Anneliese Michel : The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Anneliese Michel was born in Germany to a Catholic family in 1952. In 1968, when Michel turned 16, she experienced an extreme convulsion and was diagnosed with epilepsy. Soon afterwards Michel claimed that she was hallucinating while praying. Michel was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, where she was regimented with different anti-psychosis medications.  As time progressed, Michel’s condition did not improve and she began to become withdrawn and depressed.

Due to her religious upbringing, Michel began to attribute her condition to demonic possession. Eventually her hallucinations led her to believe that voices were telling her that she was “damned” and that she would “rot in hell.” In addition, she began to see, what she described as, “devil faces.” Becoming frustrated with the lack of progress from doctors, her family would start to reach out to the Catholic Church for help.

In September 1975 Father Renz began to exorcise Anneliese Michel according to the Rituale Rimanum of 1614.  For 10 months Father Renz continued the exorcism ritual.  The exorcism sessions would last up to 4 hours and would occur once or twice a week.

Michel, her family, and Father Renz began to accept the fact that she was possessed and Michel eventually refused any further medical attention.  Eventually Michel began to talk about dying in order to atone for the “wayward youth” and refused to eat.  On July 1, 1976 Anneliese Michel died in her sleep. Her autopsy revealed that her death was due to malnutrition and dehydration, she weighed 68 pounds.

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