The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel – real life exorcism goes wrong
// December 26th, 2012 // Violent Ghosts
Anneliese Michel (September 21, 1952 – July 1, 1976) was a German Catholic girl who was “possessed by demons” and subsequently underwent an exorcism. Following the last exorcism and after warning her mother that she could take no more, Anneliese died in her sleep.
Anneliese Michel was born September 1952 in Klingenberg, Bavaria, Germany. A devout Catholic girl, Anneliese often slept on a bare floor as reparations for others sins. In 1968, when she was 16 and still in high school, Anneliese began to suffer from convulsions. Unable to speak, scream, or call for help, she would later explain that she felt as if a huge body of weight were sitting on her chest.
Psychiatric treatment and exorcism
Soon, Anneliese began experiencing devilish images while praying. She claimed to hear voices, which told her that she was damned and that she would “stew in hell”. Doctors grew concerned when she explained that they had begun giving her orders, either vocally, by whispering, or via an ouiju board. By 1973 Anneliese was suffering from deep depression and considering suicide. Her behavior became increasingly bizarre: she tore off her clothes, ate spiders and coal, and licked her own urine off of the floor. A stay at an unnamed psychiatric hospital did not improve Michel’s health. She grew increasingly frustrated with medical intervention as it did not improve her condition. Long-term medical treatment proved unsuccessful; her condition, including her depression, worsened with time.
Exorcism and death
Two years later (1975), when Anneliese was 23 years old, an older friend of the family noted that Michel was unable to walk past icons of Jesus Christ and refused to drink holy water. She concluded that Anneliese was suffering from demonic possession and suggested an expert be brought in to investigate. An exorcist in a nearby town examined Michel and returned a diagnosis of demonic possession.
By this time, Anneliese had begun insulting, beating, and biting her parents. She smashed her teeth on the wall and began to cut her body with knives. She refused to eat or drink explaining that the demons would not allow it. After the Catholic Church granted permission, the rites of exorcism were performed over the course of about ten months in 1976. A total of sixty-seven exorcism sessions were held, one or two each week, some lasting up to four hours.
During the sessions, Anneliese would demonstrate almost superhuman strength, sometimes requiring three grown men to hold her body down. As she grew stronger, chains were used to bind her to the bed. She spoke in different languages and various voices. Speaking in Hebrew, she said “We are the ones that dwell within. I am the one that dwelt within Cain.”
Catholic clergy, shocked at the eerie voices and devilish noises, began recording the sessions. During the exorcisms, people throughout the house could hear the sounds of screaming and breaking glass. Anneliese’s aversion to religious objects propelled her to break pictures of Jesus and pull apart rosaries. She often stripped off her clothes, urinated and defecated on the floor.
The last day of the Exorcism rite was performed on June 30, 1976. To her mother, she uttered her last words, “Mother, I’m afraid.” That night, Anneliese Michel died in her sleep. The autopsy report stated that her death resulted from the malnutrition and dehydration.
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