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The Exorcism of Anneliese Michele

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There are many controversial topics not only in the United States, but around the world and Exorcism is on the top of the list. There have been multiple supposed accounts of demonic possession throughout the world, one of the them beginning in 1968 in the town of Klingenberg, Germany with the Anneliese Michele (Hansen). The event was so drastic that the horrifying movie “ The Exorcism of Emily Rose” released in 2005was based after this common German girl (Chasing the Frog). After sixty seven rights of exorcism, Anneliese, the real Emily Rose, died at age twenty-three. Her autopsy states that she died form severe dehydration and malnutrition which both coincide with her possession by demons.

Anneliese Michele was born September 21, 1952 in the winegrowing community of Klingenberg, Bavaria, Germany. Michel was raised in a very strict Catholic family in Bavaria, which rejected the reforms of Vatican II. Growing up she was woken up in the middle of the night by her mother to pray and drank holy water (Hall). After the changes to the Vatican II the family joined in with religious fringe group and while many children were going against authority by experimenting with drugs and sexual behavior, Anneliese was atoning the sins of the children and wayward priest by sleeping on the cold floor in winter (Hansen). In 1969 when she was only sixteen and still attending high school Anneliese started having convulsions. Court findings and records show that this was her first epileptic attack. She was diagnosed by a neurologist at the Psychiatric Clinic Wurzburg that she had Grand Mal epilepsy (Chasing the Frog). Grand Mal is a form of epilepsy characterized by tonic-clonic seizures. The tonic phase makes the body go rigid and the clonic phase is where one undergoes uncontrollable jerking. The seizures are commonly followed by deep sleep, headaches, and confusion (Medterms).

Often times while praying Anneliese would undergo “devilish” hallucinations and heard voices telling her she was damned. The court accounted her for considering suicide and suffering from depression by 1973. Anneliese’s conditions continued to worsen; she would no longer drink holy water, pass images of Jesus, and began to smell rank (Hansen). By the summer of 1973 Anneliese’s parents were beginning to doubt the neurologist because of their daughters worsening symptoms. There next step was to ask for an exorcism to be performed; this request was rejected. Her condition continued deteriorating. She was heard screaming for hours upon hours, broke crucifixes, pulled apart rosaries, and destroyed images of Jesus (Hall).

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