Exorcism of Emily Rose With Epilepsy

Anneliese when she was healthy
Anneliese when she was healthy
Anneliese durning the exorcism
Anneliese durning the exorcism
part of before the exorcism and then after the exorcism
part of before the exorcism and then after the exorcism

Who's true name was Anneliese Michel

Anneliese was born on September 12, 1959 in Germany and died on July 1, 1976 due to dehydration and malnutrition.

It was around 1968 at the age of 17 when she started to have the shaking, tightening, and convulsions of her body. She also began to hear voices and have hallucinations. What is interesting, is that this is also what happens when a person has Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. When Anneliese started to experience these symptoms, her parents took her to a psychiatric hospital in Wusburb. During her stay at the psychiatric hospital, there was a neurologist who diagnosed her with epilepsy.

It has been well documented that Temperal Lobe Epilepsy can cause a person to hear voices as well as have visual hallucinations. I know this because, I have experienced them myself before my surgery for epilepsy. During my surgery, part of my left temperal lobe was removed. Since my surgery, I have not had a seizure, heard a voice, nor have I seen anything that was not there.

However, Anneliese's parent's did not believe the neurologist was correct, mostly because an older woman had told them that Anneliese's real problems were demonic. The older woman told her parents that Anneliese refused to drink or even touch Holy Water, and would not look at a painting of Jesus.

They called an exorcist from a nearby town and he came and decided that Anneliese was possessed. After being denied twice, he was given the right of exorcism. During the time of the exorcism, which took ten months, Anneliese became sicker and weaker. The exorcisms also caused bodily harm. Ligaments in her knees ruptured because she fell to her knees many times during her exorcism. There were also no medical doctors during the time of the exorcism. If there had been medical doctors there during the time of the exorcism she may have lived. Because around the time of Easter Anneliese started to refuse to eat or drink, and her convulsions became much worse. If medical doctors had been there at that time, she could have been force fed or hydrated, and would still be alive today.Anneliese refused to eat because she thought it would help her to get rid of the demons that possessed her. At that time she weighed only 68 pounds.

On July 1, 1976 Anneliese Michel died from dehydration, starvation, as well as pneumonia. After Anneliese's death the priests who had tried to exorcise the demons from her, and her parents were charged with neglegent homicide, and put on trial. All of the accused were found guilty of manslaughter from negligence and sentenced to six months in jail. However, that sentence was suspended and they were given three years of probation.

The film that was made about Anneliese Michel was called The Exorcism Of Emily Rose and was more of a horror film then the truth. I do believe there are demons and people who are possessed by them. In these cases exorcisms must be done. Those cases have been well documented. Just not this one.

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Comments 48 comments

aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 4 years ago from Malaga, Spain

Exorcism is a strong word for dealing with demonic spiritual forces, which can be dealt with without great hullabaloo and certainly with no danger to the person being cleared of spirits.

Anyone with the title 'Exorcist' is suspect to start with, Christ dealt with demonic spirits as they needed to be dealt with, not as a profession, we are to do the same.

I would never recommend anyone ceasing medical supervision when and if they agreed to spiritual intervention, the chemical treatments will not affect the spiritual treatments.

Epilepsy was long associated with spiritual affliction, and certainly any disease or complaint that medical science cannot identify the cause for, may have a spiritual basis, however the correct procedure is to remove the spiritual entry point and then, when that is done, seek to reduce or remove the chemical aspect as the patients progress dictates.

Good hub, pity this woman was killed by ignorance.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Thank you very much.


smcopywrite profile image

smcopywrite 4 years ago from all over the web

great analysis if the story of emily rose/anna. thank you for sharing a nice assessment of the overall situation she faced and putting a personal face on the issue


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Thank you, I appreciate you comment. I felt for her, I truly did.


georgethegent profile image

georgethegent 4 years ago from Hillswick, Shetland, UK

What an ignorant treatment for epilepsy that girl suffered, Michelle - she really suffered. Voted up!!!


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Thank you, she was treated very horribly. I feel for her. Great comment.


