Possessed: The True Story of an Exorcism

Front Cover
Doubleday, 1993 - Religion - 259 pages
16 Reviews
A priest's diary, hidden for forty years in a mysterious locked room of a St. Louis mental hospital, has recently come to light, giving us the best-documented exorcism in history - the very exorcism that prompted William Peter Blatty to write The Exorcist. In August 1949, a story in the Washington Post caught the eye of Blatty, then a Georgetown University undergraduate: "Priest Frees Mt. Rainier Boy Reported Held in Devil's Grip", said the headline. The story went on to describe many of the bizarre and harrowing events that Blatty would later draw upon in his celebrated novel, The Exorcist. More than forty years later, the redoubtable Tom Allen has researched every fact and tracked down every living witness to the exorcisms of the Mt. Rainier boy: exorcisms that actually took place over a period of several months in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and - at last, successfully - in St. Louis, Missouri; exorcisms that required a Lutheran minister, a Catholic priest, and - in the end - a whole team of Jesuits in order to succeed. Allen's search began when a detailed diary mysteriously came into his hands, a diary kept by one of the Jesuits. But the evidence he has uncovered in his subsequent investigations is so shocking, so chilling, and so credible that it needs no hyperbole. Suffice it to say that as you read this book you will understand at last the force of the old maxim that truth is stranger than fiction.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

An interesting account of the real life case that inspired the movie "The Exorcist." The author also gives a reverential and informative view of the Society of Jesus (more commonly known simply as the Jesuits) in which priestly order the exorcist in this case was based.

Review: Possessed: The True Story of an Exorcism

User Review  - Steve Parcell - Goodreads

This is the true story behind the Exorcist and is a fascinating read. It happens in the same place Georgetown and Truth really is a lot stranger and scarier than fiction. A must read for fans of the Exorcist. Read full review

All 9 reviews »


is this you aunt harriet?
hunting a poltergeist
but deliver us from evil

12 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1993)

Thomas B. Allen is an author and editor. For more than fifteen years he served with the National Geographic Society as associate chief of the book service. He edited the million-plus bestseller "We Americans" and has published numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, including "War Games. "Allen and Polmar have collaborated in writing seven books and numerous articles. Both live in the Washington area.

Bibliographic information