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.

Full story

Advertisement

Colfax Ghost Town

Remains of the schoolhouse/church

When one talks of ghost towns, they usually aren’t referring to a town that’s haunted, but rather an abandoned town somewhere in the West. A town whose glory and population peaked with the gold and silver rushes of the late 19th century, though there were many whose rise and fall had little to do with these precious metals. Colfax, New Mexico happens to be a town which actually fits both descriptions.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

The Lemp Mansion

Unarguably, Anheuser-Busch put St Louis, Missouri on the map, so to speak, when it advertised the city as its home. It’s no surprise, then, that St Louis is the home to the first brewing company in the United States: Lemp Brewing. It is also home to the largest mercantile mystery the city has ever experienced which has led to Lemp Mansion being considered one of the most haunted homes in America.

Continue reading