In the year 1973 anno domini, there was a case of possession and eventual exorcism so extreme that it left an entire country at odds with the topic of religious fanaticism and/or demonic possession. Fresh off the heels of “The Exorcist” being released, a real-life case of diabolical possession occurred, in which afterwards, both the parents of the possessed and the priests who exorcised her were brought to trial – and found guilty. This is the story of a girl named Anneliese Michel, otherwise known as Americans as the true inspiration for the movie “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”, and in one rare case, Hollywood didn’t do enough to sensationalize this story. They actually left too much out of the movie. WARNING: Included in this article are real photos of Anneliese Michel, and actual audio taken by the priests during the exorcism. These are disturbing and shocking images/sounds, proceed with caution. You have been warned.
To start, I will open up by stating that by al recollected accounts, Anneliese Michel was a well-adjusted, generous, kind, unobtrusive and devoutly religious girl for her age. There had always been one story or another of her conducting herself in a generally positive manner. She was liked by many, and respected by all. She was a good student, and involved in a serious relationship with a boy named Peter who by all accounts genuinely loved her.
Anna Michel, Anneliese’s mother recalls: “She liked life. She sang willfully. She was an intelligent girl. Teachers and professors always complimented her.” Though by her own admission, Anna has to dig pretty deeply to recall all the events of what happened, because this was a very long time ago. You see, Anneliese Michel died on July 1, 1976, at the age of 23. For the last few years of her life, she had been overtaken and besieged by demonic forces that refused to allow her even a single moment of peace. Anna claims that Anneliese was a very passionate and feminine girl, and in her ways of thinking, she was your typical modern woman.
The two priests who eventually took on her case were, collectively, referred to Anneliese Michel by over 60 authorized exorcists throughout the entire country of Poland. Time after time, each of them would tell one priest or the other that they should stop what they were doing, and take a trip out to Germany so that they could talk with the Michel’s. Both men were highly intelligent, one being a theologian, yet they were ridiculed and singled out by their peers, other theologians who disagreed with the legitimate presence of evil. It was regarded as a “taboo” topic, and in fact most men of the cloth today regard evil as an archaic, ancient train of thought, and prefer to think of evil as more of a metaphor, and not an actual, individual presence. Many people who work in the field of possessions and exorcisms regard these people as complete hypocrites, and quite literally as heretics because by their constant professing of their disbelief, they are blatantly going against the direct teachings of Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity, which most of these men claim to have dedicated their life to.
Father Ernst Alt, assistant exorcist to Anneliese Michel during these events, claims that Anneliese Michel rarely, if ever, spoke about herself. She was the type of person who liked and enjoyed helping others, constantly displaying compassion and empathy for her fellow person. Often times, when there were familial disputes, Anneliese would take the side of her younger sisters instead of her parents, because she liked to defend those who had trouble defending themselves.
Once Anneliese Michel became ill, she was placed in a hospital in Mittelberg, Germany. This was an establishment specifically designed as a sanatorium for sufferers of tuberculosis. While she was there, she spent her days and nights praying constantly and dedicated the rest of her time to strengthening her faith and her spiritual relationship with God. Her ultimate desire was to become a catechist, which is someone who teaches the principals of the Christian religion, especially one using a catechism. While in Mittelberg, Anneliese Michel experienced what would ultimately be the basis for the future court case attempting to disprove her experiences – she had her first seizure.
As a result of her stay at the Mittelberg hospital, Anneliese Michel was actually cured of her tuberculosis, and returned home. She then began to attend high school at Aschefenburg, where everything was relatively normal up until the very end, when she began to have trouble speaking. At this time, in conjunction to the above problems, she also began to have trouble walking, often holding on to tables, chairs, beams, or any other material that would help her support her weight.
This immediately forces me to recall two separate stories listed in the Bible of Jesus casting out negative spirits. Please bear with me, I know that not many people these days are religious, so the following citations should be read in accordance with whatever beliefs you have. I only cite them because of their relevance to this topic, which happens to be inherently religious.
Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. (Luke 13:16)
And further, there was also a case in which a mute demon was also cast out:
And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. So it was, when the demon had gone out, that the mute spoke; and the multitudes marveled. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” (Luke 11:14)
As you can see, even back in the day, there were skeptics and doubters who claimed that Christ was doing these miracles by using diabolical illusions or assistance. Ironically, as it has come to be known, this is possible, to use the assistance of a demonic entity to actually relieve ailments caused by demonic oppression, but that is an entirely different article.
At this time though, in regards to Anneliese Michel’s newfound ailments, Anna, her mother, feels that this was only the beginning of the new phenomena that was about to rule this families coming days.
Also at this time, everyone began to notice a change in Anneliese. On top of the issues she was having regarding her speech and inability to support her own bodyweight, she was also having sudden onsets of severe depression and excessive sorrow, but that was also the least of her problems. During one night at the dinner table, Anna recalls a situation where Anneliese’s hands appeared to be “enormous”, to the extend that she would even claim that they were almost twice their normal size. Anyone who has an experience in these matters would not be surprised by this, as the demonic are notorious or manipulating the physical world, specifically the body of that which it possesses. At the table, when Anneliese noticed this, she was noted as saying “I have black hands. Savior, forgive me.”
This was also right around the same time that Anneliese began to have troubling and often times horrifying visions. She claimed to see things, namely terror-inciting visions. “I see devil faces on the walls, they have seven crowns and seven horns.”, she had said.
In an interview on the topic, Father Andrzej Trojanowski, doctor of theology and exorcist, claims that demonic entities take a distinct notice of our departure of faith and closeness to God. He also believes that is why mortal sin is something which testifies to the victory of evil spirits in our lives and current times. He claims that possession and such other spectacular actions or evil spirits is a disclosure, and that something such as a demonic spirits commits these actions because it must, that these actions are it’s sole purpose. He also mentions that these demons must eventually show themselves, but that they do not want to by any means. It will often go to extreme lengths to not make public any of its actions, as it does not want to unmask itself. As a matter of fact, when the point has come that the demonic entity makes it’s presence known in the form of possession phenomena, it’s actually a defeat on the demons part, because from that point on, usually steps will be taken to rid the afflicted on this onslaught.
