something demonic. She’d tear her clothes apart, lick her own urine, and eat coal. Reports claim that the demons who possessed her would identify themselves as Cain, Judas Iscariot, Nero, Hitler, and Lucifer himself.
Anneliese later talked about dying as a martyr and refused to eat.
After 67 exorcisms, Anneliese Michel died due to severe dehydration and starvation on the 1st of July, 1976– she was 23-years-old.
The priests claimed that the exorcism was a success…
…and that she was freed from the demons who possessed her just before she passed away.
However, her parents and the priests were apprehended by authorities and were charged with negligent homicide. They paid a fine and were sentenced to serve six months in jail, but it was reduced to three years of probation.
(left to right) Alt, Fr. Renz, Anna, and Josef during the trial.
Anneliese Michel’s case has been referred to as an example of negligence, abuse, religious hysteria, and misidentified psychological disorder. But the priests, their bishop, her family, and some close friends believe she was indeed possessed.
Watch the video and tell us what you think.
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