June 22, 1959 – Linda Blair born. Linda Blair is the actress who played the demonically possessed girl Regan in the 1973 movie The Exorcist.
The originally book The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty was based on the true story of Robbie Mannheim who experienced an exorcism in 1949. While Robbie Mannheim is the young man’s real named, the Catholic Church used the pseudonym Roland Doe.
Examining Robbie’s early childhood, the clergy found that Robbie was an only child and spent much of his time around adults. He frequently spent time with his Aunt Harriet who was a spiritualist and introduced him to the Ouija board. When Robbie turned 13 his Aunt Harriet passed away and it is speculated that Robbie tried to contact his aunt using the Ouija board which eventually led to his demon possession.
Poltergeist activity ensued following Aunt Harriet’s death but specifically centered around Robbie. Several clergy members attempted to help Robbie but it was ultimately Rev. Walter Halloran and Rev. William S. Bolden who successfully exorcised the demon. Overall, it took 30 tries over a two month period, but when it left, the priests claim there was a large thunderclap sound within the room.
It is not surprisingly that much of what occurred during the exorcisms is disputed. Some question the details or the plausibility of some of the events. Regardless of the dissention surrounding details, a psychiatric illness cannot be ruled out.
What did you think of the movie The Exorcist? Did it scare you?