Exorcised girl who ate dead bird was ‘possessed in mum’s womb’, priest says
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    A girl who has been dead for almost 50 years was cursed by demons while she was still in her mother's womb, according to a leading exorcist who has studied her gruesome case.

    Anneliese Michel is famous for enduring 67 harrowing exorcisms over 10 months.. Her family was convinced she was possessed by the devil and she inspired the 2005 film The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

    But the tragic life of the German is still being celebrated by pious folk who visit her grave and praise her “sacrifice”. Many are also calling for her to be made a saint.

    READ MORE: The Exorcist remake set hit by ‘weird energy' which influenced horror movie

    She was born in 1952 but died of starvation just 23 years later while weighing 68 pounds. Before her death she crawled under tables to bark like a dog, consumed spiders, licked her own urine from the floor and she even bit the head of a dead bird.

    Anneliese herself was convinced she was being controlled by demons and she used to sleep on a bare floor in winter to atone for other people's sins.

    But in a recent interview, leading exorcist Father Carlos Martins spoke about how she actually became possessed, something he believes Hollywood left out of films.

    “None of the movies have nailed it,” he began. “It appears that there was a curse put on her by on her while she was in the utero, while she was in the womb, there was a woman who was jealous of her mother and evidently put a curse on her.

    “This was talked about in the village but the demons mentioned it repeatedly that they had rights based on that curse. That was the entry point but nevertheless God had its own purposes.”

    And as for why she remained such an important figure to Catholics after dying in 1976, he told Adrian Milag TV: ”Her tomb, her grave at the cemetery is a place of pilgrimage, there are busloads of pilgrims that come and they pray at her grave. So I think that is already proof that the holy spirit is holding her up as a witness.”

    Fr Martins, who has watched recordings of her exorcisms, also said it was “certainly a possibility” that she is one day made a saint. He explained: “In other words there has to be a reputation of sanctity that is proven by a devotion to the individual after death and that is certainly happening in her case.”

    Under the video, one person wrote: “Anneliese is a saint. She was saving souls from hell by accepting her suffering, including the woman who had cursed her.”

    Another said: “One of the greatest saints of the last century.”

    Anneliese’s grave is in Klingenberg Cemetery in Germany and has become popular with Pinterest users. But social media was not around when the religious girl was born in the German town.

    She was the daughter of strict Catholic parents Joseph and Anna and she attended mass twice a week and she had to be disciplined at all times.

    Her peers experimented with alcohol and sex but despite Anneliese living in one of Europe’s most advanced areas, she focused on religion.

    She was 16 when she suddenly blacked out in school before wetting the bed later that night after waking in a trance.

    Her parents dismissed the incident and were keen to carry on as normal. But when a similar event happened a year later, the girl was taken to see medical professionals.

    Eventually she was diagnosed with epilepsy and was put on medication to combat her seizures and hallucinations.

    But Anneliese’s woes continued to plague her mind – and she claimed she could hear voices and see the face of the devil.

    Certain she was possessed, she reportedly exhibited worrying behaviour, like ripping off her clothes, eating insects, licking her urine off the floor and performing 400 squats a day.

    Despite her torment, including feeling depressed and suicidal, she enrolled at university to become a teacher. But priests eventually concluded that she was possessed by the devil rather than being epileptic.

    That’s because she started to avoid crosses and holy water. and her parents agreed to exorcisms to combat the problem after getting approval from the church.

    Over a 10 month period, she stopped taking her epilepsy meds and was subjected to 67 exorcisms that involved her being physically restrained while priests tried to drive the evil forces away.

    Six demons were said to have been found inside Anneliese – including Lucifer and Hitler. Exhausted, Anneliese stopped eating and rapidly lost weight.

    Shortly after the exorcisms, on July 1, 1976, the 23-year-old died of malnutrition and dehydration weighing just 68 pounds.

    Her parents and the two priests involved in the exorcisms, Arnold Renz and Ernst Alt, were charged with negligent homicide.

    During the trial medical experts explained how her strict religious upbringing combined with her epilepsy struggles resulted in Anneliese having physiological episodes, rather than being possessed.

    The priests were found guilty of manslaughter while her parents were found guilty of negligent homicide. However, the couple escaped punishment after having “suffered enough”.

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