The real-life story of The Exorcist

An excellent article in NRO by Carol Iannone, which details a film I have GOT to see, and talks about the sorts of priests we need, too./

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Jim C.

    You may be interested in this.

    It’s an article from Strange Magazine and alleges that the case that is the basis for “The Exorcist” was a hoax perpetrated by the supposedly possessed boy. The article states that before the alleged possession, the boy was already a little devil (metaphorically speaking), could spit very accurately, and in general got into a lot of trouble. The interviewer also asked Father Halloran (who was present at the exorcism) “…if the markings ever formed numbers or letters or words…”. Father Halloran’s reply: “It was kind of hard to really tell.”

    I also saw a program on the Discover Channel about this case. I’m not sure, but I think Halloran says on camera that he didn’t see anything that was indisputably the result of demons.

  • KHH


    When I was growing up in St. Louis county, we had a Monsignor at our church who years prior as a very young man was present with Fr. Halloran for part of this exorcism. My mother taught CCD at the church, and the Mgr told the CCD teachers that he was absolutely convinced of the verity of the possession, and that it chilled him to the bone to witness it. FWIW, this monsignor was not an easily intimidated man, he was generally jovial, had great presence and was not a small man. He did say, however, that the movie had absolutely nothing to do with the real case (and in fact had mentioned that it was a boy, not a girl).

    I would venture to guess that most magazines and tv shows are not likely to show something like the Catholic church’s role in an exorcism in a terribly positive and/or believing light. It *is* hard to believe, after all. But all I can tell you is from a man who was there, he was utterly certain that it was real.

  • TheAnchoress

    Funnily enough I had posted that other, very long article from Strange and linked to it. I don’t know why it’s not there know. Will fix later.