The True Story
Anneliese Michel was said to be a particularly religious girl that felt she had to make atonements for the sins of others, particularly for priests. Nothing explains fully why she felt this way.
She was born in Germany on September 21, 1952. It was in 1968 that Anneliese began to suffer from seizures. A neurologist at the Psychiatric Clinic Wurzburg diagnosed her with "Grand Mal" epilepsy.
The attacks worsened and she became depressed and was admitted to the hospital for treatments. The treatments did not seem to help, however.
Anneliese experienced hallucinations while she prayed, which she did devoutly, and soon began to hear voices. Dates differ a bit in different articles, but around 1970 she was certain that demons were the cause of her troubles and not a medical illness.
There are some discrepancies on how or why she came to this conclusion. It's mentioned that she was told by others that she was possessed by demons and wasn't in fact epileptic; one account mentions a priest, another account says it was an old woman.
She told doctors about the demons and that they were beginning to tell her what to do. Doctors didn't seem to be able to help her with this and that was when she lost hope that medicine would be able to cure her. After 10 months she gave up on medical help and left the hospital. She did continue her medication, however.
When she left the hospital she was able to return to school but the episodes continued and gradually became more pronounced.
By the summer of 1973 her parents began to petition the Catholic Church for an exorcism. They were consistently turned down and told to continue with medical help.
At one point her parents were informed that in order for an exorcism to be performed certain criteria would have to be present. The possessed must show an aversion to religious objects, speaking in a language the person isn't familiar with, and demonstrate supernatural powers.
By 1974 the criteria manifested.
Pastor Ernst Alt had begun to watch the girl. When Annilease Michel began to eat spiders and coal and lap up her own urine. She destroyed any religious pictures she could get near, tore apart her rosary and broke crucifixes. As all the criteria had presented itself the pastor petitioned the church again.
After being initially turned down, Pastor Alt did receive permission to perform an exorcism in 1975.
The church assigned two priests to the case Father Arnold Renz and Pastor Ernst Alt. They performed exorcisms on Anneliese Michel for the next 10 months. Approximately 60 – 67 exorcisms were performed during that time – all to no avail.
During this time Anneliese ate very little or nothing at all. The attacks did not diminish, at times becoming worse. She was often held down or chained due to their violent nature. Her knees ruptured from doing over 600 genuflexions, when she could no longer do them herself, her parents helped her.
It was determined that she was possessed by 6 or more demons - Lucifer, Judas Iscariot, Nero, Cain, and Fleischmann. Though there is some doubt, Hitler was also mentioned as having possessed her.
There were photographs and 40 audio tapes made of the exorcisms to preserve the details though very few have been released.
On June 30th, 1976, the last exorcism was performed. Anneliese had contracted pneumonia and was emaciated to the point of starvation. She told the priests that conducted the exorcism "Beg for absolution". Her final words to her mother were a heart wrenching "Mother, I'm afraid."
Anneliese Michel died on July 1, 1976 – 10 months after the exorcisms were started. The official coroner's report stated her death as "starvation".
Continue with what happened to Anneliese Michel – Emily Rose.
There were two movies made based on the events:
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