What is an Exorcism? Part II

During the exorcism of Robbie Mannheim, it was said that the pastor required stitches after the boy inflicted a wound. Because of this, the boy was sent home to his family, where it was reported that he defecated on the walls. The family took a trip to St. Louis, where they were introduced to more vicars. A visit with Mannheim revealed that he was opposed to anything sacred, beds shook, objects would fly, and the boy spoke in a demonic voice. One of the reverends asked permission from the archbishop if they could cast out the demons in the child.

Before the exorcism took place, another reverend was assigned to the psychiatric wing of the hospital to assist in the ritual. A third priest was present so that he could help cast out any unclean spirits within the child. One of the priests present described the event as ‘spiritual warfare’. He said that the child’s bed shook and that on the boy’s body , various marks, such as the words ‘evil’ and ‘hell’ appeared. Mannheim also broke a reverend’s nose during the exorcism.

Mannheim also shouted in an ‘abnormal tone of voice’ during the exorcism. Over the course of two months, it was said that the exorcism ritual was performed 30 times in an attempt to remove all the demons from his body. The final exorcism was marked with a loud noise. It was similar to a ‘shotgun’ or ‘clap of thunder’ that vibrated throughout the floors of the hospital. Reports state that after the sound, Manneheim said, “It’s over. It’s over.”

With any tales dealing with exorcism, some of the details have come under fire. For example, there are claims that one of the reverends never attempted an exorcism on the boy, and that he did not suffer an injury in the process. Another person present allegedly told another that he did not hear the boy’s voice change. 

What Happened to the Boy”¦

The incident made headlines, which is how William Peter Blatty (author of ‘The Exorcist’) got the idea to pen his novel. He was a student at Georgetown University at the time he first heard about the case. As for Mannheim, his family experienced no more trouble after the exorcism. They moved back into their home. The boy grew up to become a successful man , happily married and with children.

Other cases involving exorcism have included well-known personalities. For example, artist Salvador Dalí is said to have undergone an exorcism under the care of Italian friar, Gabriele Maria Berardi, while he was in France in 1947. To thank the friar for his help, Dali created a sculpture of Christ on the cross.