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1949 case that inspired 'The Exorcist' continues to fascinate St. Louis

1949 case that inspired 'The Exorcist' continues to fascinate St. Louis

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Published by puffyruffian5363
He's only vaguely familiar with the monthlong 1949 demon-purging ritual at his school that inspired
He's only vaguely familiar with the monthlong 1949 demon-purging ritual at his school that inspired

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Published by: puffyruffian5363 on Jul 27, 2014
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1949 case that inspired 'The Exorcist' continues to fascinateSt. Louis
He's only vaguely familiar with the monthlong 1949 demon-purging ritual at his school that inspiredWilliam Peter Blatty's novel and later the movie.But just in time for Halloween, Jesuit scholars have joined a whole new generation of horror buffs inSt. Louis but remained publicly silent about his experiences -- though he did tell Allen it was "thereal thing."Bowdern died in 1983.Bowdern was assisted by the Rev. Maybe he instead suffered from mental illness or sexual abuse --or fabricated the entire experience.Like most of religion's basic tenets, it ultimately comes down to faith."If the devil can convince us he does not exist, then half the battle is won," said the Rev. LOUIS - Â Saint Louis University junior Zach Grummer-Strawn has never seen "The Exorcist," the 1973horror film considered one of the finest examples of unadulterated cinematic terror. LouisUniversity, the Rev. And it's such a great story."The university scholars and guest speakerThomas Allen, author of a 1993 account of the events at the school's former AlexianBrothers Hospital, emphasized thatdefinitive proof that the boy known onlyas "Robbie" was possessed by malevolentspirits is unattainable. Walter Halloran,who unlike his colleague spoke openlywith Allen and expressed his skepticismabout potential paranormal events beforehis death a decade ago."He talked more about the boy, and how much he suffered, and less about the rite," Allen said. Louisabout the month-long 1949 demon-purging ritual at the school's former Alexian Brothers CondosGeorgetown DC Hospital. Paul Stark, vice president for mission and ministry at the 195-year-oldCatholic school. He opened the discussion with a prayer from the church's exorcism handbook,imploring God to "fill your servants with courage to fight that reprobate dragon."Some of the non-students in the audience spoke of personal connections to an episode that hasenthralled generations of St. Louis native who married a Catholic). John Padberg, S.J., director of theInstitute of Jesuit Sources, speaks during a panel discussion at St. "But you just can't know. (APPhoto)ST. The university hosted a panel discussion Tuesday on the exorcism, which involved the treatmentof an unidentified suburban Washington, D.C., boy. It's the pursuit of truth.
 
October 29, 2013: In this photo provided by St. About 500 people crammed into Pius XII Library,with some spilling into the library aisles, leaning against pillars or sitting on desks."I'd like to believe it's the real thing," said Grummer-Strawn, a theology and sociology student from Atlanta. "Here was a scared, confused boy caught up in something he didn't understand."He told me, 'I simply don't know,' and that is where I leave it," the author added. Louis home wherethe 13-year-old boy arrived in the winter of 1949 (his Lutheran mother was a St. "I just don't know." Allen zealously protects the anonymity of "Robbie," despite others' efforts to track him down to thisday.Gary Mackey, a 59-year-old accountant who left work early to attend the campus event, said he alsois unsure whether "The Exorcist" was a work of fiction or instead a riveting real-life account of barely comprehensible forces.He does know this: He cannot forget the movie that he saw with a buddy four decades ago. Louisresidents.%20DC.jpg" width="361" />One man described living near the suburban St. Louis University in St. "I think it's the scariest movieever made."Blatty, who could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, said in a 2011 interview with TheHuffington Post that was timed to the book's 40th anniversary, that the "1949 case was the novel'sinspiration." The book and film were set at Georgetown University rather than in the Midwest, andthe possessed child became a girl instead of a boy.. Another said she was a distant cousin of Father William Bowdern, who led the exorcism ritual after

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