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Exorcism of Anneliese Michel

Exorcism of Anneliese Michel


 Demonic Haunting

Ghostwatch Europe
Views: 5,879
Report by: Ghostwatch
"From the very beginning, Anneliese's life was governed by fear."
Report ID: 186

Exorcism of Anneliese Michel

Throughout her short life, Anneliese Michel sought only to atone for the sins of others. As her mother noted in a 2005 interview, “I know that we did the right thing because I saw the sign of Christ in her hands. She was bearing stigmata and that was a sign from God that we should exorcise the demons. She died to save other lost souls, to atone for their sins.”

From the very beginning, Anneliese's life was governed by fear. Her family was deeply religious. Her father had considered training as a priest and three of her aunts were nuns. But the Michels had a secret.

In 1948, Anneliese's mother gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Martha, bringing such disgrace on her family that she was forced to wear a black veil on her wedding day.

When Anneliese was born in 1952, her mother encouraged her to atone for the sins of illegitimacy through fervent devotion. But when Martha was eight, she died from complications arising from an operation to remove a kidney tumour. Anneliese, a kind-hearted and deeply sensitive girl, must have felt ever more strongly the pressure to do penance for her mother.

She found herself increasingly surrounded by evidence of sinfulness and increasingly anxious to be rid of it. While other children in the 1960s were rebelling and testing the limits of their freedom, Anneliese slept on a bare stone floor to atone for the sins of the drug addicts who slept rough at the local train station.

In 1968, aged 17, she began to suffer convulsions. Although initially diagnosed with grand mal epilepsy, she started experiencing devilish hallucinations while praying. By 1973, she was suffering severe depression and considering suicide. Voices in her head told her she was damned. She asked the local priest for exorcism and was twice refused.

But gradually, Anneliese slipped further into the abyss. She would perform 600 genuflections a day, eventually rupturing her knee ligaments. She crawled under a table, barking like a dog for two days. She ate spiders, coal and bit the head off a dead bird. She even licked her own urine off the floor and could be heard through the walls screaming for hours.

Her Parents claimed that while their daughter was possessed, ghosts haunted the house. thick swarms of flies coated the windows, lights mysteriously turned themselves on and off as well as telephone calls from people who claimed they never called. "we lived in a sort of hell" her father said.

In 1975, the family’s third exorcism request met with success, and the rite of exorcism was granted by the Bishop of Wurzburg, Josef Stangl. "I don't regret it," says Anna Michel firmly. "There was no other way."

We shall never know if there was. By this stage, Anneliese had refused further medical intervention from the Psychiatric Clinic Wurzburg. Her symptoms have subsequently been compared to schizophrenia and should have responded to treatment.

Her exorcism was performed by Father Arnold Renz and Pastor Ernst Alt according to the 1614 Rituale Romanum. One or two four-hour sessions a week were held over nine months. They began on September 24, 1975, and at one point managed to rid Anneliese of all but one demon, only to have them all return the next day. On the whole, Michel believed that she had been possessed by more than six demons, including Lucifer, Judas Iscariot, Nero, Cain, Hitler, and a disgraced priest. When questioned about the reason for the possession, the demons replied that she’d been cursed for her mother’s infidelity.

Forty-two hours of the process were recorded and the tapes are said to make terrifying listening. All these spirits would jostle for power of Anneliese’s body, and would communicate from her mouth with barely human growls mingle with throaty gurgles, screamed obscenities and a series of dialogues between each of the demons about the horrors of Hell.

The demonic voices argued with each other, with Hitler saying, “People are stupid as pigs. They think it’s all over after death. It goes on” and Judas saying Hitler was nothing but a “big mouth” who had “no real say” in Hell.

Anneliese would frequently talk about “dying to atone for the wayward youth of the day and the apostate priests of the modern church.”

The sessions often resulted in such brutality that Anneliese would be held down or chained to her chair.

The final exorcism was completed on June 30, 1976. Anneliese, too frail to perform the genuflections herself, was helped by her parents. On the tape, Anneliese speaks for the last time. She tells Renz and Alt to “beg for absolution” then turns her attention to her family. Through tears, Anneliese whispers “Mother, I’m afraid”.

By the spring of 1976, Anneliese was suffering from severe dehydration and malnutrition. Gradually weakened and exhausted to the point of fever and pneumonia, she died on July 1st.

Anneliese was buried on the outer edge of the local cemetery, just beside her half-sister Martha, in an area reserved for suicides or illegitimate children.

After her death, Anneliese’s story became a national sensation in Germany after her parents and the two priests who conducted the exorcism were charged with negligent homicide. The case came to trial on March 30th, 1978, with an intense public interest in the fates of the four defendants. While Father Arnold Renz and Pastor Ernst Alt were represented by a Church-appointed lawyer, Josef and Anna Michel had had to employ their own. During their defense they played a recording of the exorcism to try to justify their actions and their innocence. The two priests were found guilty of manslaughter resulting from negligence and were sentenced to six months in jail (which was later suspended) and three years of probation. The parents were exempted from any punishment as they had “suffered enough,” a criteria for sentencing in German law.

However, Anneliese was still not able to rest in peace. A Carmelite nun from southern Bavaria had a vision of her body being intact in the grave. In 1978 and after receiving word from the nun, the Michels had their daughter's coffin exhumed and replaced with a lined, oak coffin. By all reports, Anneliese's body had decayed just as much as one would expect from any ordinary person, but that hasn’t stopped pilgrims from visiting her grave. Many even consider her an unofficial saint with the ability to save lost souls through her past suffering.

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