Emily Rose: A Possessed Saint Or A Mentally-Ill Girl?

The Curious Case of Anneliese Michel, The Real Life Emily Rose.

Have you watched Scott Derrickson’s horror courtroom drama “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”? The story revolves around a 19-year-old girl, Emily Rose who died from wounds she received during the exorcisms she went through. Well! To everyone’s surprise, it was a real story.


via bh-s2.azureedge.net

Anneliese Michel, real-life Emily Rose, was born in Bavaria, West Germany on September 21, 1952. Being a part of a devoutly Catholic family, she lived in a small rural town, Leiblfing, with her three sisters and their parents, Joseph and Anna.


Anneliese enjoyed a normal religiously nurtured life until she started having regular fits of convulsions in 1968. All of a sudden, her body started shaking and she lost control of her body. Her parents took her to a Neurologist who diagnosed her with temporal lobe epilepsy. Thereafter, she underwent medication but had relief only for a short period. The symptoms persisted and her condition worsened.

Anneliese started reporting that she experienced devilish hallucinations. She saw devil faces while praying. She was given another drug to cure the symptoms but her condition only deteriorated. Shortly after,  Anneliese started complaining that she heard strange voices that told her that she was damned and would rot in hell. She got scared of religious symbols like the crucifix.


In 1975 when the medication proved to be useless, Anneliese and her parents gave up the psychiatric care. They were convinced that she was possessed by Demons. So they completely relied on religious healing and exorcisms. Initially, none of the church authorities were ready to help them. It took a pretty long time to convince everyone that she was possessed. Finally, the two priests carried out a large number of exorcisms on Anneliese in 10 months. Exorcism would continue for 4 hours at a time. During these rites, Anneliese would have severe attacks and she would be chained down, too.  She licked off her urine and ate flies, spiders, and coal. She even bit off the head of a dead bird!

Making the condition more horrible, Anneliese would speak in different demonic voices that were supposed to be of the evil entities possessing her. The priest claimed that she was possessed by 6 demonic entities. Some of the names counted by Anneliese included- Nero, Hitler, Judas, Cain, and Lucifer.


Suffered to her extreme, Anneliese died on July 1, 1976, due to severe starvation and dehydration. Her knees were broken due to pneumonia. During her mental illness, Anneliese proclaimed that she wanted to atone for the sins of wayward youth. So believed some fringe Catholics!  Today many people still flock to her grave and pray for salvation.

There are videos available on YouTube that exhibit the recordings from the parts of the actual Exorcism of Emily Rose and feature some really brutal imagery of terrifying sounds.

Was she possessed or was she suffering from an illness that was not diagnosed at that time? It is still a query out of curiosity.

Her parents and the two priests, Priest Ernst Alt and Arnold Renz who carried out these exorcisms were initially charged with negligent homicide. However, their charges were later reduced.

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