St. Louis July 28, 2017
by Sherrie Runge This Disturbing Event In St. Louis Is So Creepy It Inspired A Movie
Many people have heard the story of the exorcism of 1949 at Alexian Brothers Hospital on South Broadway. This real life horror story was turned into one of the best horror films in history. Have you ever wondered what the real story is behind the exorcism and how much of what you heard is true?
The only person believed to still be alive is the boy behind the exorcism. He is now an old man and has remained incognito his entire life, never stepping forward to tell his story in person. However, there are written accounts and diaries of priests that detail the entire ordeal. Here’s what we know about this disturbing event in St. Louis history that was so creepy it inspired a movie:
The blockbuster movie "The Exorcist" came out on December 26, 1973.
It was a hit. "The Exorcist" was the first horror film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. It earned 10 Oscar nominations in 1974, including Linda Blair for Best Supporting Actress. However, there were some very bizarre problems on the movie set when creating the film, leading people to believe the set was cursed. A priest was brought in to bless the cast, crew, and set. By the time the film was finished, nine people responsible for the film's production were dead.
The movie terrified the entire nation.
What most don't know is that while the movie portrayed a young girl, it was in fact a 13 year old boy who was the victim of possession. The boy's name was never revealed and his identity is one of the nation's best kept secrets. The alias "Roland Doe" is used to identify him.
The events leading up to the exorcism started in Maryland. Roland allegedly hung out with his Aunt who was a spiritualist and she taught him how to use an Ouija board. She died in St. Louis and this is apparently when things started to go wrong for Roland. It is said that "LOUIS" was carved into the boy's stomach in raised letters. This prompted his parents to travel to St. Louis and stay with family in an ongoing effort to find out what was wrong with their son.
The house in St. Louis where the boy and his family went to stay is in Bel Noir.
After coming to St. Louis with his family, Roland's demonic possession became more intense including shaking beds, word carvings in the boy's skin, noises, and all sorts of weird occurrences. The family reached out to St. Louis University Hospital and it is said they moved the boy to the Rectory of the St. Francis Xavier College Church on SLU's campus.
Very quickly however, he was moved to Alexian Brothers Hospital psychiatric ward on South Broadway. This is where most of the final rites of exorcism were performed. It took a total of four weeks to rid Roland of his demonic possession. When the boy was finally freed from Satan, he returned to Maryland and it's said he lived a great life, was married, and had children. Reports say Roland had little or no memory of the possession.
After the exorcism was successfully completed, a priest locked the door to the room where the exorcism took place and ordered that it never be opened again.
Hospital staff members tell stories of strange occurrences during the weeks of exorcism rituals. They say there were loud noises and names being yelled down corridors, horrible odors, and a significant cold air in the room. Other reports say there were recurring electrical problems on the floor. Eventually, the entire floor was shut down.
Before the wing was demolished, a priest unlocked the room so a construction crew could remove the furniture. The nightstand contained what appeared to be a diary dated April 29, 1949. The diary was turned over to the hospital. It is unclear where the furniture went.
One story states the furniture was sold to a nearby nursing home. Other accounts detail the priest ordered crews to lock it in a crate and put it in the basement of the church, where some believe it still remains.
Crews that razed the hospital claimed they encountered all kinds of difficulties at the job site. They even said they had an extremely hard time controlling the wrecking ball and at one point hit the new building with it.
Today there is a parking lot where the hospital of the exorcism once stood. The parking lot continues to display recurring cracks in the location directly under what was once the room where the demon was exorcised.
The Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures" team broadcast from the house in Bel Noir and attempted to contact the demonic spirit that was trapped inside Roland's body.
The 100th episode was broadcast live from Roland's old room. The team heard voices, experienced temperature changes, and actually spoke directly to the demon. They also experienced physical attacks from the demonic presence. Also, a priest who was supposed to be in the 100th episode became very ill on the way to the house the night of the broadcast and had to go directly to the hospital. He missed the show.
What are your thoughts on this authentic horror story originating from your hometown? We’d love to know in our comments.
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