The Exorcist crazy fan theory: Did Pazuzu stalk Father Karras?


The Exorcist is one of the most disturbing horror films ever made. However, it gets even more terrifying if you buy into the theory that Pazuzu was stalking Father Karras.

The Exorcist: Last Resort

The Exorcist is one of those movies that invariably makes the top 10 horror films of all-time list for most fans of the genre. There is nothing more terrifying than demonic possession. Losing control of oneself is the ultimate scary experience because it could result in death.

Regan MacNeill (Linda Blair) is your typical pre-teen girl. On the precipice of puberty, she is an innocent and therefore easy prey for a powerful entity like Pazuzu. As with any “courtship,” he must lure her in under the guise of being something that she desperately needs, a friend.

The devil’s minion seizes the opportunity when Regan starts fooling around with a Ouija board opening a portal for Pazuzu to waltz right into her world. And man, does he ever!

As their relationship intensifies, we are horrified as the sweet young lady transforms into a hideous creature capable of foul-mouthed tirades and unspeakable acts with religious artifacts. Although her mother, Chris (Ellen Burstyn) wants to believe that there is a rational explanation for what is happening to her daughter, medical science is stymied as to what is ailing her.

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Enter Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) and Father Karras (Jason Miller). Faith is always a last resort to turn to in matters of life and death. Clearly, Regan is in a fight for her very soul.

Then again, so is Father Karras. He is a twin flame to the young child he is trying to save. Reeling from the loss of his beloved mother and questioning his vocation, he is probably not the best candidate to help assist in an exorcism.

And yet, maybe he actually is the right man for the job. He has nothing to lose.

What a Fan Believes

William Friedkin’s glorious masterpiece has been criticized and dissected for over 4 decades. So much so that now fan theories have emerged. One in particular, caught my eye.

According to Grunge, Pazuzu (a.k.a. Regan’s imaginary buddy, Captain Howdy) has in fact, been lying in wait for Damien Karras. This insight comes to us from Reddit user Hendricks47.

Basically, the idea is that the demon actually keeps tabs on Karras by employing a minion to appear as a homeless man. The priest flashes back to seeing this person in the subway when he is engaging Pazuzu with Regan as the conduit.

Pazuzu demonstrates his ability to mimic people. He showcases this “gift” when he asks Karras for money, just like his demonic spy did in real life. Then it gets even more harrowing for Damien. The entity proves that he was in fact, with Karras’ mother while she was dying.

This is the ultimate infraction. A private moment is hijacked and capitalized upon when Pazuzu senses that the priest is at his breaking point. Did the demon know he was going to face off against Karras? Was he doing reconnaissance on his opponent?

By using Damien’s mother’s disappointment against him is a well-played move and makes the entity seem omnipotent because of the intel he gets from his minion. Just the notion that our lives can be impacted by otherworldly and unseen forces is truly chilling.

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Ultimately, Karras sacrifices himself so that Regan can live and perhaps that was Pazuzu’s intent all along. We may never know but nonetheless, frightening to think that evil lurks all around us and can strike at any moment.

What do you think of this fan theory for The Exorcist? Is it plausible? Let us know in the comments. We want to hear from you.