Father Roth invited what would eventually turn out to be the main exorcist of the case, Father Renz, to accompany his prayer group just once, to see a possessed girl. During this pilgrimage, this girl was speaking in a masculine, guttural voice, she repeatedly swelled up, and couldn’t enter so much as a single sanctuary to save her life, literally and figuratively. She needed to be physically “calmed down” (most likely restrained) by her father. Father Renz could not believe that possession could occur somewhere in which Baptism was an active practice, and originally thought that this was over-exaggerated phenomena – until he saw with his own two eyes. One of the things that he would never forget was the fact that whatever was possessing this girl, or oppressing her, would physically throw this girl down to the ground, on her back, and force her to stay where she landed for hours at a time. This was something he would see very frequently with Anneliese Michel.
Back to Anneliese’s story, the night of the dinner event in which Anneliese’s hands swelled, Anna decided right then and there to begin attempting to contact an exorcist. She saw the amount of suffering that her daughter was enduring, and decided to try to find some form of relief or remedy. As stated above, Anneliese would be violently thrown down to the ground again, and again. She would stand up as quickly as she could, only to be forced down again. She would always pray the “Hail Mary”, and during each time that she would recite this prayer, she would be repeatedly thrown to the ground, once again on her back and forced to stay that way. She could not protect herself from these falls, so she would very frequently injure her face and head. Anna would spread as many quilts and pillows on the floor as she could find, but “the devil is malicious”, she would say. Anneliese would always land “just slightly” off or away from the quilts and pillows, on the bare ground. As a matter of fact, accepting that she would not be experiencing comfort anytime soon, Anneliese began to sleep on the stone floor of her home – something that would actually last 3 years.
What’s shocking and even frightening to me to some degree is that even now, as of 2007, Anna Michel claims to still be dealing with the presence of some wicked entity in her home, though nowhere near to the degree that Anneliese did. She claims that whatever it is was “left over” from when all of this happens, and that even though weeks or months will go by with no signs of a presence, every so often, something will happen, just to remind her that “it’s still there”.
Now, reader, let me take a second – a brief pause, if you will – to make note of a few things. These topics are VERY grave. I know that I am ‘running through’ these things rather quickly, but take into consideration that it is only because of the fact that there was a whole lot of unnatural phenomena which occurred during this case. Let me ask you, if you were in your home, and your hands began to swell, and you couldn’t stand up physically, but didn.t know why…. If you started seeing demonic faces on the walls, and you started getting thrown down to the ground by some invisible force, hoe would you react? I’m pretty positive that you would be experiencing a terror beyond anything you could imagine. Everything you had ever thought would be questioned and second guessed. You can’t imagine the feeling of seeing your child be tormented by some unseen hand, and not being able to do anything to help them. It is a sense of complete helplessness, and despair, and terror, and it is constant. Never knowing when it will happen – what will happen. So please take these things into consideration while reading this. I know the details are flying by, but this isn’t just some article, this was an actual girl, a human being who was being terrorized in an unimaginable way.
Back to the case details, Father Renz, the main exorcist in this case, claims that he sent Anneliese to as many doctors as he could once he became familiar with what was happening to her. He was constantly trying to see if they could find anything at all that would maybe explain some, if not all, of the events occurring. In the end, it was concluded that Anneliese had something “similar to” epilepsy, and that she would need to be prescribed medications for the problem.
As a requirement by the Catholic Church, Anneliese saw MANY psychiatrists, some of which went as far as to say that it was impossible to cure cases of possession with injections of tablets. Not surprisingly, when the actual court case came rolling around, it turns out that each and every single one of these doctors changed their stories when the time to testify arose.
In the work An Exorcist Tells His Story by Father Gabriele Amorth, the former Chief Exorcist for the Vatican, Ignatius Press of San Francisco, 1994 softcover Twelfth Edition, ISBN 978-0-89870-710-6, page #79, paragraph 2:
We can state that “one of the determining factors in the recognition of a diabolical possession is the inefficacy of medicines”, while blessings prove very efficacious. I exorcised Mark, a young man who was the victim of a severe possession. He had been confined a long time and been tormented by psychiatric remedies, especially electroshock, without the slightest reaction. When the doctor prescribed sleep therapy, for an entire week they gave him enough sleeping pills to sedate an elephant; he never fell asleep, either during the day or during the night. He wandered around the hospital in a stupor, with wide-open eyes. Finally he landed at my doorstep, with immediate positive results.
And finally, after all of the doctors had given their diagnosis and professional opinions, Father Renz decided to perform a “trial” exorcism, which may, as it sounds, be performed as a ‘test; or a ‘diagnostic’ event.
In the work An Exorcist Tells His Story by Father Gabriele Amorth, the former Chief Exorcist for the Vatican, Ignatius Press of San Francisco, 1994 softcover Twelfth Edition, ISBN 978-0-89870-710-6, page #77:
With these “patients”, it is profitable to use a euphemistic language. Therefore, we always call the exorcisms “blessings”. The presence of the evil one, once it is ascertained, is referred to “negativity”. It is also advantageous that the prayers be in Latin. All this is to avoid using words that alarm and thus obtain the opposite of what is desired. There are people who have the fixation of being possessed; in these cases, we can be almost certain they are not. To someone in a confused state of mind, the fact of receiving an exorcism may become proof positive of possession, and nobody will ever be able to convince them him differently. When I still do not know the person well, I insist on saying that I am blessing him, even if I am performing an exorcism; at times, I simply give The Ritual’s blessing for the sick.
So as you can see above, both the medication issue AND “trial” exorcism/blessings have been explained by a man, Father Gabriele Amorth, who claims to have performed over 30,000 exorcisms in his career, 30+ years of which were exclusively as an exorcist for Rome.
