Most people have either read the book (1971) or seen the film (1973) ‘”The Exorcist,” where a young girl named Regan MacNeil was thought to be possessed by demons. However, in reality this film was based on the true life events surrounding a boy named Roland Doe.
This story became the inspiration for one of the most popular horror films of all time.
The writer, William Peter Blatty, became inspired to write this book after he discovered there were diaries of the exorcism, written by the Jesuit Priests during and after Rev. William S. Bowdern’s repeated attempts to exorcise thirteen year old Roland Doe.
In 1949, William Blatty was an English major at Georgetown University when he began reading the newspaper articles regarding the exorcism of Roland Doe. He subsequently approached his lecturer, Rev. Thomas Bermingham, informing him of the story. The Reverend then went on to conduct further investigations and discovered that the diaries of Roland Doe had in fact been chronicled by the Jesuit Priests.
It was unfortunate for Blatty, but he was unable obtain permission to read the diaries; therefore, he had to turn to lengthy newspaper investigations, which resulted in some amazing discoveries.
In January 1949, a young boy called, Roland Doe and his dysfunctional family began experiencing strange occurrences in their home. The location is still undecided for many reasons.
Years later when Father Bowdern was asked by Blatty during the making of the film if he should visit the Doe family, the Father became insistent that the family’s location and confidentiality remain secret to protect the boy. However, I can reveal that it was either Maryland or Mount Rainer in the United States.
Wherever the true location may be, it is known that the family’s troubles began with minor disturbances, namely scratching sounds heard in various locations of their home (usually coming from the ceiling or the walls). This led the family to suspect rodent infestation. However, after contacting a rodent extermination firm, who carried out a full investigation, it was determined that the house was free of infestation.
It was not long after this that the cause of these disruptions began taking on a more dramatic and sinister role. Roland Doe himself was to be the unfortunate victim of these relentless phenomena.