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We’ve all seen “The Exorcist”, the infamous film based on William Peter Blatty’s equally infamous book. We also know that Blatty based his story on something that really happened, the exorcism of a boy in 1949 that took place at no less than four different places during the months-long exorcism. For years it was thought that a house in Mt. Rainier, Maryland was where it all started. Problem is, it wasn’t the place. For years the Mt. Rainier house sat vacant, presumably in part because of its “history”, where it was frequently broke into by teenagers who were undoubtedly scared out of their wits and the place became the brunt of god knows how many ghost stories. Ultimately, the local fire department burned the home in an exercise and that should have been the end of the story.
It wasn’t. In 1998 writer Mark Opsasnick determined in an article for Strange Magazine that this home wasn’t just the wrong house, it was in the wrong city. The actual case began in a home located in Cottage City, Maryland. I am uncertain as to whether or not this house is still standing, but the other places associated with the exorcism are not. After moving the boy from Maryland to St. Louis, three places have gained notoriety for their involvement with the story.
Two of them are gone. A rectory on the campus of St. Louis University that is no longer standing, and a demolished wing of the Alexian Brothers Hospital. Of particular interest is the room at the hospital. This was demolished in the 1990′s, and at the time, stories around St. Louis ranged from demolition workers opening the locked room and seeing a black figure escape, to inverted crosses being found painted on the walls of the room in dried blood even though supposedly no one had entered the room since 1949.
The validity of any of these stories, like anything else, are seriously questionable. But the last place associated with the exorcism still stands. Its a non-descript house in the North St. Louis County suburb of Bel-nor. Stories abound about this home, everything from the victim’s bedroom always being strangely cold, to talk of an otherworldly vortex that can be felt by sensitives on the upper floor of the home. This Halloween, a local radio program known for an annual show broadcast from a haunted location spent the evening there seemingly to much paranormal success.
Hogwash and sensationalism? Who knows. But we do know that within its walls, priests arrived at the home to see the boy’s bed shaking violently, scrapes and welts in the form of a devil’s head were seen on the boy’s body and for two weeks the exorcism raged in the home before the priests moved the boy.
A few years ago you could have bought this home for a mere $169,000. It seems the house has sold,and is seemingly available for radio programs to spend the night in this arch-paranormal place.
My question for you is simple. Would you live in a place like that?