Anneliese Mickel: The Voice Of The Damned – A True Story Of Possession

January 2, 2017

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely - Horror Fuel CEO & Executive Producer Email: [email protected]



Do you remember 2005’s possession film ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’, starring Jennifer Carpenter, Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson and Campbell Scott? The film centers on the possession and exorcism of a 19 year-old college student (Carpenter). In a rare decision, the Catholic church approved her exorcism. What you might not realize is that the film is based on a true story, the tale of of a German woman, Anneliese Michel.



Anneliese’s story ended in tragedy, with her death. Her parents and the priest were charged with negligent homicide. It all began when Anneliese was 17. After suffering from a seizure she was diagnosed with Grand Mal Epilepsy in 1969. Soon, she started experiencing hallucinations, and hearing voices. By 1975, she was convinced she was possessed. While exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia, her deeply religious parents agreed she was possessed.

The poor young woman struck out on a pilgrimage with another woman. She noticed the Anneliese avoided images of Jesus, refused to drink from a holy spring and noted a horrible stench on Anneliese. An exorcist in a nearby town examined her and concluded she was possessed . After two attempts to have an exorcism approved it was finally arranged by the Bishop.




Tom Wilkinson’s character in the film is based on two real-life people, Pastor Ernst Alt and Father Arnold Renz, who were assigned by Bishop Josef Stagl to carryout Anneliese’s exorcism in 1978, which lasted for 10 months and 67 rites of exorcism. Reportedly, she was convinced that she was possessed by several entities, including Judas Iscariot, Cain, Nero, and Fleischmann.

She did a number of disturbing things during the exorcisms, including eating flies and spiders, barked like a dog for two days, screamed non-stop for hours, she wet the floor and then licked it up. She fell to her knees so many times during the rites that she ruptured the ligaments in her knees. Near the time of her death, she began to refuse food and water, but no doctor was ever called. When she died she only weighed 68 lbs., according to The UK Telegraph.




Her official cause of death was malnutrition, dehydration , and Pneumonia. She was buried in the section of the cemetery reserved for suicides.  Was she truly possessed or simply mentally ill? That is something we will never know, but you can hear the terror in her voice. Here is a sample of audio recorded during her exorcism. I must warn you, the recording is disturbing. Is this the voice of the damned?



The two priests and her parents were found guilty of negligent homicide and sentenced to six months in prison with a suspended sentence and three years probation for the death of Annaliese.


Not only was ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ based on Anneliese Michel’s story, there was also a 2006 German film based on the story, titled ‘Requiem’, directed by Hans-Christian Schmid. The film won sixteen awards and fifteen other award nominations.


Pest in peace Anneliese.

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