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Posted: 10/31/2004 6:40:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/31/2004 7:09:59 PM EST by AClay47]
The St. Louis Exorcism - From Richard Green, Your Guide to St Louis, MO.

The Basis for the movie: The Exorcist

St. Louis is perhaps best known for the Gateway Arch and playing host to the 1904 World's Fair. The city is also known for her ghosts and famous as the setting for the The St. Louis Exorcism, a real 1949 case that inspired both the book and film versions of The Exorcist! The story actually started out in Cottage Hills Maryland and involved a young boy named Robbie Doe instead of a teenage girl as depicted in the book and the movie. Robbie was the product of a dysfunctional family and a troubled childhood.

In 1949 Robbie began to hear strange scratching sounds between the walls. His parents then called an exterminator but the noises just became worse. Then Robbie started to hear footsteps in the hall and was continually attacked by an unseen being. His bed began to shake so hard that he could not even sleep at night. When he tried to hold on to the sheets he was thrown to the floor with the sheets still clenched in his hands. When Robbie's parents couldn't take it anymore they contacted a Lutheran minister by the name of Luther Schulze. The Reverend took Robbie to spend the night at his house to determine if the Doe residence was haunted or if Robbie was actually possessed. Several minutes after Robbie went to bed the strange occurrences started again. The bed shook violently and the strange scratching sounds could be heard between the walls. When Reverend Schulze tried to make a bed for Robbie on the floor, the blankets and sheets moved across the room and under the bed.

In desperation Robbie's mother decided to take him to St. Louis to get him away from the nightmare that was taking place. She was originally from St. Louis and still had friends and relatives in the area. Unfortunately the move did nothing and now strange welts were appearing all over Robbie's body. One of his relatives had connections at St. Louis University and summoned help from local priests. Robbie was eventually admitted to Alexian Brothers Hospital where the exorcism actually took place. There are written accounts of the horror that was experienced during the exorcism. Strange welts kept appearing all over Robbie's body, many times forming words like Hell and Spite. Robbie would scream obscenities at the priests as his bed would shake and move. He would vomit, spit at the priests and witnesses and say things to the priests about their personal lives, things that he had no way of knowing. One of the priests actually lost 40 pounds during this ordeal due to the horror and stress of the exorcism.

After weeks and weeks of this ordeal a Father Bowdern decided that he would not stop until the exorcism worked. Robbie's body went into violent seizures and spasms until finally he fell limp. He then sat up in bed and smiled. The demon had left his body. The exorcism was finally over! Twelve days later Robbie and his family returned to Maryland where Robbie lives to this day as a devout Catholic. He remembers very little of the horrible events that plagued him as a child.

St. Louis Attractions

See also, Catholic Educator's Resource Center, and ...

Investigative Files Exorcism! Driving Out the Nonsense.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 7:19:01 PM EST
boy, AClay47, this topic is a definite change of pace for the history forum.

On a slightly alterd topic; if you ever get a chance, read some of the books about serial killers by Harold Schechter. Great historical reads and hard to put down.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 11:22:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2004 11:28:28 AM EST by arbob]
You left out the best part! When the lutheran Minister agreed that something supernatural was going on, the family asked what he could do. The Minister replied, "I can`t help him. You need a catholic Priest!"

Also the ShowTime ad is wrong. There have been two documented exorcisms in America. The second was performed in the nineties and was filmed by Nightline with the permission of Cardinal O`Conner. It involved a 16 year old cuban girl in florida. The cynical camera man was asked by Ted Koppel if he thought the girl was really possessed. He replied," I don`t think so. But I now believe there truly is evil in the world."
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 11:28:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2004 11:30:36 AM EST by AClay47]
Thanks attencio! I figured it is Halloween, so why not disucss some spooky history? Arbob, the Catholics say Robby is still Catholic, though he remembers nothing of his possession, ecept for the vision of Archangel Michael he had when the demon was expelled.

There are, of course, skeptics. The last link I posts suggests the Exorcism was nothing more than a fraud perpetrated by a troubled, mischievous adolescent.
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