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WATCH: Jesuit priest talks about real-life exorcism


1949 case was inspiration for novel and film "The Exorcist"

The late Fr. Herbert J. Ryan, S.J., from Loyola Marymount University talks about the 1949 exorcism of a young man in St. Louis whose case inspired the novel by William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist. Fr. Ryan served as a consultant on the film The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

In 1949 a young man began to show signs of demonic possession in his Maryland home. An inexperienced local priest tried to conduct an exorcism at Georgetown University Hospital, with disastrous consequences. The young man was sent to St. Louis where he had family ties, and where Jesuit priests successfully conducted an exorcism over the period of two months.

A St. Louis Public Radio report provides documentation for the events Fr. Ryan discusses.

And read this fascinating article, which Jesuit priest and author Fr. James Martin tweeted about recently: “Wow. Didn’t know these inside-Jesuit stories were public now. The true story behind The Exorcist case in St. Louis.”

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