The Curse Of The Exorcist
Are Demons Products Of The Mind
The bizarre case of demonic possession which inspired the movie The Exorcist may have had nothing to do with the Devil, according to poltergeist researcher Scott Rogo.
The movie which starred Linda Blair as a young girl possessed by an evil spirit was based on the real life story of a thirteen-year-old Lutheran boy from Georgetown, USA.
The boy – who the newspapers of the time named as Roland - manifested his ‘possession’ by levitating, overturning furniture, speaking in a deep, gravelly voice – often Latin - using obscenities, moving his head in a bizarre, snake-like fashion, spitting with amazing accuracy into the eyes of priests and producing welts on his body that spelt out words.
His body also became horribly bloated, his room dropped to icy temperatures, and he slashed the arms of a priest called into help him.
Roland is believed to have become possessed after his aunt taught him how to use the Ouija board.
It was January of 1949 when the bizarre and terrifying paranormal events began in the boy’s home. Eerie scratching noises bombarded the usually quite residence. Soon after the noises started, Roland’s aunt mysteriously died. But Roland continued using the Ouija Board, only now it was to contact his aunt.
Soon, the noises in the house suddenly shifted into Roland’s bedroom.
The boy’s bed would shake violently, toys and other objects would fly across the room and the scratching sounds escalated.
Frantic with worry, Roland’s mother decided to contact a priest. When the minister visited Roland’s room, the boy started speaking in Latin – a language he had never learnt. He told the priest he was the devil.
The minister arranged for Roland to spend a night with him in his own home so he could witness any strange behavior without interference from the family.
While sitting in the dark, the priest watched and listened as the boy slept. Then suddenly, he heard scratching on the walls. He woke the boy and placed him in a heavy armchair, the chair tipped over spilling the boy to the floor, while several blankets flew around the room.
Roland first underwent exorcism at Georgetown University Hospital. He was strapped to a bed as Father E. Albert Hughes conducted the ceremony. The boy allegedly broke free of his restraints and slashed Hughes’s arm with a bedspring. The priest required 100 stiches to close the wound.
The exorcism was unsuccessful. Although Dr. J. B. Rhine, director of the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University, referred to the haunting as a very impressive manifestation.
On August 20, 1949, The Washington Post stated that it took over thirty exorcism rituals by three separate religious denominations to cast the devil from the boy’s body.
Roland was finally freed of demonic possession by Father William Bowdern at Alexian Brothers Hospital in St. Louis.
But according to poltergeist researcher Scott Rogo, one theory is that this weird behavior may be a product of the human mind and may have nothing to do with demons or religion.
‘People suffering from paranoia, paranoid schizophrenia and some forms of hysteria often complain that their minds are being invaded by outside entities.
The physical symptoms suffered by victims of hysteria, are similar to those which occur with poltergeist and possession events.’
But Rogo admits that it’s not possible to dismiss all demonic-possession cases as products of the human psyche.
‘It’s obvious that in poltergeist-possession cases, we are dealing with some entity which produces the phenomena, but which is both dependent and independent of the agent’s mind.’
Creepy Facts About The Movie
♦ Nine people died during the making of "The Exorcist".
♦ The set for "The Exorcist" burnt down during production delaying the film for 6 weeks.
♦ It caused widespread hysteria when released. Reports of fainting, people being institutionalized, and at least one miscarriage.
♦ It was banned on video in Finland.
♦ Linda Blair had a mental breakdown during the filming
♦ Linda Blair’s grandfather died
♦ Jack McGowen died of a heart-attack after completing his role in the film
♦ Max Von Sydow’s - brother died.
♦ A night-watchman died
♦ A special effects expert died
♦ And a cameraman’s newborn baby perished
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