The Disturbing Exorcisms and Death of Anneliese Michel:
Anneliese Michel was believed to have been possessed by demons from 1968 right up to her death in 1976, ages sixteen to twenty-three.
Raised in a religious family, she was diagnosed with epilepsy in her high school years, but continued studying to become a teacher despite the ineffectiveness of medication for her condition.
Over time, Anneliese Michel complained of seeing disturbing visions while saying her prayers. Later, evil voices giving her commands followed. Finally, Anneliese began showing an aversion to religious iconography. An older woman, a friend of the Michel family, noticed this while on a pilgrimage with Anneliese. She said that Anneliese smelled “hellishly bad” and took her to see some priests. Many of them said Anneliese needed a doctor. However, one eventually said Anneliese needed an exorcism and an exorcism was eventually granted.
She claimed to be posessed by Judas, Nero, Hitler, Cain, Lucifer and others, and was reported to have spoken in languages Annalise herself didn’t know while controlled by these spirits. Her symptoms persisted through 67 exorcisms, and she exhibited strange behaviours like urinating on the floor and licking it up, hiding under tables and barking, and eating insects, before dying of malnutrition and dehydration, weighing 68 pounds.
Anneliese Michel died of dehydration and malnutrition on July 1, 1976, after her parents left her barking underneath a table for two days. Josef Michel (her father), Anna Michel (her Mother) and the two exorcists were eventually charged with negligent homicide.
During the trial, evidence of the possession worked both for and against the defense. Forty-two of the exorcisms were audio-recorded and there were various pictures of a seriously ill-looking, bruised and sore-covered Anneliese. Anneliese is horrifying in these tapes which works for the defense that she was possessed, but is certainly not conclusive. If nothing else, the tapes made it clear that Anneliese was seriously ill and no one was making her eat. It is certain that possessed or not, Anneliese should have been cared for better.
The Audio Tapes can be viewed here. It must be noted, the video in the link is quite disturbing.