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The Disturbing Exorcisms and Death of Anneliese Michel

Anneliese Healthy and Young vs. Anneliese Close to Death

Anneliese Michel was born in Germany on September 21, 1952. She grew up in a devoutly, somewhat extreme, Catholic family. Pictures of her taken in her childhood show a vibrant, pretty girl on her way to becoming a gorgeous woman. She had shining black hair, an open, honest face and a stunning smile. By the time she was 23-years-old, she was emaciated, heavily bruised, scarred and deranged. She was supposedly taken over by demons and fought for nearly eight years before finally losing her battle with evil. Later, her death was labeled negligent homicide, but was there anything anyone could have done for Anneliese Michel? Were those who were with Anneliese really fighting Satan?

Four years before Anneliese was born, her mother, Anna Michel gave birth to an illegitimate daughter. This was a source of shame for the Catholic family. After she married and gave birth to Anneliese, she apparently harbored feelings of guilt about her first daughter. Unfortunately, Anneliese’s older sister died at the age of eight, but Anneliese reportedly felt like she needed to repent for her mother’s sin. She supposedly spent much of her time doing penance for her mother, sinful youth and bad priests.

Anneliese’s supposed symptoms of possession began in 1968. Anneliese was a 16-year-old high school student. The symptoms were convulsions and they were eventually diagnosed as epilepsy by a neurologist. Anneliese Michel took medicine for her condition and continued her life to the best of her ability. She finished high school and went on to college, where she studied to become a teacher. Apparently, the medicine was not helping her much. Her problems only got worse.

Over time, Anneliese Michel complained of seeing disturbing visions while saying her prayers. Later, evil voices giving her commands followed. Finally, Anneliese began showing an aversion to religious iconography. An older woman, a friend of the Michel family, noticed this while on a pilgrimage with Anneliese. She said that Anneliese smelled “hellishly bad” and took her to see some priests. Many of them said Anneliese needed a doctor. However, one eventually said Anneliese needed an exorcism and an exorcism was eventually granted.

In 1975, Anneliese Michel and her parents stopped seeking medical advice and gave over Anneliese’s fate to the Roman exorcism ritual. Anneliese, the priests and her parents truly believed she was possessed. Anneliese Michel herself said that Judas, Nero, Hitler, Cain, Lucifer and others were inside of her. Over the next ten months, Father Arnold Renz and Pastor Ernst Alt performed 67 exorcisms for the tormented girl. It is important to note that every action taken during these rituals was condoned by Anneliese.

Sometimes, the seriously ill Anneliese would perform hundreds of genuflections during these rituals. It is rumored that her parents held her up for them when she got too weak to do it herself. It is not hard to imagine this being necessary, given that Anneliese stopped eating altogether for some time before she died. She believed it would lessen the evil’s control over her. There are claims that Anneliese spoke several different languages (or the demons and evil souls that possessed her did) during the exorcisms. The author of this article cannot verify such claims, as she does not speak the languages Anneliese supposedly spoke in the tapes.

It is certain that medicine was not saving Anneliese Michel from whatever tormented her, but there is no questioning that things got worse for her when she gave herself over to exorcism. She allegedly urinated and defecated on the floor frequently, also licking up her own urine. She ate insects, growled at religious icons and sat under her kitchen table barking for two days. Surely, her family was afraid of her, but a medical professional probably would not have left her under the table for two days or let her starve to death, which is eventually what she did.

Anneliese Michel died of dehydration and malnutrition on July 1, 1976. The 23-year-old woman weighed 68 pounds at the time of her death. Josef Michel (her father), Anna Michel and the two exorcists were eventually charged with negligent homicide. During the trial, evidence of the possession worked both for and against the defense. Forty-two of the exorcisms were audio-recorded and there were various pictures of a seriously ill-looking, bruised and sore-covered Anneliese. Anneliese is horrifying in these tapes which works for the defense that she was possessed, but is certainly not conclusive. If nothing else, the tapes made it clear that Anneliese was seriously ill and no one was making her eat. It is certain that possessed or not, Anneliese should have been cared for better.