During the above mentioned “trial” exorcism/blessing”, this is where it really hit the fan. As a test, perhaps to prove it to himself, even, Father Renz gave a mental command, i.e. a command that he only thought but did not say, to the demons in his presence. He Thought the command “Withdraw from her! Say who you are!”.
At that particular moment, Annaliese quite literally went berserk. The demonic entity inside her began to make themselves known in startling succession. In that moment, the priest knew for certain that an epileptic person or a crazy person simply wouldn’t be able to react that way, in particular, read the thoughts of another person. At this moment, Anneliese tore the rosary from Father Renz and destroyed it. This made my blood run cold when I read this, because if there is one thing that is absolutely sacred in cases of demonic possession, it is the rosary. This religious artifact is never touched – unless the thing possessing is extremely powerful.
According to Ed Warren, the late noted demonologist and assistant to exorcists of the Roman Catholic Church, in the book The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren, by Gerard Daniel Brittle, iUniverse Press, 2002 softcover reprint edition, ISBN 0-595-24618-4, page 151, paragraphs 2, 3, & 4:
All the while the phenomena kept up as usual. Before leaving, the Warrens had taken Father Jason aside. “There are a number of entities in the home,” Ed told him, “but judging by the intensity and power of the phenomena, we suspect the disturbance is being caused by more than demoniacal powers. There’s the distinct possibility that a higher, diabolical entity is involved, possibly having been drawn from the retreat house, where it could have sought to victimize the monks. If so, you might observe some sign that would alert you to its presence.” That sign occurred on Tuesday night, as Ed and Father Jason spoke on the telephone.
One curious aspect to a diabolical siege is that rosary beads are a taboo item to the demonic spirit. Only the most menacing and blasphemous of entities would dare to move them. As Father Jason was speaking on the phone, rosary beads floated out of the spare bedroom in which he was staying. He watched as they turned left, drifted down the hallway, turned left again into the kitchen, then finally wrapped themselves around a kitchen chair in a gesture of strangulation.
That was it! Ed told Father Jason to get the family out of the house and stay away until he and Lorraine got back from New York on Thursday. With that, everyone packed up and left immediately.
Anneliese was no longer “able” to pray. It was as if that moment, a line was drawn in the sand, and a war was declared between the possessing entities and the priests. In the beginning, it started out as only two priests conducting deliverance ritual, which are more or less ‘unsanctioned’ exorcisms designed to attempt to liberate the afflicted individual, but ultimately, they were joined by many other priests. After a small while, the original two priests, Father Renz and Father Alt decided that it would be best if they were the ones dealing with the situation, so they requested that all others leave them to the task.
By this point, both priests had been given the order from their Bishop which allowed them to begin official exorcisms. They each had separate authorization in the forms of written documents. Though I was not able to obtain these documents, I was able to listen to them transcribed by the actual priests in a documentary on this case. The letter, which was very brief, on official letterhead from Bishop Joseph Stangl, reads as follows:
I authorize Father Arnold Renz to go through with the procedure involving Anne Lisner (her pseudonym), according to paragraph 11.51.1. My prayer will accompany this case the whole time. I pray God to help us.
While brief, it gave the priests the exact authorization that they had needed in order to conduct an official, Church-sanctioned exorcism, which is important because once this permission is given, it is regarded as if the power of Christ himself is partaking in these rituals. Bishops are regarded as being a part of the lineage of Christ, and since Christ gave all of his disciples the power to exorcise in his name, this permission, now required by the Church, is designed to infuse the actual ritual with a supernatural grace far beyond that which any exorcist would have on his own, which is due only to the authority of Christ. An exorcist alone without this power of Christ has absolutely no authority, but once that authority is given, watch out, because it’s like giving steroids to an athlete. Everything is just amped up.
At this time, Father Renz and Father Alt convened in Klingenberg, Germany, to begin a strenuous and intense schedule for exorcism. During the first attempt at exorcism, Father Renz performed the Roman Catholic Ritual, and to his absolute surprise and shock, the possessing demons began to speak , on their own, without even being provoked. The priests began to interrogate these entities, attempting to find out what had happened and why they were there. Questions such as “Who are you?” and “What are your names?” were asked, all of which are extremely important in the ritual. Through these questions, they were able to ascertain that there were six major possessing demons engaging Anneliese. These demons were:
- Judas Iscariot
- Fallen priest Fleischmann
Now, below, you will find a PDF file available to download. It is just a quick scan I did of the available descriptions of the demons listed above. This information was taken from the book Dictionary of Demons: Names of the Damned, by Michelle Belanger, Llewellyn Press, 2010 softcover first print edition, ISBN 978-0-7387-2306-8. This only includes the entries for Lucifer and Satan, because all of the other demons claiming to inhabit Anneliese were those of actual PEOPLE – i.e., the fallen priest, Adolph Hitler, Nero, Judas Iscariot, and Cain. I took what was available and placed it here, but again, credit goes to Michelle Belanger for an awesome lexicon of demonic entities.
Then, surprisingly, some of the demons began actually making confessions. Because so much activity was being engaged, at first, Anne was taking dictation of all of these comments, but they quickly became too much and too fast to handle, so with the Bishop’s permission (as is now customary) they began to record these sessions. By Anneliese’s own request, she wanted to let the entire world hear these tapes, but that request has not been honored. After the trial and as of 2007, the Roman Catholic Church has decided to confiscate these tapes and professed that they would remain confidential for the next 30 years or so.
