“The Exorcism of Emily Rose” Was Based On This Girl’s Unfortunate Story
Anneliese Michel was just a teenager when she started to hear the voices. After a few years and more than 60 exorcisms later, she would be dead, though not from demons as what everybody presumed.
Before Anneliese started hearing the voices in the 1970s, she was a deeply religious young girl. Michel and her family attended mass twice a week and their life was described to be a happy one. Emily was already a tad withdrawn back then.
In her mid teens, Anneliese began experiencing epileptic seizures which left her depressed and hospitalized. She was prescribed anti-convulsion drugs. Not very long after, she started hearing voices.
She slipped further into depression and psychosis, getting worse and worse. When she became convinced that the demons were causing the illness, she refused further medical treatments and seek help instead from several priests. In the interim, she started eating insects, barked like a dog, and licked urine from the floor.
The first few priests they approached refused to perform exorcism, but the family found help in priests Arnold Renz and Ernst Alt. Alt believed that Anneliese was indeed possessed by deomons, so he wrote to a local bishop requesting permission for the exorcism rites. The pair was assigned the case and set about performing exorcism one to two 4-hour session every week.
The priests discovered 6 different demons living within the girl: Lucifer, Cain, Judas, Iscariot, Hitler and Nero. During each session, Anneliese would would chained down to her chair making gurgling noises, growling and screaming obscenities. Anneliese started to starve herself and grew skinnier.
Anneliese Michel’s Death
11 months and 67 exorcisms later, Anneliese weak body gave way to death. The official cause of her death were malnutrition and dehydration. At the end, the 23-year-old just weighed 68 pounds.
After Anneliese death, her parents and the two priests were placed on trial. They were found guilty of negligent homicide. The defense argued that the demons were real, so the exorcisms were legal. As a proof, they played recorded tapes of the demons arguing. All parties were still found guilty but were given light sentences with no jail time.
The Response of the Catholic Church
Anneliese case caused the church to reform the exorcism rites, something that hasn’t been done since the 17th century. The changes, published by the Vatican in 1999, include that the priests performing exorcism rites undergo medical training that could’ve saved the girl’s life.
Anneliese Michel’s Parents
The parents believe that the exorcism and death of their daughter was the only conceivable outcome. in 2005, after the release of the movie “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” Anna Michel, the mother, told The Telegraph that “God told here to exorcise her daughter’s demons.”
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Anneliese Michel’s grave bas become a favorite spot for supernatural and paranormal enthusiasts. Her story became popular and was the basic premise of three films: Requiem, Anneliese: The Exorcist Tapes, and the more known one “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” which is based on the trial.