There is no way to prove or disprove supernatural occurrences, such as exorcisms. That makes it difficult to know what really happened to Ms. Michel. However, it is possible to prove that there is some evidence that epileptics are at an increased risk of displaying symptoms of schizophrenia and it is has been posited that Michel suffered from dissociative personality disorder and schizophrenia. That, combined with her religious background, could easily account for the events leading to her death, but one can never be certain, of course.

Warning: The video below is very disturbing

Sources
Questioning the Story, retrieved 4/8/11, chasingthefrog.com/reelfaces/emilyrose.php
Slater, Eliot & Beard A.W., The Schizophrenia-like Psychology of Epilepsy, retrieved 4/8/11, bjp.rcpsych.org

About Shelly Barclay

Shelly Barclay writes on a variety of topics from animal facts to mysteries in history. Her main focus is military and political history. She is a writer for the Boston History Examiner, Military History Examiner and the Boston American Revolution History Examiner. She also writes for a local historical society newsletter. Shelly was a professional cook for 10 years and still has a passion for food. She cooks and writes about cooking nearly every day. She produces a wide variety of content, on top of her niches. Shelly is a stepmother, a former military, current veteran wife, sister of four and aunt of seven (so far).

53 comments

  1. I am agree that this story is completely real and that girl was demonically possessed, I belong to a Christian family , I am also agree that she needed complete medical treatment, but all of the people who realy think that this girl is SAINT OR SHE WAS BELIEVER , its a BULSHIT and its from SATAN, "I WOULD LIKE TO REQUEST MY ROMAN CATHOLIC BROTHERS AND SISTERS OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS WHO IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD, JESUS IS THE ONLY 1 WHO WAS CHOSEN TO CARRY THE SINS OF THIS WORLD ,NOT Anneliese Michel, WHY YOU GUYS FORCING PEOPLE TO BELIEVE THAT DEMONS ARE REAL, WHAT IS PURPOSE OF THAT OLD AUDIO RECORDING, WORLD IS ALREADY FED UP WITH KIND OF SCARY STORIES, NOBODY NEEDS TO KNOW THAT DEMONS ARE REAL OR NOT, JESUS CAME TO SAVE AND DELIVER US WITH HIS GREAT AND EVERLASTING LOVE, THIS IS THE TRUTH THAT THAY MUST HEAR AND EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF HIS GREAT LOVE,

  2. Poor girl, one more girl died without proper care & medical help. She was so helpless and clueless that why her parents not helping her by medical treatment? Instead of they bring her in front of this idiots with vulgar clothes & cross in hand annoying her by their stupidity. Anyone can scream like her if this happened to them. She spoke unknown language? Because she can understand even if she talk them nice n their language this idiot not going to help her. Her screams was because of her helpless position. Her illness & without proper help incoming death.

  3. I don't see how a person can scream like that. It sounds as if 3 people are screaming like some crazy demon chorus.

  4. Kathleen Brown DiMascio How do you know what schizophrenia sounds like? Are you an expert? Are you aware that there are varying degrees of mental illnesses? This isn't a call for religious enlightenment to me, this is a call for learning more about mental illnesses.

  5. Sounds like schizophrenia. Poor girl.

  6. Remember she sought out for this help herself it wasn't forced upon her

  7. Every one has there own beliefs and religious back round and there is no one who can prove this was fake or real but it's what she died believeing and people should respect that not trash it when she believed so true heartdedly she died with that. Rest in peace and I know her soul no longer lies in torment

  8. The video and all subsequent material is evidence of one thing only, the abuse, torment, and murder by neglect committed by this family and the catholic church.

