Demonic possession and exorcisms have been a consistent trope in horror movies since at least the time of The Exorcist (1973). While some films, like The Last Exorcism (2010) have more in common with The Blair Witch Project (they’re both found footage movies and completely made up), others claim to have been based on actual events, which puts a veneer of legitimacy on the frights in the movie. Like the previously mentioned The Exorcist, films like The Conjuring and The Exorcism of Emily Rose take purportedly true stories and mix, mash, and twist things enough to get a good creepy and frightening movie with enough shocks to keep you on the edge of your seat. 

The Exorcist (1973)
The Last Exorcism (2011)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
The Conjuring (2013)

As Halloween approaches and we look for something that will make us sleep with the lights on or not want to enter a dark room by ourselves could I make some suggestions for your next read?  Instead of going for a fiction story try something from our paranormal nonfiction collection. These are true stories that aren’t covered up with movie makeup and special effects. 

The Demon of Brownsville Road: A Pittsburgh Family’s Battle with Evil in their Home by Bob Cranmer.  When Bob moved his family into their new home in the Brownsville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, they thought they’d found an ideal setting. The home, although old, was spacious and in good repair.  Soon, what began as unexplained noises soon became more malevolent and began affecting the people in the house to varying degrees. Read this book to find out how and if they managed to dislodge the unwanted houseguest. 

Demonic Foes: My Twenty-five Years as a Psychiatrist Investigating Possessions, Diabolic Attacks, and the Paranormal by Richard Gallagher, MD. Before the Catholic Church will authorize an exorcism to take place other explanations for the activity need to be ruled out. This includes cases of fraud, deceit, and mental illness. Dr. Gallagher has witnessed events that he cannot explain, and, in this book, he chronicles some of the most intense and frightening experiences he has witnessed over the years. 

The Penguin Book of Exorcisms edited by Joseph P. Laycock.  Penguin Books has a long and distinguished history of issuing accessible editions of great classics in affordable formats. In this edition, Laycock, a professor of Religious Studies, has gathered accounts of exorcisms from around the world and history. He has pulled together accounts from the peoples of Reformation-era Europe, ancient Sumaria, Asia, as well as the Islamic and Jewish worlds. This collection is a nice way to see how peoples from around the world have experienced and written about possessions and exorcisms. 

Our digital service, Hoopla, has titles from the famed exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth available for digital download anytime. Other movies and books can also be found here.