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2.5
6 votes

House that Inspired "The Exorcist"

8435 Roanoke Dr, Bel-Nor, Missouri 63121 USA

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  • Not Wheelchair
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  • No Public
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  • No Wifi
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“Home to the most famous exorcism in history..”

This unassuming home in the suburbs of St. Louis is actually the site of the most famous exorcism of all time. The case, known as the "Roland Doe Exorcism", was so astounding that it became the basic of the book and film "The Exorcist". The Story: Roland was born into a German Lutheran Christian family. During the 1940s the family lived in Cottage City, Maryland. According to Allen, Roland was an only child and depended upon adults in his household for playmates, primarily his Aunt Harriet. His aunt, who was a spiritualist, introduced Roland to the Ouija board when he expressed interest in it. When Roland was thirteen his aunt died in St. Louis. Several books suppose that Roland tried to contact his deceased aunt via the Ouija board. According to Thomas Allen's book Possessed, supernatural activity began soon after Aunt Harriet's death. This includes the sound of squeaky and marching feet as well as other strange noises. Furniture moved on its own accord, and ordinary objects, including a vase, allegedly flew or levitated and a picture of Jesus rattled on the wall as if it was being thumped from behind. A container of holy water placed near him smashed to the ground. Nine priests and thirty-nine other witnesses signed the final ecclesiastical papers documenting Roland's experience. The frightened family turned to their Lutheran pastor, the Rev. Luther Miles Schulze, for help. According to a report made by Reverend Schulze to The Evening Star, a Washington D.C. newspaper, the boy was examined by both medical and psychiatric doctors, who could offer no explanation for these disturbing events taking place. Schulze arranged for the boy to spend the night of February 17 in his home in order to observe him. The boy slept near the minister in a twin bed and the minister reported that in the dark he heard vibrating sounds from the bed and scratching sounds on the wall. During the rest of the night he allegedly witnessed some strange events, a heavy armchair in which the boy sat seemingly tilted on its own and tipped over and a pallet of blankets on which the sleeping boy lay inexplicably moved around the room and slapped people in the face. Schulze concluded that there was evil at work in Roland, and a Lutheran rite of exorcism would be performed on Roland. According to the traditional story, the boy then underwent an exorcism under auspices of the Episcopal Church. After this, the case was referred to the Rev. Edward Hughes, a Roman Catholic priest, who, after examining the boy at St. James Church, conducted an exorcism on Roland at Georgetown University Hospital, a Jesuit institution. During the exorcism, the boy inflicted a wound upon the pastor that required stitches. As a result, the exorcism ritual was stopped and the boy went home to be with his family, where strange welts on the boy's body led to desperation. The family then proceeded to take the train to St. Louis. While they were in the city, Roland's cousin contacted one of his professors at St. Louis University, the Rev. Raymond J. Bishop, SJ, who in turn spoke to the Rev. William S. Bowdern, an associate of College Church. Together, both priests visited Roland in his relatives' home, where they noticed his aversion to anything sacred, a shaking bed, flying objects, and Roland speaking in a guttural voice. Fr. Bowdern sought permission from the archbishop to have the plaguing demons cast out from the boy. Permission for Bowdern to perform the exorcism was granted by the archbishop, with the requirement that a detailed diary be kept. Before the exorcism ritual began, Fr. Walter Halloran was called to the psychiatric wing of the hospital, where he was asked to assist Fr. Bowdern. The Rev. William Van Roo, a third Jesuit priest, was also there to assist. Fr. Halloran stated that during this scene words such as "evil" and "hell", along with other various marks, appeared on the teenager's body. Moreover, Roland broke Fr. Halloran's nose during the process. The exorcism ritual was performed thirty times over several weeks. When the final exorcism was complete witnesses reported loud noise going off throughout the hospital. After the exorcism was over, the family was no longer troubled, and moved back to their home. The boy went on to become a successful, happily married man, a father and grandfather. NOTE: This house is a private residence, so please do all your best pea-soup vomiting recreations from the sidewalk.  ***This is a private home on private property. Please do not try to enter the property without the express permission of the landowner. This listing is only for informational purposes.***

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Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,169 Reviews
  • 741 Helpful
August 31, 2014
Rated 3.0

This is the house that inspired the book (upon which the film was based). Located in the St. Luis suburbs, it's quite unassuming, but in the 1940s it was host to a slew of paranormal activity. Allegedly the son of the family who lived there used a Ouija board to attempt to contact his aunt (a former Spiritualist), who had recently died.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
GlendaKayBarton

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
October 29, 2015

My goodness, how this story has been cultivated over the years. As a native Saint Louisan, I am surprised that the details are so different from those we all grew up with. Greater interest would have been about the room in St. Alexian Brother's Hospital which had been sealed up. Even from the window outside it was spooky.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
DonaldEthel Blue

  • 6 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 02, 2018
Rated 1.0

This is true..., the real Exorcist took place in Mount Rainier Maryland

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Reviewed by
sonabe

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
June 11, 2017

parkebrown This house is still standing, A friend of mine lives across the street from it and has pictures of when they filmed just recently and it was aired on tv

http://fox2now.com/2015/10/28/tv-show-to-perform-exorcism-at-the-exorcist-house-in-st-louis/ It was LIVE

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Reviewed by
kalebhahn

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
May 07, 2017

it was a good articlr

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Reviewed by
parkebrown

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
April 16, 2017

Wrong! The house is located in The Washington DC area. The town is called Cottage City, Maryland (near Brentwood Maryland). Maybe there was an exorcism there, but not the house from the movie. As a matter of fact, the house was plowed over and is a vacant lot now.

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Reviewed by
TimmyShannon

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
January 13, 2016

Was tim that good. Addickted spung. His son sucks he wishes he was yawn holmes. Sober bored and single. Tims son. See yu around.

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Reviewed by
MartiPughRobertson

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
November 01, 2015

Party going on...

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Reviewed by
DebKeezer

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
October 31, 2015

I'm curious, if this home is a private residence, does the current family ever experience paranormal activity

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
GavinKelly

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
March 26, 2015

Who are the owners and how can you get in touch with them or Roland?

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House that Inspired "The Exorcist"

8435 Roanoke Dr
Bel-Nor, Missouri
63121 USA

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  • Credit Cards not Accepted
  • Not Wheelchair Accessible
  • No Public Restrooms
  • No Wifi
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