Many of you are familiar with the story of Anneliese Michel, a young Bavarian woman who was the victim of one of the only documented 'real' cases of demonic possession. Anneliese was a devout German Catholic, carrying the burden of all that entails. To offer penance for others, she was known to inflict discomfort, if not outright suffering, on herself. Then, at the age of 17, she started to suffer from convulsions and hear voices. To make a bad situation worse, the epilepsy and obvious mental illness were exacerbated by her own dogma. Then things got weird.

Annaliese began to run around naked, eat spiders, and drink her own urine. It was the 70's in rural Germany, so naturally, demonic possession was blamed. Anneliese, in her own dementia, bought the theory hook, line, and sinker. She attributed her ills to the shenanigans of a handful of demons, with such luminaries as Judas, Nero, Cain, Hitler, and of course, Lucifer himself. So things were getting kind of crowded in there.

Her desperate family opted to forsake psychiatric and medical treatment. Instead, they relied on a series of no less than sixty-seven exorcisms to heal Annaliese. This regimen took place over 10 months under the guidance of Father Arnold Renz and Pastor Ernst Alt, with the explicit permission of the bishop of Wurzberg. Annaliese also refused to eat, hoping that it would rid her of Satan's influence. As is wont to happen when you don't eat, Annaliese died. The official cause of death was malnutrition and dehydration. Both of the holy men, along with Annaliese's parents, were convicted of negligent homicide.

Click past the jump to hear the audio. It's incredibly sad, but more than a little spooky.



It bears mentioning that the pinnacle of Annaliese's problems took place right after the hysteria of 'the Exorcist' gripped Germany. While it's hard to believe that the noises in the audio clip came out of a human mouth, you don't have to be Kolchak to put two and two together.

Decades later brought us the dramatization of the story in the form of 'the Exorcism of Emily Rose'.