The Real Exorcism of Emily Rose/ Anneliese Michel
The Real Exorcism of Emily Rose
I watched the movie Exorcism of Emily Rose as I am fascinated by films based on true life events. The film was actually very good, but it left you wondering how much of it could possibly have happened in real life.
The film Exorcism of Emily Rose came out in 2005 and was immediately a box office hit. The film is about a young girl believed to be possessed by demons and the suffering she went through to try to be freed from them.
The real life Emily Rose was a girl called Anneliese Michel who was a young and clever girl born on September 21st 1952 in a small village in Bavana, Anneliese was raised in Klingenberg Germany by her catholic parents Josef and Anna she also had three sisters.
Anneliese had a normal upbringing and was deeply religious, however at seventeen she began to have unusual seizures during the night where she would feel paralyzed like an enormous weight was pushing down on her chest, making her unable to speak.
Anneliese began having difficulty walking and would lean on furniture to support her weight.
Doctors at the Psychiatric clinic diagnosed Anneliese with Grand Mal Epilepsy and she spent almost a year on a psychiatric ward. During her stay she started seeing Demonic faces especially during her daily prayers and she would hear voices telling her that she was damned.
Doctors then began to medicate her, however when the medication failed to help Anneliese she continued to see faces and become more and more depressed.
Upon her release from the ward, Anneliese returned to high school and for a while lived a relatively normal life, even going on to graduate and gain a scholarship for University.
Anneliese had a devoted boyfriend called Peter, he would visit her most days, even when she began to be violent towards him.
In 1973 she moved to the city to attend University, once there Anneliese became convinced that the medication was not helping her condition and she started to believe that it was in fact a spiritual infliction. Anneliese requested that the church perform an exorcism but they refused instead suggesting that she should devote herself to a more religious life.
Annaliese's condition soon worsened, and she began self harming. She would bite her family members, eat flies, spiders and coal and more shockingly bit the head off a dead bird.
Anneliese would rip her clothes off and bark like a dog for days on end, she would also urinate on the floor then lick it up. She began sleeping on the stone floor at her parents house and destroying any religious symbols such as rosaries, crucifixes and paintings of Jesus.
Her family reported seeing Anneliese violently hit off the floor and walls repeatedly, which resulted in injuries to her head and to her face.
Five years after this all began happening, Annaliese's parents started seeing many number of priests requesting an exorcism, but all they got were suggestions for treatment and medication to be continued. Certain requirements have to be met before a church can approve an exorcism such as supernatural powers, speaking in other languages and an adverse reaction to religious objects.
Father Renz and Pastor Alt who tried to assist in Anneliese's condition, claimed to have sent her to various Doctors and Psychiatrists to no avail.
In September 1975 after finally declaring Anneliese Demon possessed, the Bishop ordered that a exorcism be preformed and pastor Ernst Alt and Father Arnold Renz were given the assignment.
The exorcisms began in September and continued through to the end of June 1976, within this time over 40 audio tapes were recorded of the exorcisms to preserve the details. While preforming the exorcisms Father Renz asked "Who are you?" and "What are your names."
To his surprise, they spoke and he discovered that there were 6 major Demons possessing Anneliese's body.
For ten months the rites were performed once or twice weekly and sometimes continued for four hours at a time. It was during these sessions, that Anneliese would have strong attacks and have to be held down, sometimes even chained down.
Anneliese would also speak with a Demonic voice in several different languages including some that had died out years ago. Anneliese refused to eat saying the Demons wouldn't let her, she also ruptured both her knee caps from performing up to 600 genuflections. (dropping to your knees repeatedly).
Annaliese Michel Trial
One Sunday, Anneliese and her boyfriend Peter decided to go for a walk around an area called Paradise Mill. They drove up to Paradise Mill, but by this time Anneliese could barely walk without help, and Peter considered driving her back home.
It was while on this outing, that Anneliese said she had a vision of Mary, Mother of God. Anneliese claims that she and Mary walked side by side talking. Strangely, Anneliese really was walking unaided, something she had not been able to do for a very long time.
Peter claims to have seen a change in Anneliese that day, he said she knelt down to pray and then began running around in no pain. When they arrived back home, Anneliese told her Mother all about her vision.
Anneliese said that Mary told her she would have three days of peace, but would need to use those days to decide if she would like immediate freedom of the Demons or let the possessions continue a little longer to save souls.
Anneliese gave a written letter to the Priest stating that she no longer wanted to continue with the exorcisms.
She wrote of The Virgin Mary coming to her and offering her two choices, she could have immediate freedom of the Demons or she could let the possession continue for a while longer to reveal the danger and power of the demons to the whole world and save souls.
Anneliese also wrote that she was told that before her death she would be freed of the demons and die in grace. Anneliese decided to remain possessed and stopped the exorcisms, she also predicted the time of her own death.
At midnight on July 1st 1976 the exact day she had predicted, Anneliese sadly died in her sleep, she had come down with Pnemonia and was running a fever at the time of her death.
Annelieses's parents called the family Doctor who had no choice but to inform the public prosecutors office as he could not be sure that Anneliese died of natural causes.
The autopsy report confirmed that Annaliese died as a result of malnutrition and dehydration, she weighed just 68 pounds. Strangely none of the tests that were performed during the autopsy including a microscopic study of her brain, resulting in no recorded reason for the causes of the seizures.
An investigation concluded that Annaliese had starved to death and that had she been force fed she would still be alive. Her parents and the Pastor and the priest were all charged with negligent homicide and the trial started on the 30th March 1978.
The state prosecutor claimed that Anneliese's death could have been prevented, while Doctors testified that Anneliese was not possessed, that she had a psychological effect caused by her epilepsy and her strict religious up bringing.
Anneliese's parents, plus Father Renz and Pastor Alt were all charged with Negligent Homicide. They were all found guilty of Manslaughter and initially sentenced to six months in prison, although this was later suspended and instead they were given three years probation.
After the trial, her parents requested that Anneliese's body be exhumed so they could give their Daughter a proper burial in a new oak coffin.
Anneliese's grave is still visited by many people today.
So after reading all this I still don't now what to think of it. My first thought was perhaps she had psychiatric problems possibly schizophrenia? Many will argue that Anneliese was truly possessed, others will say she was a very ill girl who should have had more professional help.
Either way it is a very sad story about the tragic end of a life so young.