The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel

The Life of Anneliese Michel

Anneliese Michel was born in Klingenberg, Bavaria in Germany on September 21, 1952 to Josef and Anna who were devoutly Catholic. As Anneliese was growing up she would regularly attend mass twice a week. The Michel family did not follow the reformations of Vatican II.

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Annaliese Michel, youtube.com

As the 1960’s ended and the 1970’s began Anneliese started to enter trance-like states that turned into convulsions. Her family took her to a neurologist that diagnosed her with epilepsy in her temporal lobe. Over the next 5 years all types of modern medicines were used in an attempt to help Anneliese, but her seizures and hallucinations continued. She suffered from both visual and auditory hallucinations that became more regular and severe in nature. Anneliese and her family began to believe that she had become possessed by a demon, or demons. They sought help from the Catholic Church. The life and exorcisms of Anneliese Michel were later used to make the movie, “The Exorcism of Emily Rose.”(allthatsinteresting.com)

Exorcisms

Josef and Anna Michel along with two priests named, Ernst Alt and Arnold Renz began to perform what would end up being 67 exorcisms over a ten-month period in late 1975- June 30, 1976. During that period of time Anneliese would often refuse to eat, and she became violent towards her family and even herself.  Anneliese would genuflect (when one bends and lowers the body onto one or both knees as a sign of respect while worshiping) so violently that she eventually broke both of her kneecaps. Each exorcism would take several hours and during them Anneliese stated that she was possessed by five demons including Lucifer, Cain, Judas, Hitler, and Nero.

July 1, 1976

Anneliese Michel endured her final exorcism on the evening of June 30, 1976 because by the next day she had passed away. At the time of her death, Anneliese weighed only 68 lbs and it was determined by the medical examiner that she died of malnutrition and dehydration. Anneliese was only 23 years old when she died.

Aftermath of the Exorcism of Anneliese Michel

The Priests Ernst Alt, Arnold Renz, and the parents of Anneliese, Josef and Anna Michel were charged in her death. There were many hours of her exorcisms that had been recorded and those tapes were used to defend the actions of the four defendants during their trial. The priests were found guilty of manslaughter as a result of negligence and were sentenced to 6 months in jail. Their sentences were later suspended. The parents of Anneliese were not sentenced to any jail time as it was felt that they had suffered enough.

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Priests and the Michel’s, allthatsintersting.com

In 1984, the Catholic Church released a ruling that had determined that Anneliese Michel was not possessed but had suffered from mental illness. It is interesting to note that the church published a revised exorcism rite in 1999. The exorcism rite had not been changed by the church since the 1600’s.(the13thfloor.tv)

It has been reported that Anneliese Michel wanted to die for the sins of others in a hope that her sacrifice would save others in the future. I am left hoping that she accomplished her goal and that she is has been able to rest in peace.

 

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

 

 

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Abandoned Asylums America

In this post we are looking into the halls of another abandoned asylum in America. This one was known as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum(a.k.a. TALA) located in Weston, West Virginia. This particular asylum was built in the mid- 1800’s to house the mentally ill.

History of TALA

The contruction of TALA began in 1858 and took until 1881 to complete. Originally designed to house 250 patients it opened to patients in 1864 and by 1880 it housed 717 patients. By 1950 TALA housed 2,400 patients and included those suffering from epilepsy, alcoholism, drug addiction, and non-educable mental defectives. With the limited knowledge, resources, and empathy of the time, some patients were kept locked in cages. (the-line-up.com)

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum has stone walls that are 2.5 feet thick. It is America’s largest hand-cut stone masonry building and is the second largest in the world, behind the Kremlin. (the13thfloor.tv)

Image result for trans allegheny lunatic asylum. Abandoned Asylums America
tripadvisor.com, TALA, abandoned asylums America

Ghosts

According to americas-most-haunted.com there have been reports of apparitions of nurses, doctors, and patients seen walking the corridors, and screams have been heard.

Located in the east corner of Ward 4 the spirit of a young girl called Lily has been seen interacting with a variety of toys that are set out in a room dedicated to her. It is believed that Lily was either abandoned by her parents, or that she was born in TALA after her mother was committed there. Lily passed away at the age of only 9 from pneumonia. Lily is close to some of the current ghost tour guides and her spirit will follow visitors and her giggles have been heard. Lily will even interact with visitors occasionally by rolling a ball across the floor to them when asked .

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americas-most-haunted.com, Lily’s room, TALA, abandoned asylums America

TALA’s younger residents are said to occupy the upper floors of the hospital and seem to enjoy having visitors during the tours. TALA also houses the spirits of two vicious murderers. One is called Slewfoot and he haunts a lavatory, while an unnamed serial killer haunts the area of the seclusion cells.

TALA has a section of the building that was utilized during the American Civil War. This section is known for the sounds of footfalls, and tortured moans and misty forms and shadows have reportedly been seen. (americas-most-haunted.com)

Add TALA to our paranormal tour bucket list. Seems like we will be going all over Hell’s half acre.

