Real Exorcism of Anneliese Michel whose story inspired the movie Exorcism of Emily Rose.
Anneliese was a Catholic girl from Germany who was possessed by six different demons. As a result she received treatment for presumed mental illness which merely made her troubles worse. Priests were then brought in to exorcise her but they were unable to permanently expel the demons. She died in 1976 as she was unable to swallow nourishment.
Hoax or Fact:
The scary and disturbing story along with audio recordings like shown in the first video supposedly talks about the Exorcism of a German woman Anneliese Michel who was believed to be possessed by six different demons. Note that the audio and pictures in the videos may be disturbing to many audience. Following the failure of medical treatment and the exorcism rituals, it is said that Anneliese died in 1976, the story of whom has inspired the movie Exorcism of Emily Rose. Yes, the incident is a fact, but the real reasons behind are not conveyed.
About Anneliese Michel
Anneliese Michel (21 September 1952 – 1 July 1976) was a West German woman born in Leiblfing, Bavaria, to a Catholic family. At the age of 23, Anneliese Michel was supposedly possessed by six demonic spirits who would not let her go. After performing several rites of exorcism on her for over nine months, Michel succumbed to starvation in 1976. Forty-two hours of the exorcism process were recorded and the tapes are said to make terrifying listening. Shown in the second series of videos are the audio tapes from exorcism of Anneliese Michel with English/German subtitles. The story of Anneliese Michel became so popular that three films, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Requiem and Anneliese: The Exorcist Tapes are loosely based on it.
In 1968, at the age of 17, Anneliese Michel began to suffer convulsions. She was initially diagnosed with Grand mal Epilepsy that affects the entire brain, and later started experiencing devilish hallucinations while praying. Voices in her head told her she was damned. By 1973, she was severely depressed and was considering suicide. She even consulted the local priest for exorcism twice, but was refused. However, in 1975, her third request for exorcism was granted by the Bishop of Wurzburg who thought there was no other way.
The exorcism on Anneliese Michel was performed by Fr Arnold Renz and Pastor Ernst Alt according to the 1614 Rituale Romanum. They supposedly identified several demons, including Lucifer, Judas Iscariot, Nero, Cain and Adolf Hitler, who even spoke with the correct Austrian inflections. One or two four-hour sessions of exorcism a week were held over nine months, and at some point, Anneliese refused medical treatment and put her faith solely in the hands of the two priests exorcising her. But sadly, by the spring of 1976, Anneliese weakened gradually and was suffering from pneumonia and emaciation, who died of starvation on July 1.
Anneliese Michel's mother Anna, a deeply religious woman, insists that the exorcism of her daughter was justified, saying "God told us to exorcise my daughter's demons. I don't regret her death".
The Reasons Behind
Although the exorcism story of Anneliese Michel is popular, not many know her family background details and actual reasons of her sad death. Anneliese's family was deeply religious and her life was governed by fear. In 1948, Anneliese's mother gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Martha, bringing disgrace on her family. For this reason, she was forced to wear a black veil on her wedding day. Martha died at the age of eight, from complications arising from a surgery to remove a kidney tumor. When Anneliese was born in 1952, her mother encouraged her into fervent devotion to atone for the sins of her illegitimacy. With the pressure to do penance for her mother, the kind-hearted girl became very sensitive. This is how Anneliese became deeply religious and even went to mass twice a week.
While Michel graduated and joined the University of Wurzburg, even her classmates described her as "withdrawn and very religious". When she was in depression, she was treated at a psychiatric hospital. When things got worse, sensitive and religious Anneliese would perform 600 genuflections (to bend the knee or touch one knee to the floor or ground in worship) a day that eventually ruptured her knee ligaments. There were also speculations that Anneliese might have been influenced by the release of William Friedkin's movie The Exorcist, in 1973. The poor and helpless girl crawled under a table, barking like a dog for two days, and even ate spiders, coal and bit the head off a dead bird.
Who's the Culprit?
An investigation into Anneliese Michel's death revealed that she was malnourished and dehydrated; her weight came down to 68lb. In fact she forced herself to fast, believing it would rid her of the influence of Satan. Just before her end, Anneliese said "Mother, I'm afraid". Who is to be blamed for such a tragic end of a young, kind-hearted girl? Was it her family, their religious beliefs, or was it the act of exorcism itself that killed Anneliese Michel? It is a serious question everyone must think and understand.
Anneliese's parents, Anna and Josef, along with the two priests who performed the exorcisms were put on trial for Anneliese Michel's murder. Found guilty of negligent homicide by allowing Anneliese to starve and die, they were given suspended six-month prison sentences and three years' probation with a fine. Anneliese's case of exorcism and death has been labeled a misidentification of mental illness, negligence, abuse, and religious hysteria.
The Church was also ashamed of the incident. After Michel's case, in 1984, following German bishops’ petition to Rome to review the exorcism rites, the Vatican published a revised exorcism rite in 1999 - the first one since the 17th century. It introduced a qualification in exorcism that makes priests undergo medical training. Exorcism, as in various religions, is still performed in some countries.