Infamous cases of "real life possession" in the modern age

Illustration for article titled Infamous cases of "real life possession" in the modern age

This weekend the world is readying itself for faux documentary The Last Exorcism. But what about the "real" demon possessions? We found the best of the best - judge as you will.


The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel

The woman that inspired both films The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Requiem, Michel's possession tale is a sad one. After years of convulsions and strange actions, there came reports of her stripping off her clothes and drinking her own urine. Michel decided that all of these incidents were tied to a demonic possession. She refused to eat or drink anything because the demons wouldn't allow it (which also helps explain the horrible transformation in the video below). Father Arnold Renz and Pastor Ernst Alt were given the order by the Bishop of Wurzburgwith to perform an exorcism on Anneliese Michel. During the exorcisms, which lasted for months, it was revealed that Michel had 6 demons living inside of her. 40 tapes were recorded of the ordeal. Michel, however, died at the age of 23, due to malnutrition and dehydration. She would also lose the ability to walk and break all of her front teeth from "biting the corners of the walls in her home and the furniture."

Her case was later ruled to be not a possession, but that hasn't stopped the movies and gruesome distribution of tapes like this:

Demon Chair

This video came from an evangelical website - disregard the links and check out this demon-strapping chair. Forget the fact that this scene seems to have inspired the entire Constantine film; that chair is freaky. And so is this track-suited demon girl. Sadly we have no idea who these people are or where they came from, but they are much more convincing than a lot of the other internet possession videos we stumbled across in this search.

The Well To Hell

Illustration for article titled Infamous cases of "real life possession" in the modern age

Another popular demon rumor is "The Well To Hell" story. Long story short, a team of Siberian scientists dug a hole so deep, that they broke straight into helltown. How do they know it was hell? Because they stuck a microphone down the hole and recorded it. Obvs.

Here are what those hell screams sound like:

To be sure, those are some horrible sounding hell screams. And here's the supporting article that allegedly appeared in the "well respected" Finland newspaper, Ammenusastia according to the website Sounds From Hell:

"As a communist I don't believe in Heaven or the Bible; but as a scientist I now believe in Hell," said Dr. Azzacove. "Needless to say we were shocked to make such a discovery. But we know what we saw and we know what we heard. And we are absolutely convinced that we drilled through the gates of Hell!"

Dr. Azzacove continued, ". . .the drill suddenly began to rotate wildly, indicating that we had reached a large empty pocket or cavern. Temperature sensors showed a dramatic increase in heat to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit."

"We lowered a microphone, designed to detect the sounds of plate movements down the shaft. But instead of plate movements we heard a human voice screaming in pain! At first we thought the sound was coming from our own equipment."

"But when we made adjustments our worst suspicions were confirmed. The screams weren't those of a single human, they were the screams of millions of humans!"


Fact or fiction? Total fiction. But you have to admit, it's a fun story with a catchy title. So it's no wonder this recording has been used as a cautionary tale in many different scenarios. But I think all credibility was lost when Weekly World News ran a variation of this story many years ago, but instead of Russia this giant hole was rumored to be in Alaska. And the oil rig workers that allegedly stumbled upon this modern day "well to hell" didn't just hear screams; the devil himself supposedly rose from the crack and killed them all. Bad luck there.

Father Makari Yunani

Father Makari Yunani has a seemingly large following of exorcist enthusiasts. Alas we can not find any proof of his affinity for cracking the demon code on his website. However there are tons of videos of this Orthodox Priest doing exorcisms in Cairo. About 9 videos with multiple healings in each.

The Reading Family of Litchfield, Connecticut

In May of 2007, 20/20 did an interesting feature on possession, focusing in on the Reading family of Connecticut. Skip to 6:00 to watch this family handle mom's issues.

Amityville Horror

George and Kathleen Lutz, the people who wrote about their "real life" 1970s encounter with the devil in The Amityville Horror, appeared on the Merv Griffin show. You may remember them as Ryan Reynolds and Melissa George in the 2005 movie about the couple (one of many movies about their haunted house). Anyway the Lutzes did plenty of interviews, but I think this once creeped us out the most. Mainly because, well, what the hell are they doing on the Merv Griffin show? That being said, this couple's household troubles are pretty notorious. In the early 1970s the Lutzs moved into the Amityville home a few years after the previous owner's inhabitant, Ronald DeFeo, Jr., shot and killed his family in that same dwelling. When the Lutzes moved in they began reporting lots of creepy happenings inside. The temperature would jump from hot to cold, flies covered their windows, George became very ill and depressed, and they would often hear strange sounds. Many people believed that the house was possessed by an evil spirit. The movies would have you believe that it was an evil preacher, but we can't find any evidence of that. Anyway, here's a very strange interview with the Lutzes, whom I feel should earn the title as the Original Viral Marketers. Because honestly, they're not on that show for any other reason than to sell their story. Not that we blame them.

National Geographic reports on possession in India and The Philippines

National Geographic put together an interesting package on demon possessions around the world. The two most interesting films to come out of it were the segment on India's cave of spirits and an actual Philippine exorcism performed by someone named "Kali-Mah" [not from Indiana Jones]. While we're wont to believe that the story from the Philippines is merely a boy suffering from actual trauma, we still think Kali-Mah is the most convincing exorcist we've seen yet.

A Saint Louis Exorcism

Illustration for article titled Infamous cases of "real life possession" in the modern age

Here's one that I personally heard about: The exorcist house in St. Louis, Missouri. This particular possession was supposedly the one that influenced William Peter Blatty to write The Exorcist - at least, that's what everyone told me in St. Louis. As rumor has it, in 1949 a boy was possessed in Washington DC and brought to this home in Missouri after the name "St. Louis" appeared imprinted on the kid's ribs. The family interpreted that as a sign to move to St. Louis, and this was supposedly the home that the family lived in while they performed the exorcism.

According to the website Dark Destinations :

Father Walter Halloran, who took part in the exorcism with Father William Bowdern, later gave his recollections to author Thomas B. Allen, who would record them in his 1993 novel, Possessed: The True Story of an Exorcism. Allen would use a pseudonym of "Robbie" for the boy's name. The book describes some of the events that took place in this home. One passage goes like this: "Something now rippled on Robbie's right leg. As Bowdern again commanded the demon to identify himself, red welts formed an image on the leg. It was, the witnesses later said, an image of the Devil."




Man there is nothing scarier to me than spooky audio recordings. Gets me every time in films. From great things like The Exorcist to less great like Event Horizon to full on crap like White Noise.