  9. Nobody has ever been "possessed" by "demons" as they do not exist. As for your question, cases with women were the only ones publicized by the catholic church as people would be more sympathetic,that made it easier to convince the religious and avoid responsibility for crimes like this…

  10. This video is really tough to listen to. My heart breaks for this girl.

  11. Organized religion is the leading killer of mankind. Perfect example of its brainwashing and distorting reality capabilities. And, no, I am not an Atheist just against anything that would cause people to do horrific things like this. Very sad.

  12. Because men fear and hate women and must fabricate ways to claim that we are evil and tat we must be tortured, abused, and destroyed.

  13. How the first daughter died is very vital.Could be, the mother and the step dad had a hand in the death of the illegitimate child,and her soul did not rest till they (couple) suffer.

  14. Ironically, if she had have left it open to interpretation people would be complaining about how she failed to leave out important facts etc.

    Not everybody writes according to your needs, and not every single thing you read on the internet needs to abide by these standards which you have just made up.

    This is a historic mysteries website and dude, scientific input such as her's is necessary. You're a clown, chill out and just read the article.

  15. This kind of "journalism" makes me angry. It is not the place of the journalist to make judgment calls about what happened or could have been the cause, regardless of the disclaimers attached. We readers are supposed to be left to make up our own minds about what was read, and the subject matter is irrelevant. I don't care what you're personal beliefs are, Ms. Barclay, not one little bit, so let me read the article and make up my own mind. You can go work for Fox news and sway the public's opinion with your bias.

  16. There Is a guy who got possessed the real story of the Exorcist in 1949 was boy William Peter blatty turned the boy into a girl for the book and movie but as for Annalise Michael I believe she was possessed.

  17. why only women get possesed by demon ,,, why not a man? :/

  18. Personally, I do think the woman was ill, schizophrenia, psychosis, etc are probably part of a bigger puzzle. But she looks tortured, and she was tortured. I think something was very wrong with the family as a whole. It is sad if not, a mental illness to be so overly religious that your children suffer for it.

  19. Yep…still have chills. That's terrible

  20. yes, extremely……….schizophrenia? Yea, okay……sounds slightly more evil and extreme that schizophrenia……..I couldn't listen to it all, actually started making me pshyically sick……read the article, then started the video, had to stop……….agree, very disturbing!

  21. Joann Kornacki Moore

    Very disturbing

  22. How did that first daughter die, the one of which they were all so ashamed? I smell a rat…

  23. This is happenin to my girlfriend I am serious please dnt take this as a joke I am so sfreakd out she looks like anneleiesse and a local ghost reader tiold her that she has six demons in her like anneliess the ddate is january 2013 this is messed up I've seen it with own eyes an experienced it an I even have a video this is messed up my gf better be ok

    • im never seen it in real life but i belive in stuff like this a friend told me that she sean it and its not preaty and theres really nothing to do iall im saying is if anything ever happens to me like anneliese please shoot me in the head im not playing

    • If this is still happening hit me up. I’ll do everything I can to help

  24. Athena Misfits Rivera

    I believe she was possessed I believe because of her possession it caused all those illnesses, I don't believe that medication would have done anything for her and I know people are going to read this and say " well that is what you believe." Yet how can you watch that video and read her story and still think it was just a mental illness? Timothy Atwood! Who are you to call ANYONE an ignorant fool?

  25. I can not beleave how such a beautyful lady had to end like that.
    i beave that ghotes spirites and demoneds are true not just because I have seen this video just because I have seen things to.
    this is not to be messed with as you can see the family of anneliesse michel had tryed all that they could do to save her but nothink work out the demoned had eated her away and its a shame that a angel such beautyful as her had to go thew what she did.
    so people please if you have seen this please don't try because its real not fake.

  26. I believe this.

  27. Zelma Marcelo Sagudin

    you really cant tell it.