These tapes are not exactly easy to come by. Surprisingly, I was actually able to encounter a good amount of them (approximately 100 minutes spanning through multiple sessions) directly from YouTube! I do not know how long these “videos” are going to be available; however, I have all videos and translations saved to my harddrive. While I do not know how accurate the translations are, as I do not speak German or Dutch, someone out there took the time to listen to and translate ALL 100 minutes, so without further introduction, here are the videos of which I speak. Warning: These recordings are shocking to the average person, and you may find that you do not want to listen to all of the recordings. I do not blame you. They are spoken with a distinctly guttural, violent, hate-filled and inhuman voice. There are sounds here that will make you cringe. I personally felt unexplainably dirty after listening to this audio. You have been warned. This is a 9 part series taken from YouTube, which was the only form of English translation I could find.
I also have an audio file in the form of an MP3 which is basically the same exact audio used in the videos above.
Now, at this time, Father Alt had virtually no support from his peers, either in his country or in others. Outside of the Bishop and the priest assisting in the Rituale Romanum of 1614, he was more or less alone in this. Now, it is important to keep in mind that this was a time when religion was on the decline and science was on the rise, such as psychiatry and psychology, so Father Alt was under great pressure from the scientific community. They wanted to give these types of cases some scientific context, explanation and categorization. Unfortunately, for anyone who has not witnessed this phenomena firsthand, you just don’t feel or know how seriously legitimate this occurrence is.
On recorded occasions, Anneliese claimed to see the demons jumping around and dancing on the floor in front of her, tormenting the priests. She even asked them (the priests) if they could see them, which they could not. Her eyes at times would literally become “black and fiery”, filled with an abundance of hate and rage. This was a peculiar time for those around Anneliese, because her activity became even more strange. She had chosen to begin sleeping on the stone floor in the dead of winter to atone for the sins of “wayward priests” and “drug addicts”. She would also engage in such acts as eating spiders off of the floor, and licking up her own urine. This was on top of frantically and fervently tearing at her own clothes, often times leaving herself completely nude.
Anne, Anneliese’s mother, recalls one night at dinner, the chair that Anneliese was sitting on was suddenly ripped out from under her by some unseen force, and Anneliese jumped high above the chair, which was a feat considering that she had trouble supporting her own weight and walking properly. When father Roth arrived, he had with him both a bottle of normal tap water, and a bottle of Holy Water from San Damiano. Anneliese took the bottle of Holy Water and threw it at him. Suspiciously, the bottle stopped mid-air, mid momentum, but only for a moment, then fell to the ground with apparently no velocity, as if it were just “wafted” as if a leaf on the wind. Another unnatural event occurred when Anneliese was standing in the hallway of her home. She had kicked a cup full of water as if she were punting a football, and the cup flew across the room. However, not a single drop spilled, even after the cup landed and rolled around for a bit on the floor.
In the book The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren, by Gerald Daniel Brittle, iUniverse Press, 2002 softcover reprint edition, ISBN 0-595-24618-4, page 60, paragraphs 3 & 4, Ed Warren as well as his wife Lorraine Warren goes into much detail about hos demonic forces can and will manipulate the laws of physics.
But how can the Warrens know if an intelligence is truly behind the disturbance, when that external agent is invisible?
Lorraine explains it this way: “Although this intelligence often chooses to remain invisible, there is no mistaking what’s behind the phenomena, especially if it is an inhuman demonic spirit. Activity will occur in circles, in reverse, counterclockwise, or in distinct violation of the laws of physics. Stones, for instance, or nuts and bolts will fall out of the blue sky onto a home under demonic attack. These stones will come down with such force that they may actually penetrate the roof. We have seen the same downpour of stones happen inside a house as well. And so that it will be understood that these events are not of natural origin, the objects will fall in a zigzag manner, in defiance of the laws of gravity so there is no question as to what’s really behind them. This falling of stones or even small animals like frogs or fish isn’t rare, by the way – it happens somewhere in this country about once a week.
“And it won’t just be objects falling: a dozen other unnatural things will be happening inside the home at the very same time. And all the while this outward show of phenomena is going on, a similar, subjective assault will be launched against the people themselves. Terrifying things, like innocent children becoming debased monsters with superhuman strength. Or adults suddenly aging overnight, or taking on features of the dead. And many times, these effects are not totally reversible. Yes, these things happen! This is very real, very serious business. When the demonic is responsible for a disturbance, lives are often ruined.”
Often times, Anneliese would also somehow force tables and chairs to move about frequently, constantly rearranging themselves without ever actually physically touching the items above-mentioned. From the same book as mentioned above, The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren, by Gerald Daniel Brittle, iUniverse Press, 2002 softcover reprint edition, ISBN 0-595-24618-4, page 57, paragraph 2:
Perhaps the primary legitimate explanation for peculiar goings-on in a house is psychokinesis, the power of the mind to levitate or teleport small objects through space. PK, as it’s abbreviated, is caused by the transfer of psychic energy to objects. Typically, the individual giving off this energy is under a great deal of stress.
Frustrated or angry children are quite often the source of PK activity. Though unusual psychokinesis may be similar to phenomena brought about by spirits,” Ed indicates, “PK levitations rarely involve weights of over one pound. No experiment has yet shown the human mind able to move weights of over two pounds. Demonic spirits, by contrast, regularly move furniture or appliances that would require two strong men to lift.
And, as mentioned a small ways above, Anneliese was notorious for destroying and tearing apart rosaries. We all know how I feel about that, based on the knowledge I have on the matter.
A family friend, Mrs. Thea Hein was one of the first to notice the apparent change in Anneliese. In 1975, Mrs. Hein took Anneliese on a pilgrimage, as she was a close family friend. While on this pilgrimage, she noticed that Anneliese was physically unable to drink the Holy Water from the spring, and also physically unable to walk past an icon of Jesus Christ, Mrs. Hein was instrumental in contacting the priests early on because of her fear of demonic possession. She did not believe that the doctors who diagnosed Anneliese as an epileptic were correct based on the symptoms she had observed, and she basically got the ball rolling on getting the Church involved. At one point, Anneliese said to Mrs. Hein: “I am Anneliese, and I will go for your neck and tear it apart.” Then she struck Mrs. Hein in the head violently, and had to be physically restrained.
