9. The Exorcism of Emily Rose
The Exorcism of Emily Rose was half courtroom drama, half horror movie. It focused on the legal proceedings of the state attempting to convict a priest of negligent homicide after a young woman died during an exorcism he was performing.
The True Story:
Emily Rose was based on a woman named Anneliese Michel. Anneliese was a Catholic woman from Germany, she was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy at the age of sixteen. Soon after that, she became severely depressed and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Anneliese was also suicidal and intolerant of religious figures and objects.
Her family was convinced that she was possessed and called upon a Catholic priest, asking for an exorcism. Their request was rejected at first, two years later, however, two priests gained permission from a local bishop to perform the ceremony. There were 67 exorcism sessions in all, lasting up to four hours a session, from 1975-1976. All the while Anneliese would say things like she was, “dying to atone for the wayward youth of the day and the apostate priests of the modern church.” Anneliese died on July 1, 1976 from malnutrition and dehydration, she weighed only 68 pounds, she suffered from pneumonia, and both her knees were broken.
The priests were each sentenced to six months in jail for negligence and abuse.