10 Movies Based on Terrifying Real-Life Cases of Demonic Possession


The Exorcist

William Friedkin’s 1973 horror classic The Exorcist, inspired by William Peter Blatty’s novel of the same name, remains one of the most frightening films ever put to screen. The supernatural events in the story hailed from a real-life case of demonic possession in the late 1940s, centered on a boy (unlike the girl, played by Linda Blair, in the film) named Roland Doe (also known as Robbie Mannheim). Doe’s aunt was a spiritualist, and it’s believed she introduced him to a Ouija board when he was a teenager. Demonic activity started when Doe’s aunt died, and the family started to report strange noises and objects levitating. The Lutheran church performed an exorcism, but things only seemed to get worse. Doe seemed to develop an aversion to sacred objects and holy water, and spoke in a demonic voice. Disturbing writings appeared on his body. Several exorcisms later, Doe came under the care of a Roman Catholic priest at Georgetown University Hospital. It was a violent battle, leaving one priest with a broken nose and the other with a wound from a mattress bedspring. The ritual was repeated 30 times, which seemed to free Doe from the demons. It’s said he went on to live a normal and happy life, but skeptics started to dig into the wild claims. Some parties involved with Doe’s case admitted facts might have been embellished. Several investigators insisted Doe was simply disturbed.