Her boyfriend, Peter, was constantly involved in most of this process. He would often drop by the house, expected or not, to spend time with Anneliese. Even though for the most part, she could not talk unless she was blaspheming or raging out, there is one event which he recalls in which Anneliese suddenly grew stoic, stared him right in the eyes and said in a clear, unimpeded voice: “I am of a stony heart.”. Also worth noting, on many – many – occasions, Anneliese was physically abusive to both her sisters and Peter, violently throwing them to the floor, and assaulting them on some occasions literally from dusk until dawn.
According to Ed Warren, the late noted demonologist and assistant to exorcists of the Roman Catholic Church, in the book The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren, by Gerald Daniel Brittle, iUniverse Press, 2002 softcover reprint edition, ISBN 0-595-24618-4, page 167, paragraph 1:
[…] As for changes to the body, the strength of the possessed is completely overwhelming. I have seen a possessed child throw grown adults around the room like a sumo wrestler. And a possessed adult is completely unmanageable. I know – I have been attacked by the possessed on more than one occasion, and big as I am, at two-hundred-and-twenty pounds, I can report to you that no human being could ever single-handedly fight off a possessed individual. You’re dealing with something that has the strength of six men.
In the work An Exorcist Tells His Story by Father Gabriele Amorth, the former Chief Exorcist for the Vatican, Ignatius Press of San Francisco, 1994 softcover Twelfth Edition, ISBN 978-0-89870-710-6, page #69, paragraph 2, Father Amorth goes into detail as well about the enhanced physical strength of someone afflicted with possession:
One begins with the physical symptoms. The two areas most commonly affected by evil influences are the head and the stomach. In addition to headaches that are severe and unresponsive to prescriptions, symptoms include a sudden in ability to learn. In particular, young people who never had trouble at school all of a sudden cannot study anymore, and their ability to concentrate disappears. The signs listed in the Ritual are limited to the most spectacular manifestations of possession, such as the ability to speak or understand unknown languages perfectly, to know the hidden and the remote or to demonstrate a superhuman physical strength. As I have already mentioned, I was able to detect these signs only during the blessings (this is how I always refer to exorcisms), never before. Often I am told of strange or violent behavior. A typical symptom of evil influence is an aversion to the sacred. It happens then that prayerful people suddenly stop praying. Others stop going to church and become full of rage; some suddenly blaspheme often and act violently against sacred images. Almost always we also encounter asocial behavior, such as anger against relatives or acquaintances, and many types of bizarre behavior.
In the book Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans by Father Malachi Martin, HarperOne Press, 1992 softcover reprint edition, ISBN 978-0-06-065337-8, goes into a little bit of information on the phenomena of superhuman strength briefly, mainly by telling you how the actual exorcist and his assistants deal with this on page 16, paragraph 2:
An exorcist comes to know from experience what he can expect by way of violent behavior; and, for their own sakes, possessed people must usually be physically restrained during parts of the exorcism. The assistants therefore must be physically strong. In addition, there may be a straitjacket on hand, though leather straps or rope are more commonly used.
In the work Interview With An Exorcist: An Insider’s Look At The Devil, Demonic Possession, and the Path to Deliverance by Father Jose Antonio Fortea, Ascension Press, 2006 softcover edition, ISBN 978-1-932645-96-5, pages 86 & 87, Father Fortea goes into detail about what some of the telling signs of phenomena would indicate a case of actual, demonic possession in the second mention down the list:
75. What extraordinary phenomena occur in a possession?
When a trance state is present or a demonic personality appears, we can be certain that we are dealing with a true case of demonic possession. There are cases of possession, however, in which other extraordinary phenomena are manifested. The most frequent phenomena are:
- The person suddenly understands foreign (or even ”dead’) languages he has never studied. Regardless of the person’s age or intelligence, he will obey orders given in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and other languages, even when used simultaneously. Sometimes the possessed will speak to those present in these unknown languages, though this is less common.
- The possessed displays abnormal physical strength, sometimes over the course of several hours. Sometimes the person is even able to perform acts that are usually impossible, such as lifting several people at once.
- The person demonstrates a knowledge of hidden things.
- Perhaps the most extraordinary phenomenon of all and the most infrequent-is levitation.
- Some cases of possession, however, manifest no extraordinary phenomena at all.
Also, according to Ed Warren, the late noted demonologist and assistant to exorcists of the Roman Catholic Church, in the book The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren, by Gerald Daniel Brittle, iUniverse Press, 2002 softcover reprint edition, ISBN 0-595-24618-4, page 104, paragraph 2, he also goes into depth in regards to the times of day and night when activity is strengthened or weakened.
“During infestation, the strategy of the demonic is to generate fear through incidents of inexplicable phenomena,” says Ed. “Activity will be especially prevalent during the psychic hours of night, between 9 P.M. and 6 A.M., with the peak occurring between 1 A.M. and 5 A.M. The very first incidents of activity will tend to occur at exactly three o’clock in the morning. This symbolic hour, the ‘high noon’ of the demonic day, is chosen as a mocking gesture because it is in direct opposition to the traditional hour of Jesus’ death. Once the initial infestation has taken place, then phenomena will tend to erupt at any time after the sun goes down. If the infesting spirit can draw energy during the daylight hours, activity may also go on during the day, though to a diminished degree.
Quite literally, invisible forces would throw Anneliese up against one wall, then slam her into another, then back again, over and over again. Her face and head were full of bruises in various stages of healing to the point where her skin was either very dark blue or black. Her eyes were so swollen that she could barely see anymore. Her teeth were broken and chipped from her multiple attempts to bite and/or eat the stones from either the floor she slept on or the walls of her room. Her body was literally so damaged that she was hard to physically recognize. I personally have a theory about this phenomena, however this is completely unsubstantiated. I am basing this off of something I read from Ed Warren, in which he was persistently questioned about what the demons he has physically seen actually looked like.
