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The "True" Story of Emily Rose

Anneliese Michel
Anneliese Michel - The Real Life Emily Rose
The Real Life "Emily Rose"

Anneliese Michel was a 24 years old college student attending West Germany's University of Würzburg when she died.  Autopsy results show her cause of death as malnutrition and dehydration.  These are the reported accounts leading to her death and supposed posession.


Growing up with a seemingly normal childhood, Anneliese began experiencing events that would eventually bring an end to her young life.  It started while Aneliese was still in high school.  She began having uncontrolled convulsions that were diagnosed by doctors as Grand Mal seizures caused by epilepsy.  Medication did not appear to benefit her condition as things only became increasingly worse.  It was reported that she began seeing "demon" faces in her everyday life.  After realizing the prescribed treatments were ineffective, her parents whom where devout Catholics, began seeking help through the church.  Their requests for exorcism were denied multiple times over the years before one priest, Father Renz, was assigned to perform the "Great Exorcism of Aneliese Michele". 


As a devout catholic, during this time of waiting Aneliese attempted to maintain her religious beliefs, literally holding on to them for dear life, as she would at times attack family members, urinate on the floor, and eat insects with intermittent moments of clarity.  She would endure the Rights of Exorcism twice a week until her death.  There were times during this period, which lasted from September 1975 to July 1976, where she would experience a normal life, continuing her education and attending church services.  However, in the spring of '76 her condition grew worse and she began refusing food and drink stating that the demons would not let her eat, in addition she began self mutilation.  Her convulsions also became more severe and medical services were not requested by her family.  Eventually the malnutrition and dehydration took it's toll on her weakened body and she died July 1, 1976.  Her final words were "Beg for Absolution" to the exorcists. To her mother, she said, "Mother, I'm afraid."


The local prosecutor began an extensive investigation in to her death.  At the trial Father Renz claimed that several evil spirits were recorded on the audio tapes to include: Lucifer, Nero, Judas, Cain and Adolf Hitler.  Once the trial concluded Aneleise's parents and the exorcist were found guilty of manslaughter by negligence for not seeking medical assistance.


In today's society we have much more advance knowledge of human psychosis, does this mean that Aneliese was just a troubled young girl who needed psychological help or was she truely the object of possession?


Either of these could be true depending on your personal beliefs.  A few facts do remain though, Aneliese should have been committed to a hospital for her physical well being, this would have prevented the malnutrition and dehydration.  Another fact is that whatever she was experiencing....she believed it to be true possession although there are no records of any "paranormal activity" surrounding her.
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September 6, 1976 Time Magazine Archived Article

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