Cheers,

The Other Half

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The Devil’s Playground

The Devil’s Playground turns out to be a popular name for movies. I have found at least four different productions that go by this name. The Devil’s Playground is a movie from 1976 about a 13-year-old boy named, Tom, and the physical and emotional challenges Tom experiences while living in a Catholic Seminary. It is also the title of a movie from 2002 about the Amish tradition of rumspringa. Rumspringa is a time in life when a 16-year-old teenager raised within the Amish community has a chance to experience the outside world to determine if they will stay in there or join the Amish community in their Christian beliefs. The title was used again in 2010 for a British horror film about the zombie apocalypse. The Devil’s Playground is also a documentary the debuted at the 2017 Calgary Comic Expo. It is this documentary about the urban legend that will be the focus of this post.

Urban Legend of The Devils Playground

The story goes that in the early 1900’s a nun became crazed after making a pact with the devil. The devil caused the nun to light a schoolhouse on fire and all of the children within the schoolhouse died in the fire. The spirits of the deceased children have haunted the land ever since and when workmen were brought in to remove the remains of the building the workmen became sick and their equipment broke down.

the Devil's Playground
image from cbc.ca

Dori Davidson-Revill is a filmmaker who first heard the tale of the Devil’s Playground when he was in high school. Mr. Davidson-Revill spent five years looking into the tale. He spent time finding the actual location of the story, he interviewed eyewitnesses and spoke with the owner of the land located at 84 Street and 9 Avenue SE in Calgary, AB. The house in the picture no longer stands and the owner, Don Ellis, has passed away.

Mr. Davidson-Revill has reported that Don Ellis told him that as the landowner he was more concerned about human trespassers than he was about ghosts. Mr. Ellis had said that some trespassers would carry weapons with them when they illegally entered the property to ghost hunt. (cbc.ca)

The Devils Playground
James Kennedy film editor and Dori Davidson-Revill filmmaker cbc.ca

The main challenge with this urban legend was trying to determine where the schoolhouse stood. Some people believe that the location was near Symon’s Valley Ranch in the NW area of Calgary, while others were sure it once stood on land that was on the outskirts of the SE area of Calgary. Dori Davidson-Revill believes that the schoolhouse stood at the location that Don Ellis owned. The Ellis family had run a school at that location until the 1950s. But the urban legend said the school burned down in the early 1900s, what gives?

People have claimed to see handprints on foggy car windows, to hear the laughter of children, and to have found animal bones arranged in patterns around the property. Some have claimed to have seen an apparition of a young girl with a red ball.

Like most urban legends the story creates as many questions as it answers. Is the legend true? Is the place haunted? Get your eyes on a copy of The Devil’s Playground Documentary by Dori Davidson-Revill and learn the answers.

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

 

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Merge VR Goggles Review

Merge VR Goggles-Winner of the Academics’ Choice award

Merge VR Goggles Review

The Merge VR Goggles are a device to give you a very realistic experience. Intended for Android and IOS smartphones, it will offer both a virtual, computer generated view, and an augmented or live view of the world. This model is well padded and is safe for kids 10 and up.

Click here to see the price 

Travel the World

The Merge VR Goggles will allow you to play games, watch 360 degree movies, learn information or travel the world. Many free and paid apps are available for virtually anything you might want to do. I have a rollercoaster in mine, now that’s a thrilling ride.

Consumer Report’s “Expert Pick”

This unit has received the parent tested approved seal, Consumer Reports “expert Pick”, Academics Choice Award, 2017 “Parents Choice” award and Common Sense Media’s top choice.

A few features:

  • super soft “face piece” for ultimate comfort and will protect your phone from drops
  • Dual input buttons
  • Adjustable size lenses
  • Item Weight-340 g
  • Product size-22.9 x 12.7 x 15.2 cm
  • Model number-VRG-01MG
  • The weight-340 grams
  • Colour-Moon Grey
  • Durable
  • User friendly

Click here to buy the Merge VR Goggles

There are about 500 customer reviews on Amazon. The average is 4 out of 5 stars and many 5 out of 5. Check out the customer reviews here

-One customer mentioned that he had difficulty getting his large phone in but he realized it stretched to accommodate many sizes now he loves it!

-Another customer mentioned that only Merge apps work with it. He was able to find many others and is happy with it!

My personal view is for the reasonable price, the light weight and comfort as well as the ability to adapt to phone sizes, I think the Merge VR Goggles are a great deal.

Merge VR Goggles Review
Merge VR Goggles Review

 

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The Old Tooele Hospital-Is It Haunted?

The hospital that will be discussed in this post has a long and storied history. The part we are most interested in is the ghost ones, of course. We want to know is the Old Tooele Hospital haunted?

 The Old Tooele Hospital

Location: Tooele, Utah

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nyshadowchasers.com

The original portion of the hospital was constructed in 1873 by Samuel F. Lee as his family home but by 1913 it had been added on to and it became the County Poor House.

The building has been used in two movies in the past. Those movies were, “The World’s Fastest Indian” (2005) starring Anthony Hopkins, and the mini-series, “The Stand” (1994) based on Stephen King’s novel and starring Gary Sinise.