According to Ed Warren, the late noted demonologist and assistant to exorcists of the Roman Catholic Church, in the book The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren, by Gerald Daniel Brittle, iUniverse Press, 2002 softcover reprint edition, ISBN 0-595-24618-4, page 100, paragraphs 2, he also goes into depth in regards to a conversation he had with a possessing demon in which he attempts to find out what these creatures look like.
The Voice: I do not choose to be here!
Ed Warren: Why did you come then?
The Voice: I am under the Power!
Ed Warren: Whose power?
The Voice: A white light!
Ed Warren: Describe yourself to me.
The Voice: No.
(The crucifix is then set in place, followed by agonized screaming by the possessing spirit.)
Ed Warren: Describe yourself to me!
The Voice: I must in truth tell you what I look like. I am wicked-and ugly looking. I am inhuman. I am vindictive. I have a horrible face. I have much gross hair on my body. My eyes are deepsunk. I am black all over. I am burnt. I grow hair. My nails are long, my toes are clawed. I have a tail. I use a spear. What else do you want to know?
Ed Warren: What do you call yourself?
The Voice: (Proclaiming) I am Resisilobus! I am Resisilobus!!
And within the same book The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren, by Gerald Daniel Brittle, iUniverse Press, 2002 softcover reprint edition, ISBN 0-595-24618-4, page 115, paragraphs 3, 4, & 5:
Ed speaks of the demonic spirit showing itself only rarely in preternatural form. What does the demonic spirit look like? The question is an uncomfortable one for him to answer.
“Although the spirit can project itself in any form it chooses,” says Ed, “its appearance is an abomination, a monstrosity. To see what’s really behind the phenomenon is not something to be desired. To actually see the demonic is to feel ruin. What shows is something distinctly preternatural in appearance: something real enough as you see it, but yet something not of this world.”
But what does it ultimately look like?
“Ultimately,” Ed answers with great reluctance, “it is not human. It is inhuman. It has scales. It looks . . . like a reptile. That’s it,” he cautions. “I won’t complete the rest of the image.”
There were many situations in which Anneliese was like night and day. A specific event comparison would be the night before Ascention Day. Anneliese smashed her head through a window and window frame in her home, while on another day, she was praying from sunrise until sunset. There was literally no way to predict what type of day it was going to be, and these attacks were known for being completely random.
Anne tells an event that completely changed the entire flow of this story. It was a Sunday she vividly recalls. Anneliese and Peter had decided to go for a walk in an area not too close to their home, called “Paradise Mill”. They drove there, but when they got out of the car on the side road, Anneliese’s condition was very, very bad, and it seemed as if they might not be able to complete this walk as originally anticipated. She was almost to the point where she could not physically speak, period. She couldn’t walk without assistance, and needed help standing upright. At that moment, something happened that changed Anneliese. She claims that Mary, Mother of God appeared to her. She suddenly began to walk, without Peter, as if in a world completely her own. She claims that herself and Mary began to walk, side by side, for quite some time. During this walk, Mary said to her, “My heart suffers so much because so many souls go to hell. It is necessary to do penance, for priest, for young people, and for your country. Would you like to do penance for these souls, so that all these people wouldn’t suffer in hell?”
Peter was also there during this time, but did not see Mother Mary, some speculate, because he was not gifted with the same grace that Anneliese had earned through her spiritual suffering.
Mother Mary also asked, “Would you like to do penance for the souls that will be damned for eternity otherwise?”
Peter stood by and watched as Anneliese immediately kneeled and began praying. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Anneliese jumped up and began running again with no pain! He realized then that something must have happened, because until that moment, Anneliese couldn’t even stand unassisted. It was at this moment that Anneliese’s vision ended. When they both returned home, Anneliese ran upstairs, and said “Mom! Mom! Look at me! I can walk again! Jump! Dance! Mother of God has appeared to me!”
Anne at first thought that Anneliese had finally gone mad, but was reassured by Anneliese that what had happened was indeed real. She repeated it several times, with not so much as a single detail changing. Anneliese told her mother about what Mary had said in regards to the damned, and Anne asked where Peter was. Anneliese responded by telling her that Peter was sitting in the car, in the garage, sobbing and crying. His emotions had apparently overrun him.
Peter had indeed been touched. He was a very unique person, in the sense that he stuck with Anneliese through everything; through every stage of this nightmare, and he supported her and did whatever he could to help. He knew every detail about what was going on, and still decided to stay. They had both been planning a future together both before and during this demonic siege. They would have eventually married, had events not taken such a sinister turn. Even while these events were still occurring, both of them believed that one day this would all come to an end and they would both move on with their life. At Anneliese’s home in Klingerberg, he witnessed everything that has been documented. Some believe that he may not have understood that Anneliese was suffering so much in the same way that Jesus Christ had in the past.
Anneliese also told her mother that she would have three days of peace, but in those three days she must come to a decision to either accept or reject the question which Mother Mary had given her. Needless to say, Anne was frightened by the idea of her daughter suffering for the salvation of so many souls. She felt that it was an enormous and insurmountable task, and she had consulted Anneliese’s father to let him know about all of these details as well, and to fill him in on what had happened. Anne spent literally all of this time with Anneliese, who spent all day either kneeling of standing before the cross, praying Anne told Anneliese that she shouldn’t say “yes” and accept the proposition, to which Anneliese revealed that she did indeed intend on accepting the burden. “I can mom. If I don’t do this, it will be my fault so many souls will go to Hell! They will be damned for eternity, I will be guilty.” Anne felt that was a terrible burden to be placed on such a young girl who was already suffering so greatly.
