To most of us, The Exorcist is a book that was made into a movie with several sequels, and reimagining’s. But did you know that there was inspiration behind the book and movies? In the 1940’s a 14 year old boy, known only as Roland Doe, was believed to have suffered from demonic possession and exorcisms were performed to cure him. And this all happened in an unassuming house in St. Louis, Missouri USA.
How did it all start? This all started in Maryland, USA. It’s believed that young Roland attempted to contact his deceased aunt using a Ouija board, and family members and medical staff believed he became possessed by a demon from the use of the board. The activity experienced that continued to escalate included; furniture moving on it’s own, levitating objects, and physical scratches on Roland’s body.
The family, and doctors they went to, could find no explanation for the behavior and physical marks on his body. Nine priests and thirty-nine witnesses, signed the ecclesiastical papers documenting Roland’s experience. The family turned to their Lutheran pastor for guidance. The Lutheran church performed an exorcism on Roland.
When the first exorcism failed to cure him, Roland was referred to the Catholic church, where another exorcism was started, but never completed. During the exorcism, Roland inflicted wounds on the priest that required stitches. Because of this the ritual was not completed and Roland was released to his family.
Desperate, the family took the train to St. Louis to be closer to family. While there, one of Roland’s cousins contacted the Catholic church to visit the boy and noticed his aversion to anything sacred. They then contacted the archbishop to perform the exorcism ritual which was granted with the requirement a detailed diary was kept.
The exorcism ritual was performed thirty times over several weeks. When the final exorcism was completed, it was reported that a loud noise went off. After this, the family was no longer troubled, Roland became a successful, happily married man, father, and grandfather.
The house remains standing and is currently a private residence located at 8435 Roanoke Drive in Bel Nor, a suburb of St. Louis. The house has been the subject for years about whether or not it is haunted. Not much has been said on the subject and no other hauntings have been reported, however the niece of one of the priests who performed the exorcism, will not go anywhere near the home.
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