Home » Did the Exorcism of Roland Doe — aka “The Real” ‘Exorcist’ Story — Actually Happen?

Did the Exorcism of Roland Doe — aka “The Real” ‘Exorcist’ Story — Actually Happen?

In 1949, Jesuit monks alleged they carried out an exorcism in St. Louis on a boy, identified pseudonymously as Roland Doe, who they stated grew to become possessed by a demon after enjoying with an Ouija board. If that story sounds acquainted, it is as a result of it shaped the idea for the William Peter Blatty novel The Exorcist and the long-lasting 1973 horror movie of the identical title. However was the exorcism of Roland Doe actual or a fabrication?

Was the exorcism of Roland Doe actual or made up?

Although reported in a number of newspapers of the time and corroborated, in keeping with these writings, by a number of Jesuit monks and different witnesses, fashionable skeptics have poked loads of holes into the story. What we do know is {that a} boy from Cottage Metropolis, Md. (not Mt. Rainier Md. as many accounts acknowledged), identified alternately as Roland Doe and Robbie Manheim, was dropped at St. Louis for remedy for disturbing habits.

Supply: Getty

Linda Blair and Max von Sydow in ‘The Exorcist,’ which was primarily based on the alleged 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe.

As as to whether the disturbing habits was because of psychiatric sickness, demonic possession, or an elaborate prank, relies on whose account you consider. Based on an investigation by Mark Opsasnick for Unusual Journal, although reported in respects publications together with the Washington Put up, lots of the particulars of the story, together with the place the boy was from and whether or not he was first taken to Georgetown Hospital for remedy, proved false. 

Whereas a few of these could possibly be dismissed as alterations to guard the boy’s id, Opsasnick received very completely different accounts from witnesses and neighbors he tracked down for interviews.

The most important consensus appears to be that Roland / Robbie was appearing out both because of emotional issues or a psychiatric episode, however that there was nothing supernatural about what occurred. Nonetheless, whereas psychiatrists had been inclined to see psychological sickness within the episodes they witnessed, monks had been extra inclined to look towards demonic possession.

Supply: istock photograph

It does appear at the very least one exorcism was most likely carried out, as there have been diary accounts recorded by at the very least two monks who say they participated within the rituals: William S. Bowdern, and Raymond J. Bishop. Each monks taught at St. Louis College and the latter says he realized of Roland from a pupil, who was the boy’s cousin. Each appeared satisfied of their accounts that they had been within the presence of a demon.

A 3rd priest in attendance, Thomas Halloran, appeared to have doubts when interviewed in regards to the incident by creator Thomas B. Allen, who wrote the e book Possessed in regards to the exorcism of Roland Doe.

Supply: Getty

The St. Louis house the place Roland supposedly stayed in 1949.

Whether or not actual or not, the place did the exorcism of Roland Doe happen?

Contemplating the a number of witnesses, it is probably a ritual did happen in St. Louis in 1949. The boy’s mother and father traveled with him from Maryland to Missouri and he was handled first on the college and eventually at The Alexian Brothers Hospital, in a wing that was demolished in 1978. The house the place Roland stayed with household, nonetheless, is a well-liked vacationer vacation spot on Roanoke Drive and has been visited by many paranormal investigators, together with the Ghost Adventures crew, through the years.

It appears, at the very least as of 2013, that the boy, whose id has by no means been revealed, was alive and in his 70s, and had grown as much as have a standard life. 

When Opsasnick tracked him down (or at the very least felt sure he had), the person didn’t affirm or deny he was Roland Doe however made it very clear he was not taken with being interviewed over the matter. As for the monks who recounted the story, they’ve all handed away.

About the author


Derek is the great gaming geek for longer than he cares to admit and love everything about the gaming world. He is connected with tech work from the last five years and always loves to learn and writer new about the current technology. You can mail him @ derek@rexweyler.com.

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