On 12/31/75, the demons had to leave. Often times, during an exorcism of a series of exorcism, the exorcist will ask the demons for the exact time and date of a departure, marking when they will leave. There are often lies told, and tactics employed to delay the departure, but more or less the dates and times are accurate for the most part. This date was revealed through Mother Mary though, as Anneliese claimed to hear Mary say “I will come and expel them.”, during their conversation. On that day, Father Renz and Father Alt addressed the demons by stating that “they have to leave now, Mother of God is ordering.” The demonic forces attempted to delay as best they could. They were no longer answering as sharply as they were before. As a matter of fact, the priests were surprised that the demonic spirits were so sluggish, “as if paralyzed”. They did the normal growling and purring from within Anneliese, but not very much else. Not previously faced with this subtle opposition, the priests were both confused and apprehensive.
Father Renz said to them, “Leave! You must leave! I order you!” to no avail or answer. After a pause, the demonic spirits responded by saying through Anneliese “We won’t leave.” And again began growling. From time to time, they added some other comments, but ultimately, the priests waited to see what would happen. Father Renz gave a special order this time: to be absolutely sure the spirits would leave, he ordered them to say “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord of with thee.”
Now, the voice that erupts from the containment of a possessed person is something the average human never wants to hear. This voice in itself is inhuman, and it is filled with rage and hatred and despair. It sounds guttural, and intense, and ethereal. This is not the voice of anything you would want to remember, and it is extremely disturbing. In the book Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans by Father Malachi Martin, HarperOne Press, 1992 softcover reprint edition, ISBN 978-0-06-065337-8, page 20, paragraph 5:
The Voice is an inordinately disturbing and humanly distressing babel. The first few syllables seem to be those of some word pronounced slowly and thickly-somewhat like a tape recording played at a subnormal speed. You are just straining to pick up the word and a layer of cold fear has already gripped you-you know this sound is alien. But your concentration is shattered and frustrated by an immediate gamut of echoes, of tiny, prickly voices echoing each syllable, screaming it, whispering it, laughing it, sneering it, groaning it, following it. They all hit your ear, while the alien voice is going on unhurriedly to the next syllable, which you then try to catch, while guessing at the first one you lost. By then, the tiny, jabbing voices have caught up with that second syllable; and the voice has proceeded to the third syllable; and so on.
Normally, it would be very hard if not impossible for a demonic, possessing spirit to recite words such as these, as it is horribly painful for them to experience based on their intense hatred for the love and grace of God and religion in general. It goes against everything they exist for, against their entire existence.
You can view the ENTIRE English Transcription of the 90-minute version of the audio HERE: English Transcript
Father Renz told them that they would all be praying with the Mother of God. He thencommanded them to greet her, and all present would sing the hymn “Magnificent”. The priests began to sing, and no more than 2 lines into the hymn, the demons began screaming and shrieking in pain and terror, in that horrible, inhuman voice. “She is coming! She is coming!” they cried.
You can listen to this audio here: “She is coming!.mp3”
<Below is the transcript, in English, of the audio posted above>
The Voice: She is coming! She is coming!
Priests: My soul worships God…
The Voice: She is coming!
The priests claimed that their hair stood on end, and that they had never encountered anything like this before. They had never heard this degree of despair and torment emanate from the demons within Anneliese. They seemed to be in genuine turmoil and torment. All at once, the priests all dropped to their knees to greet Mother Mary as she arrived. Seeing their weakened state, Father Renz asked the demons, “Which of you will leave first?” After a slight pause, the first to answer was the fallen priest, Fleischmann. He had to say who he was and why he was damned to eternal suffering in Hell.
You can listen to this audio here: “The Exile of Fleischmann & Cain.mp3”
<Below is the transcript, in English, of the audio posted above>
The Voice: I am damned, because I… because I… I’ve dealt with my priestly duties so bad.
Priests: Who are you? Judas?
The Voice: No.
The Voice: Yes. I have to leave now.
Priests: To Hell?
The Voice: Yes.
Priests: Do you know what you have to say?
The Voice: Yes.
Priests: …Son and The Holy Spirit. One God in three Persons, and The Holy Spirit. Give us the sign. <pause> I must get a sign of you leaving. <pause> Son and The Holy Spirit. Give us the sign.
The Voice: Ha…Ha…Ha…Hail. <profuse stuttering> Mary… <pause> …Full of grace.
Priests: It was a sign, this one has left. He said: “Hail Mary, full of grace.” It was the fixed sign. So Fleischmann is gone. Now next. Who is next? The next is Cain, or Nero? Next is Cain. In the name of the One God in three Persons, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.
The Voice: I am Cain.
Priests: In the name of the One God in three Persons…
The Voice: I killed my brother!
Priests: I order you to depart. In the name of the One God in three Persons… I order you to worship the Holiest Virgin.
The Voice: Ha…Ha…Ha…
Priests: I order you to worship the Mother of God.
The Voice: Ha…Ha… You dirty pig, what have you devised.
Priests: In the name of the one God in three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I order you to worship the Holiest Virgin. In the name of the one God in three Persons, the Father…
The Voice: Ha…Ha…Ha… …Hail <intense stuttering> …Mary… …full of grace.
There was a powerful and drawn out sigh and then silence afterwards. As this process endured, at the end was finally Lucifer, and he was the last one left. When he was asked why he was there, his response was “Because I wanted to reign. To be the only creature on Earth. I didn’t want to serve anyone.” At the end, he stammered and stuttered through the “Hail Mary” like those before him, and he too left Anneliese.
You can listen to this audio here: “The Exile of Lucifer.mp3”
<Below is the transcript, in English, of the audio posted above>
The Voice: I am damned. Because I didn’t want… because I didn’t want… to serve God. I wanted to reign… although I was the only creature.
Priests: You wanted to reign although you were the only creature?
The Voice: I won’t leave.
Priests: In the name of the one God in three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I order you to depart and worship the Holiest Virgin. In the name of the Holiest Virgin and in the name of Jesus… I order you to leave! In the name of the one God in three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, I order you to worship the Holiest Virgin.
The Voice: No.