It has been said that the building contains a spiritual portal that is guarded by a spirit named Maria. Samuel F. Lee and his young son are reportedly said to haunt the halls, along with spirits called Richard, James, Ned, Peter, and a young child called Jessica. The halls are also said to be haunted by Wes, an elderly man who died of Alzheimer’s and is accompanied on his walks by a “dark” entity that won’t let Wes pass over to the light. Other voices and apparitions have been experienced by visitors as well. (haunted-places-to-go.com)

Tourists are able to tour about half of the building that is now referred to as Asylum 49. Will you check it out and see if the Old Tooele Hospital is haunted?

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

 

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Byberry Mental Hospital

Byberry Mental Hospital

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Image result for byberry mental hospitol
npr.orgByberry Mental Hospital holds a special place in history. Images taken there highlighted the need for changes to be made in the treatment and housing of the mentally ill. Byberry is where many conscientious objectors worked during WWII. One of those CO’s was a compassionate man named Charlie Lord. Charlie Lord would sneak a camera into the hospital and he captured 36 photographs that were later published in Life magazine in May 1946. “The photos reminded the American people of photos from Nazi Concentration Camps. So it created a kind of mass uproar, nationally.” (npr.org)

The conscientious objectors had witnessed attendants that would often use violence to try to control the mentally ill patients. The attendants would use items such as cut-down broom handles, or rubber hoses filled with buckshot to strike the patients. Attendants would even choke out a patient with a wet towel around the neck of the patient as the attendants had learned it would not leave any evidentiary marks.

Two buildings in particular housed living nightmares for the patients of Byberry Mental Hospital. The “incontinent ward” was where men were kept mostly naked with no furniture, activities, music, or bathroom facilities. It was a large concrete room full of urine and feces. Another building was referred to as “The Death House or Violent Ward” where the patients would often attack each other using whatever they could turn into a weapon. This building contained a room that held row upon row of patients strapped down to the frame of their beds.

Image result for byberry mental hospitol

Byberry Mental Hospital opened in 1907 and in spite of all the bad publicity it received in the 1946 Life article it did not close until 1987. I am left hoping that conditions improved for the patients housed there after “The Conscientious  Objectors from Byberry started a national association that helped train and professionalize workers at state hospitals.” (npr.org)

Before Byberry was eventually demolished, it had been reported that the catacombs were spooky and haunted by ghosts of former patients with one that was a particularly violent entity. It was also reported that Satanic Rituals were said to have been performed on the grounds as well.

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

 

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Danvers State Insane Asylum

Danvers State Insane Asylum

Location: Danvers, Massachusetts (aka Salem Village until 1752)

According to the historyofmassachusetts.org, the Danvers State Lunatic Asylum was built between 1874 and 1878. The land on which it was built is called Hathorne Hill after Judge John Hathorne of the Salem Witch Trials who had lived there. The land was purchased from a farmer, Francis Dodge, in the 1870s. It cost $1.5 million to build the asylum at a time when America was still recovering from their Civil War. Over time approximately 40 buildings went up to house TB patients, staff, the medical building, machine shops, two nursing homes, a pump house, cemetery, and cottages, many were connected by underground tunnels.

Danvers State Insane Asylum
Danvers State Insane Asylum. Photo courtesy of: historyofmassachusetts.org

From 1920 to 1945 the treatments done  at the Danvers State Insane Asylum on patients included ECT and lobotomies. Patients often faced neglect and the use of restraints. These treatments are said to “have left a massive psychic imprint on the walls.” (hauntedrooms.com)

Dr. Walter J. Freeman II reportedly conducted numerous lobotomies in the Danvers State Insane Asylum. The care of the patients declined as overcrowding took over while staffing levels remained unchanged. Eventually, the asylum closed in 1992. Reports from visitors to the asylum included hearing voices asking for help and tortured screams.

The building’s facade remains as luxury apartments were constructed and opened in 2008. The area is now known as Halstead Danvers. I wonder if the screams are still heard?

Cheers,

The Other Half

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Mental Health Hospital-Alton, Illinois

Mental Health Hospital-Alton

Location: Alton, Illinois

Mental Health Hospital-Alton
pinterest.com

In 1916 forty patients moved into the hospital prior to its opening in 1917. The hospital continued to grow in response to the needs of the surrounding area and by the 1930s  the hospital had opened a ward for WWI veterans, another for civilian men, another for women and a separate ward as a Tuberculosis Sanitarium. The 1940s brought electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) into fashion for those suffering from mental illness. The 1950s saw the practice of lobotomies used on the mentally ill.

The hospital expanded its scope once again in the 1960s to include an adolescent unit and an alcohol treatment unit. In 1997 a high-security building was constructed and still operates to this day with about 200 court-ordered patients housed within its walls. (thefurther.net)

Tours are available where visitors can hope to hear unusual noises, doors slamming, disembodied whispers, and perhaps have the chance to capture orbs or apparitions with their cameras. It seems that the town of Alton has other haunted locations too which means that it is now on our ghost hunting bucket list. Is it on yours?

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

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