Exorcism of 1949 continues to fascinate St. Louis

ExorcistThe real story behind the book and 1973 horror film: The Exorcist

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Saint Louis University junior Zach Grummer-Strawn has never seen “The Exorcist,” the 1973 horror film considered one of the finest examples of unadulterated cinematic terror. He’s only vaguely familiar with the monthlong 1949 demon-purging ritual at his school that inspired William Peter Blatty’s novel and later the movie.

But just in time for Halloween, Jesuit scholars have joined a whole new generation of horror buffs in St. Louis to recount the supernatural incident. The university hosted a panel discussion Tuesday on the exorcism, which involved the treatment of an unidentified suburban Washington, D.C., boy. About 500 people crammed into Pius XII Library, with some spilling into the library aisles, leaning against pillars or sitting on desks.

“I’d like to believe it’s the real thing,” said Grummer-Strawn, a theology and sociology student from Atlanta. “But you just can’t know. That’s part of why we’re here. It’s the pursuit of truth. And it’s such a great story.”

The university scholars and guest speaker Thomas Allen, author of a 1993 account of the events at the school’s former Alexian Brothers Hospital, emphasized that definitive proof that the boy known only as “Robbie” was possessed by malevolent spirits is unattainable. Maybe he instead suffered from mental illness or sexual abuse — or fabricated the entire experience.

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Haunted Hotels

While each of these places is probably already booked for this year, we decided to list them anyway so you can start making your spooky plans for next year. If you happen to have luck with any of these for this year, please leave a comment here and tell us of your experience. Some of these places were written about in previous months, so if you look over on the right side of the screen and click on the category called ‘haunted lodgings’ you’ll find out what’s in store for your stay.
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For A Helping Hand…..

We would like to take a minute from our regularly scheduled blogging to offer our support and to send positive energies for the people who have been affected by the severe tornadoes, in particular those living in Joplin, Missouri. The devastation there is terrible and we can only hope the relief is given quickly to these people who have lost everything.

Here is some information for anyone who is able to assist in any way. Special thanks to Debunk Paranormal for gathering this information.

Our thoughts are with all of those affected. Stay safe.

We would encourage all who can to donate to the Tornado Relief Effort. There are many ways in which you can provide support, no matter how small.

The American Red Cross is providing food, shelter and emotional support in Missouri, Minnesota and other parts of the Midwest.

To make a donation to the American Red Cross’ Disaster Relief, visit its online donation page. Once there you can enter the zip code for Joplin, 64801, to make sure that the money will be directed to their local Joplin chapter.

You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013.

World Vision teams are heading to Joplin, Mo., and northern Minneapolis, Minn., to assess the tornado damage. World Vision focuses on aiding children and is providing hygiene kits, cleaning supplies and other relief and building items.

To donate $10, text the word “TORNADO” to 20222 or call 888-56-CHILD .

To donate to the United Way, call 417-624-0153.

The Salvation Army’s emergency disaster services teams are helping to feed residents and first responders in Joplin; Reading, Kan.; and parts of Minnesota affected by the storms.

To donate to the The Salvation Army’s efforts, visit http://www.salvationarmyusa.org and click on the donation page.

You can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and donors can text “JOPLIN” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. And you can mail a donation to Joplin Tornado Relief, The Salvation Army, 3637 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. 64111

To Help and Find Relatives

The American Red Cross’ Safe and Well website helps friends and family connect with those in devastated areas.

On Facebook, several pages have been created to assist concerned relatives in finding loved ones and getting information on how to help: Help Joplin and Joplin, Mo., Tornado Recovery.

Missouri residents with medical skills who want to help, can go to ShowMeResponse.org.

If you are interested in reading the latest Murderous May story, please look at the drop down list under ‘Other Hours’ and click on May.