Priests: You didn’t want to submit to the Heavens, but you had to. To the One God in three Persons, the Holiest Virgin, the Holy Angels, and to Michael the Archangel. Withdraw… In the name of the one God in three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Voice: No…no…no…no
Priests: I order you to leave! To leave and never come back. And to worship the Holiest Virgin.
The Voice: Ha…ha…ha… <stuttering> Hail Mary… <pause> …full of grace.
Priests: Great God, we praise you. Let’s end with appropriate prayer. And then we’ll sing “The Great Song of Worship”
Priests: Oh Great God…
Anneliese: Oh, yes…
Priests: So are you happy?
Anneliese: Yes, I feel completely different.
Priests: We are begging You, we are begging You, God Almighty for bad spirits to have no more power over Anneliese’s body.
Anneliese: I’m completely free now…completely free. It’s so wonderful…completely free.
After this seemingly successful exorcism as transcribed above, Anneliese stated, and can be heard on the recording, as saying “I’m completely free now…completely free. It’s so wonderful… completely free.”
Father Renz was searching for the closing prayer to in effect offer a sense of closure to thank God, when startling revelations were made.
You can listen to this audio here: “The Demons That Remain.mp3”
After only approximately ten minutes of prayer, it was revealed that some demons were still present within Anneliese. They screamed, “We want to leave, but we are not allowed!”
It was this exact moment that baffled priests because they could not and would not ever understand. They all acknowledged that this was indeed something different, and highly unusual. They weren’t sure if they made a mistake or where, or what that mistake was. While many looked on at this as a defeat in the physical world, some took it as a final victory in the spiritual warfare that Anneliese was engaged in.
Many, many years later, Father Alt believes that despite the remaining demons who wanted to leave but couldn’t, this may have been because Anneliese accepted Mother Mary’s proposal and that some demons were bound to Anneliese because of this, but ultimately, no one knows why this happened for sure. There are no definitive answers.
Anneliese: Father, I never thought it would be so scary. I wanted to suffer for other people so they don’t have to end up in Hell. But I never would have thought it would be so scary, so horrible. Sometimes, you think, ‘suffering I such an easy thing!’, but it gets really hard… you don’t want to make a single step.
Father Renz: Yes, it’s easy to talk about suffering when it doesn’t concern us.
Anneliese: Yes, that’s true. Father Arnold, it is impossible to imagine how they can force a human being. You have no control over yourself anymore.
Father Renz: You have contributed to it a bit because you were ready to accept it.
Anneliese: At that point that doesn’t have anything to do with it.
Father Renz: You know, it happened because before that, you said YES.
At the time of her death, Anneliese had MANY wounds, bruises, cuts and scrapes all over her head and face, as well as broken teeth from the times she attempted to bit stone and eat it. Before her death, the priests had asked a doctor to give her drugs, to ease her suffering. He refused, claiming that he had no idea how a possessed person would react. “There’s no injection against the devil.”
During her examinations by a doctor, they noticed what they described as “stigmata markings” on her legs. Her mother, Anne, also recalls noticing this as well, with the markings first appearing on her feet and then days later, on her hands as well. Anne claims that the wounds on Anneliese’s feet were severe, while the ones on Anneliese’s hands were also very serious but not quite as severe. At this time, Anneliese was tormented, demonically, literally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There was no respite, no form of a rest. People who had seen her had seen Anneliese claim that she looked extremely emaciated and frail. It was revealed that at times, she would eat a banana, or would shout out for someone to give her something to eat. The priests witnessed Anneliese gobble down food at times as fast as she could and as much as she could, and they recall even one occasion where she drank 2 liters of juice. They actually believed that it was these binges that were keeping her alive and claim to have never thought that she would die of starvation. They also claimed that she had been like this for over a year, and had previously returned “to normal”.
Anneliese claimed that “Something will change in July”, which was not very far from when she made these claims. On July 1, Anneliese died in her sleep. The priests were not there at the time, and did not believe that she had actually passed away. They requested that Doctor Roth go to the home and confirm that this was indeed the case.
The family called their family doctor, and when he arrived, he pronounced Anneliese dead. He then, as was obligated by law, informed the public prosecutor’s office that he could not say in good faith that her death was the result of natural causes.
The trial started in April of 1978, and will not be covered in this article because I completely disagree with it and think it was inappropriate in so many ways that I can’t even begin to express it.
While I only decided to write this article to focus on the paranormal/supernatural parameters and strange occurrences which were experienced by many people throughout this ordeal, you can’t help but to literally feel for this woman who sacrificed so much for what she believed to be the salvation of many. She put herself through a living Hell in this world to save others from an eternal hell in another realm. At the time of her death, she had signs of the stigmata, and on the whole, many of the case history presented above is mirrored in the life of the unofficial Saint Padre Pio, who went through the same diabolical torment and then the stigmata as well right before his own death. Without drawing conclusions, I will tell you that Anneliese believed with every fiber of her being that she was under siege by the devil. So did the priests who dedicated so much of themselves to try to help her, and so did her parents, siblings, and her boyfriend. This is a case that when reviewed in depth as I have, genuinely disturbs the psyche, and forces you to think. In reality, this article took me almost two weeks to write due to a combination of things such as research, constant reading, media hunting, and technological difficulties while trying to format all of the same media correctly. I also had trouble because for some reason, I was only able to write during the daylight hours which was compounded due to the fact that my job was interfering as well. Certain topics here just made my skin crawl, and I will tell you the truth, listening to that audio time and time again, it definitely messed with my head a bit, especially in my house, with its own paranormal infestation.
After all has been said and done, all I ask, reader, is that you take the time to realize the gravity of what went on during this woman’s life, and what she went through. If you are religious, please say a prayer for her. If you are not, at least try not to mock the people, like me, who do believe. And by all means, I truly apologize if you rad through this article and listened to the audio, and watched the video at night. You have my genuine apology for that. In closing, all media which was included in this article is available, upon request. Everything that can be said about this case has been. In the end, I guess the only question left to ask is, “What do you believe?”