Exorcism… You hear about it in the movies. It’s a huge theme actually. You have the movies Possession, Oculus, Exorcismus, Stigmata and of course the most well known movie out there, The Exorcism. I’m actually not a huge fan. They just creep me out something fierce. But I went on a horror movie binge when visiting my daughter a while back. One movie, though, I watched with her, I have to admit had me at the end of me seat and that was Deliver Us From Evil with Eric Bana. Watching it just because of Eric Bana is reason enough. He looks DARN good in this movie. His acting is darn good too.
The movie was actually from a non-fiction book called Beware the Night and was marketed as being inspired by actual accounts.
There seems to be a lot of horror movies that are based on or inspired by actual events. The most famous one is The Exorcist, which was based on a case in Iowa. It’s reported that it was the last sanctioned exorcism done by the Catholic Church, yet the book, American Exorcism, states their are approximately 10 exorcists in the Catholic church every given year.
The exorcism case was on Anna Ecklund, who resided a fair distance from Earling, Iowa, and was reported as being possessed. The exorcism was conducted in 1928.00Much of what is known about the possession and exorcism of Anna Ecklund is from the published pamphlet by Father Carl Vogl. Vogl was granted total access to everyone involved in the case. The title is called ‘Satan Begone’. The actually pamphlet is available on the Internet and was translated to English.
“It gradually became evident that strange preternatural powers were at play. The woman understood languages which she had never heard nor read. When the priest spoke the language of the Church and blessed her in the Latin tongue, she sensed and understood it at once, and at the same time foamed at the mouth and became enraged about it. When he continued in classical Latin, she regained her former ease. She was conscious at once when some one gave her articles sprinkled with holy water or presented her with things secretly blessed, whereas ordinary secular objects would leave her perfectly indifferent.” This is just a bit of the case. It does seem fascinating, but multiple personality disorder was unheard of at the time and mental disorders were not something freely talked about. But at the same time, it’s hard to explain away the paragraph below with mental illness…
“This ugly bellowing and howling took place every day and at times it lasted for hours. At other times it sounded as though a horde of lions and hyenas were let loose, then again as the mewing of cats, the bellowing of cattle and the barking of dogs. A complete uproar of different animal noises would also resound. This was at first so taxing on the nerves of those present that the twelve nuns were forced to take turns at assisting in order to save themselves and to have the necessary strength to continue facing the siege.”
“It was on the twenty-third day of December, 1928, in the evening about nine
o’clock that, with a sudden jerk of lightning speed the possessed woman broke from the grip of her protectors and stood erect before them. Only her heels were touching the bed. At first sight it appeared as if she were to be hurled up to the ceiling.”
It’s a fascinating case. Rosemary Ellen Guiley wrote about the case in the book, ‘The Encyclopedia of Demons & Demonology’. Sounds like a great research book…
I talk a little more on exorcism and entity possession on my blog. Feel free to drop by.