Anneliese Michel, a normal young woman in the late 1960s, began to exhibit strange behaviour. This unusual behavior was caused by demonic possession. A possession that finally led to her death.
Anneliese entered the world on September 21, 1952 as an energetic infant girl. Anneliese’s upbringing with her parents and three sisters was not an easy one. Her family was a devout Catholic that flirted with the more serious aspects of the faith. For the Michel family, Vatican II’s reforms were to be disregarded; there was no simple atonement for wrongdoing, and one could not survive solely on atonement for their mistakes. Anneliese would spend the winters sleeping on cold, unyielding floorboards, wishing that God would accept her sacrifice as atonement for faithless drug addicts.
Anneliese would experience her first attack in 1969. Doctors would inform Anneliese’s family that she suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, which could cause, among other adverse effects, mood swings, delusions, and cognitive impairment. A neurologist at the Psychiatric Clinic in Wurzburg diagnosed her with Grand Mal epilepsy at that time. She was identified as having epileptic delirium (temporal lobe epilepsy).
Anneliese would have several assaults over the next few years, but brain scans did not reveal any severe indications. Anneliese began to hear knocking in her bedroom during the early 1970s, and so did her sisters. Anneliese began having violent hallucinations while praying. She also began to hear voices that informed her that she had been sentenced.
Anneliese’s initial unofficial diagnosis was made by an elderly woman who accompanied her on a trip. She observed that Anneliese avoided passing a specific image of Jesus and refused to drink from a holy spring. The woman also stated that Anneliese had a hellishly foul odour.
Doctors attempted to give Anneliese anticonvulsant medication, but it had no effect on her seizures.
Anneliese’s parents would found her looking for hours at a Mother Mary memorial with her eyes “jet black.” Anneliese appeared to have supernatural strength, as she threw her sister across the cabin like a rag doll, according to her parents. Anneliese engaged in several quite disturbing acts. She sampled her pee from the ground. She consumed insects, insects, and coal. She consumed the dead bird’s head. In one instance, she hid beneath a table and howled like a dog for two days. She could frequently be heard crying for hours through the walls. Normal for her was ripping off her clothes and urinating on the floor.
As spring 1976 progressed, Anneliese’s attacks intensified. She began to attack her family members by biting and scratching them. Anneliese would self-injure whenever she was unable to touch any of her sisters.
She stated that the devils would not permit her to eat. She would fall to her knees and immediately stand back up, only to repeat the motion hundreds of times per day, fracturing her kneecaps. Anneliese believed that she, too, was possessed.
Still, her parents were religious and opposed medical assistance. In her conscious moments, Anneliese would tell anyone willing to listen that she was willing to die in order to atone for “the wayward youth of the day and the heretical preachers of the original church.”
Anneliese continued to deny eating, but now she made sure it was her decision and not the devils within her. In her deteriorating condition, Anneliese exhibited symptoms of pneumonia and a fever. She became skeletal and dropped below 100 pounds. Nonetheless, the two preachers continued with their sermons.
The final exorcism occurred on 30 June 1976. Anneliese’s parents permitted her to perform the genuflections because she was too fragile to do so herself. Anneliese speaks for the last time on the tape. She tells Renz and Alt to “ask for forgiveness” and then shares her thoughts with her family. Annelies says “Mother, I’m terrified” through tears.
Anneliese Michel died of hunger and dehydration on July 1st, morning. The coroner reported that she weighed only 68 pounds. Constant genuflections have resulted in knee injuries. She was unable to walk without assistance and was diagnosed with pneumonia.
After conducting an investigation, the state prosecutor concluded that Michel’s death may have been prevented even one week prior to her passing.
In 1976, the state accused the parents of Michel and the preachers Ernst Alt and Arnold Renz with negligent homicide. During the trial, Michel’s body was excavated and tapes documenting the eleven months of exorcisms that led to her death were played in court. The parents were defended by Erich Schmidt-Leichner; the Church paid for their attorneys. The state ruled that none of the relevant people should be imprisoned; instead, the proposed sentence for the priests was aine, while the prosecution ruled that the parents should not be punished because they had “suffered enough” (see. German penal code section 60).
After the lawsuit concluded, the parents requested permission to exhume their daughter’s remains. The official explanation given to governments by Michel’s parents was that he was hastily buried in an ordinary casket. On February 25, 1978, over two years after the burial, her bones were reinterred in a new wood casket striped with tin. According to the official announcement, the corpse displayed evidence of continuing decomposition. The accused exorcists were prohibited from viewing Michel’s remains. Arnold Renz later revealed that he was discouraged from entering the mortuary. Her grave became and remains a place of pilgrimage.