DIMIR profile image

DIMIR 4 years ago from Pennsylvania, United States

It is tragic. I understand having beliefs, but sometimes you just can't help but get angry. When a girl not only dies, but brutally suffers because of a belief... ugh. The worst part is, doctors could have been present. Thanks for the hub-painful, but necessarily so.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Thank you for you comment. I agree. They were horrible to her. She could have lived. This did not happen in the dark ages.


Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 4 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

Wonderful article and great review of the real life Emily Rose. One of the reasons so many Pastor/theologians enter into Psychology as I did is because of the obvious understanding that many of the human personality problems Jesus dealt with were not spiritual but rather emotional, psychological or even neurological. It is so refreshing to see another Christian look objectively at this subject. Great job as usual. I voted UP, useful, interesting and awesome.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Thank you once again for reading my hubbs, and understanding them. Not everybody understands them.

Thank you so much and God bless you


Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 4 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

Thank you Michele.Keep on writing. God bless you too.


donnaisabella profile image

donnaisabella 4 years ago from Fort Myers

Michele, you put a human face on this story. It is so sad to see and hear how this poor woman suffered and the sorry way in which she died. Sometimes when people try to do only what God should do, they end up causing more harm than good. As the parent of a child that suffers from epilepsy, you will not believe how much pressure I have been under as a mother and the need for me to conform to the beliefs of so many. I love God, I know He is a healer and I am not moved by what I see. My daughter has had seizures for the last 7 years, she better now than she was at one time (thank God for some great drugs). I continue to believe that one day she will be free and that too is a faith that cannot be changed or moved. I keep looking to God not so much to man and He does guide us as a family.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

donnaisabella you are so correct. When it comes to epilepsy or other medical problems God has helped us so much. He has given us medication, doctors. I have thanked God every day for my surgery, even though I still take medication. God is the one who led me to the Cleveland Clinic and the doctors there. I thank Him every day. God is the one who lead me to the doctors who helped me. I thank him every day. Oh, and by the way, I will pray for your daughter.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 4 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

How sad her parents did not do the right thing. She would have still been here today. I believe 6 months of probation was also wrong when she should have had medical attention. Thank you for also clarifying the truth about the movie, "The exorcism of Emily Rose". Thank God you are doing better too. Thumbs up and shared! :)


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Michele, thanks for stating your belief that demons, or negative entities, can 'possess' a person. Had a rather frightening experience which convinced me of the absolute reality of pure evil able to manifest in our consciousness. Your article is very good and your conclusion may well be the correct one; but I have to admit after studying the case and particularly the audio tapes-some of the creepiest on the net- made during Anneliese's travails, well, for me the case is still open as to the source of her deadly affliction. Am very glad your surgery was so successful. Had a childhood friend who was epileptic so am familiar with that mental disease some too. Vote up and interesting Michele.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it very much.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Thank you very much for your comment. Yes, I do believe demons can possess, because Jesus threw them out of people. At the same time, we need to be careful. I have seen people on TV who claim they can 'cure' people all the time. We just need to be careful. That is all I meant, with this hub.


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

what a tragic event that happened to this girl..i've seen the movie but not quite understood the story.. :( thanks for sharing this one


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Thank you for your comment unknown spy. I appreciate it very much.


Terri Grant profile image

Terri Grant 4 years ago from Menasha, WI

I am so overwhelmed by this site (hubpages)right now, but can't believe that I stumbled upon this Hub!! My 18-yr old was diagnosed with epilepsy 5 years ago. I have, at 42 yrs of age, have been diagnosed with epilepsy. My first 2 seizures (ever in my life) were on Feb. 9th 2012. Since then my life has been turned upside down! Medication has turned me into a zombie and none of my friends know what to say or how to react. It is a comfort to know that modern medicine has advanced as it has ... Thanks for sharing, it was very needed at this dark time ...


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Terri I understand so much how you feel. Mine started around the age of 21, but did not become bad until 39, then I had to go on disability. After I had become a nurse and had gone to collage for four years. You are not alone! I know how you feel, please, please remember you are not alone. You can email me via hubpages if you want to. I will email you back. Doctors know so much more then they did even just 10 years ago. I will pray for you and your daughter.