  28. One of the most heart breaking stories that I have ever read. My daughter had epilepsy and she experienced hallucinations with the first medication they put her on. This was listed on the insert as a possible side effect to that particular medication. Thank goodness I was aware of this, I had them change her medication. The second medicine worked, which she has now been weaned off. She no longer has epilepsy. We will never truly know what happened to this beautiful girl, but let it be a lesson to us all. A neurologist diagnosed her convulsions with her having epilepsy. Her hallucinations could have quite easily have been a side effect to that medicine they gave her. Which makes this whole situation she found herself in, much much worse. She was indeed tormented, you only need to look at her, but not by any internal demons, her tormentors and demons were her family and the church. For crying out loud 67 EXCORCISMS? AND 42 OF THEM WERE AUDIO RECORDED, for whose sick pleasure may I ask? She needed love and reassurance and plenty of it, but look at what they did to her and put her through, SICKENING.
    She finally found her peace, when she left her physical body, for they could torment her no more.

  29. Given the fact that she grew up feeling like she needed to atone for her mother's perceived sins (wonder who put that in her head, hmm?), it's increasingly clear that she suffered from some form of schizophrenia. Before my grandmother underwent electroshock therapy, she would refuse to eat or sleep because she thought God was judging her, and she attempted to have my sisters taken from my mother on account of my mother's depression (which never put my family at any real risk, or I would have done something about it).

  30. I don't know what to believe anymore.

    • Like you think you honestly know whether its possession or a mental illness people like you dont deserve to comment on things

    • That mental illness needs to be treated? That's pretty damned clear and easy to believe.

    • Wow – another ignorant fool. Learn how to research – look up her name and hoax. She had a mental illness. See what others who have the same illness look like and how they can contort their bodies. As you can see, she was raised strict Catholic, and that, combined with her DOCUMENTED mental and physical illness caused all of this. Those jerks should NOT have had their jail sentences suspended. Even the CATHOLIC church knew this was not a case of possession. There has NEVER been nor will there ever BE a case of possession. However, the Catholic Church is calling and they want their 1300's back from you people who believe this is true.

    • those are based on your opinion you dont actually know you just make your opinion on what is easier to believe so who is really the ignorant fool i never said i believed in god but it doesnt mean that he doesnt exist nor the devil either so neither of us actually know so please do the world a favor and shut up.

    • Wow, Mr. Atwood. Nice suit, might I add. Oh, how I envy the pessimist. ''FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE, NO PROOF IS NECESSARY – FOR THOSE WHO DON'T, NO PROOF IS POSSIBLE.' Nothing to argue about, folks. We are ALL entitled to our beliefs.

    • Timothy, being possessed is real. Havent you heard of generational curses?? Truly she was posessed. They called them excorcisms, today they are called Deliverances. Many of us need deliverances because of generational curses. Free masonry in our familys, quija board use, voo doo , tarrot cards , you name it, many ways the demons get into your body.

  31. Regarding the caption “Anneliese healthy and young vs. Anneliese close to death”, it should be corrected. In the “close to death” picture, Anneliese IS dead. That was one of three that the police took when Anna Michel (Anneliese’s mother) informed them of her daughter’s death. Also, the picture is cropped. I saw the complete picture in a documetary and Anneliese was clutching a rosary.

  32. She was obviously completely nuts. He religious fanatical back ground mixed with mental disorder and seizures will make a normal lady do this.

  33. The world would definitely much better w/out these Religions…and WTC buildings is more likely still stands today.

    • which religions would the world be better off without? Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Mormonism. Are there some “better” than others? Which ones are we better off without?

  34. I cannot say that I disagree with you. Religion does certainly have a dark side.

  35. Once again, the evils of religion rear its ugly head. How many others have been tortured, maimed, and even killed in the delusional beliefs brainwashed into them from infancy?

    Most of the problems of the world are, and always have been, caused by religion. For example, Northern Ireland, the Middle East, 9/11, and family planning clinic bombing in the USA. Then there were the crusades, the inquisition, witch burnings, and the dark ages. Get the idea?

    Humanity will never truly be free until the black yoke of religion is lifted by the clear light of truth and rational thinking.

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