|Scene from The Exorcist|
Not a very nice thing to say! But the boy, known as Roland Doe, was the basis for the film The Exorcist - which is 40 years old in December.
Roland was an only child brought up in a German-American family in Baltimore, USA. He was close to his Aunt Harriet. She called herself a spiritualist and encouraged Roland to play with a Ouija board.
Harriet died and this was when the 13 year old's troubles began. At first the family heard scratching noises coming from the walls of the family home. The parents put this down to mice but when things started moving by themselves in Roland's bedroom, they realised this was something more than agitated rodents.
The bedroom furniture moved around and objects started flying about. Similar events followed at school where his desk had a life of its own and bumped other desks, once hurting another pupil.
Roland began to have blackouts and became violent. He would babble gibberish sentences.
The local Lutheran church minister suggested the family should contact the Catholic church who knew more about such happenings. It was on the Catholic priest's first visit that Roland screamed out the Latin phrase mentioned.
Exorcisms were attempted at the Georgetown University Hospital. These had to be abandoned after five nights when one of the priests was slashed down the arm with a bed spring causing a permanent injury.
Out of desperation the family moved away to St Louis. By now Roland had an aversion to anything sacred or religious and had begun to speak in a guttural voice. He was moved to the Alexian Brothers Hospital.
|Father W Halloran|
Letters would appear on Roland's skin, in what appeared to be blood. These would spell out Hell, Evil or sometimes even Hello. The boy was asked his name to which he replied, "I will answer to the name of Spite."
Unexpectedly one night Roland suddenly cried out, "Satan, I am St Michael! I command you to leave this body now!" He went limp and then with a final shudder said, "He is gone!"
Roland's troubles were finally over.
In the Exorcist book and film the boy was replaced with a 12 year old girl by author Peter Blatty. He also embellished the story with extra touches such as the girl crawling along the ceiling and her head spinning round.
|The Exorcist Head Turning|
"It was named the scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly and Movies.com and by viewers of AMC in 2006, and was No 3 on Bravo's The 100 Scariest Movie Moments. In 2010, the Library of Congress selected the film to be preserved as part of its National Film Registry. In 2003, it was placed at No 2 in Channel 4's The 100 Greatest Scary Moments in the United Kingdom."
Was Roland really possesed by the devil or some other entity? Father Bowdern was convinced this was the case but some investigators have claimed that Roland Doe was simply a spoiled, disturbed bully who threw deliberate tantrums to get attention or to get out of school.
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