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

I actually heard that! You should listen to the audio recordings that they did of the excorism......


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

I did mikeycarrol67, I did. They were pretty bad.


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

I had nightmares for a couple days afterwards...


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Wow, that must have been horrible, I am sorry you had nightmares. It is good you have only heard one. Seeing one would have been much worse.


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

Yea seeing doesn't bother me. The Emily Rose was by far the worst one


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

You have seen one?


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

yep. There was something about the Emily Rose that seemed different than the others.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

So Emily Rose, her exorcism was different. In what way was it different?


mikeydcarroll67 4 years ago

When I listened to the tapes, it seemed more demonic and chaotic. I guess that is just me


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Well she was able to speak all of the languages in the exorcism.


klarawieck 4 years ago

Michele, I've always had issues with the complete separation of spirituality and science. I don't think one cause annihilates the other. I don't believe in demons but I believe there was a spiritual conflict going on with this young woman, which was most likely manifested by an epileptic crisis. I think that spiritual ups and downs go hand in hand with our health. It's very sad that they only focused on one aspect. She could very well have been saved.

Thanks for posting this. It's a very interesting case.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Klarawieck, thank you for your comment. It is a very good one. They had a priest and a doctor. She could have been taken to a hospital as well as asking and praying for God to force the demon out. I don't think they are separate from each other. My father died 12 years ago, but about 5 years before that he was diagnosed with colon cancer. My family, our church, and all of our friends prayed. The doctor started surgery, but had to stop. Because after the surgery started, when the doctors looked inside, the cancer was gone. It was GONE! The doctor told us that he had no idea what happened. The tests showed my father had cancer, all of the tests. But, when they started the surgery, there was no cancer at all. None. We have never stopped thanking God. When my father died 12 years ago, I think it was his time. My mother had died two years earlier, and my father had a dream that she was standing in light, holding her arms out to him. Some believe this some do not. Sorry, I do not mean to be yacking to much.


klarawieck 4 years ago

That's more than enough proof to believe. I think all diseases are attracted by the spirit. And it's a process than can be inverted. Of course, it's easy to say and very difficult to carry it out. And your father even had the vision to confirm that death is not the end. What a beautiful story, Michele. Thanks for sharing that with me.


gabgirl12 profile image

gabgirl12 4 years ago

There are things that people cannot explain. I saw that movie and it was compelling and believable. I think what got to me the most was the letter that was read that Emily Rose had written before she passed away. I don't know if it was true or not, but at first it did convince me. But I was afraid. I wasn't at peace. Part of me was like, ughh I wan't to praise the Lord, but oh my God what is this?? It just didn't seem right. Whether it was spiritual or physical she held on to her faith to the end. I just don't think it should have been such a dramatic exit, and so much focus on the exorcism, as opposed to 'point' of it which is that only through the name of Jesus is there authority over snakes and scorpions. In the end it is for God's glory and for the liberation of the person who is being delivered. I agree that she should have stuck with the doctor's and continued to take medication. Nowadays there is even better treatment than there was then. We have far advanced. What is not known is even with the treatments at the time would she have survived. But we will never know. I think much of 'spiritual' portions of the movie and the confrontation the priest had is not real. Bottom line that young girl was suffering terribly. You have to remember it 'is' a movie..and I echo your last sentence Michelle...a horror.


LauraD093 profile image

LauraD093 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

Michelle I haven't been around much recently and decided I would like to visit some of my favorite writers and read some of their past and present hubs. I really enjoyed this one, I have always wondered about the Emily Rose debated and after hearing about your own temporal lobe experience I do believe her exorcism was probably unnecessary...if she had been treated further medically after her neurological diagnosis her death may have been avoided.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

I agree with you Laura. It saddens me to think about her. She could have had a happy healthy life. By the way, I am putting up a website which should be up in a few weeks. I got the idea from here at hubpages. It is www.acceptingallhumanity.com it is about racism and how horrible it is. I don't know if hubpages will or will not let me mention them.


cynthtggt profile image

cynthtggt 4 years ago from New York, NY

This is an excellent, well written account of Emily Rose's life. My mother also had the physical symptoms like Emily Rose, but not the convulsions. When a priest thought her possessed it her hurt her deeply, so deeply in fact that she became righteously angry. If you can imagine being someone who loved God so much and then to have a priest she respected hurt her so deeply as to think she was demonically possessed - well - who would not be repelled by a cross held in their face at that point? It is like the priest was holding Christ in condemnation, not in love. My mother had neurological brucellosis - she was the daughter of a meat-buyer - was unable to speak because it consumed her but she was aware of everything, and never in my life, not in fiction, not in any movie (except for Emily Rose) has the suffering of any human I have seen been greater than my mother's. I hold a grudge against the medical community for this, since my mother's brother was a doctor and knew what was wrong but did nothing. Thank you for writing this hub.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

cynthtggt Thank you very much for reading it and commenting on it. Epilepsy is a horrible disease. Years ago people did believe it was demonic. It was very horrible for people how had it.


cynthtggt profile image

cynthtggt 4 years ago from New York, NY

Michele, my heart goes out to you and your suffering, and I had to leave this comment because I had not said enough in my first one. Your writing this hub is so important. You write often about discrimination, but sometimes the discrimination not spoken about is the greatest of all, for it is the deepest kind. God bless.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Thank you again. You comment is very good. What you wrote is so true, I had not even thought about it, but it is true.


NoReaon4Being 4 years ago

I myself have temporal lobe epilepsy that causes auditory and visual hallucinations. It is now mostly controlled. The psychosis has at times been religiously terrifying or so wonderful and pleasant. I have seen demons, heard music that I can only describe as heavenly.

I can state, both sides are ignorant. The religiously community and also the medical community. Since most already know how ignorant the religious are, I will explain how ignorant the medical are.

Do you know how hard it is to get a diagnosis of TLE ? First you will be looked as, as crazy as most don't know these as symptoms as epilepsy. Why ? because Epilepsy is STILL in the dark. Think about all the medical commercials on TV .. ever hear about Epilepsy ... know when epilepsy awareness month is ? but I bet you know when breast cancer awareness month is, even though as many die from EPilepsy per year as breast cancer.

Secondly because of the symptoms they may think you have schizophrenia, then when the symptoms fade so quick, you may be told faking. Then you may be told you have psedo-seizure, looking for attention or all sorts of things, because its hard for it to show on an EEG.

So by the time it does, I can't even tell you how mad and angry and frustrated you will be. Then TLE is hard to control, you will go through a whole bunch of medications trying to find the right ones.

All the best to anyone with this, and GOOD LUCK to anyone undiagnosed. Please see an EPILEPTOLOGIST


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Well as you can probably tell from one of my other hubs, I do believe that people can be possessed by demons. Jesus Christ was able to demand that demons leave, and they obeyed. There is another hub about true exorcism. The only difference is that it needs to be recognized. Is it epilepsy or demonic possession. Grand Mal Seizures are they type I have, or had since my surgery.

Yes, both are true if someone does not have epilepsy then the next step may be to find an exorcist,

Thank you very much for your comment. I agree with it very much.


LauraD093 profile image

LauraD093 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

Hey another well written Hub my secret editor. It also as usual has generated some buzzz always good to see. I really enjoyed this and alwys questioned whether Emily-Rose was possessed or not treated correctly for epilepsy ...your hub answered some questions for me.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Thanks Laura,

How are you doing? Hope you are doing well, it is good to see you.


LauraD093 profile image

LauraD093 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

I'm fine...just tired working quite a bit I think my muse may have fallen into a coma not that I'm a hub a day writer even when I have more time. Just having some trouble getting my writer's muscle to flex...maybe I should write about that:) Good to see some new hubs from you I'm off to see what else you've written recently.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio Author

Thank you, I need to do the same thing and see what you have been writng


Emkatster profile image

Emkatster 24 months ago from Los Angeles, CA

This well illustrates the dangers of zealotry.

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