Roland Doe And The True Story Of "The Exorcist"


Horror movies often confront us with the unimaginable, but sometimes, the horror can't even be imagined. One of the most frightening and disturbing films ever made, The Exorcist, was based on the real-life exorcism of a 13-year-old boy known by the pseudonym Roland Doe living in Washington, D.C. in the 1940s.

Roland Doe

Ronald Hunkler, identified in the diaries of a priest as "Roland Doe" who was involved in his exorcism, was born in 1935, the only child of a Lutheran family in Cottage City, Maryland. As a young boy, he spent a lot of time with his Aunt Harriet, a spiritualist, who introduced him to the Ouija board, but after his unexpected death, the family claimed that he began to hear terrifying noises and Saw objects moving on their own. Ronald, who claimed to hear scratches under the floor of his bedroom and water dripping into the walls, was apparently the focus of these incidents. The Hunkler family called the police, their doctor, and finally, their Lutheran pastor, who was so upset and dumbfounded by their stories that they suggested the family contact the Catholic priest.

In late February 1949, Father E. Albert Hughes sought permission from the local archdiocese to perform an exorcism on Ronald. He put the boy on the bed and began to pray, but Ronald somehow restrained one arm, clawed through the mattress, and broke a piece of a metal mattress spring. When Father Hughes approached him, he struck the priest, hitting him on his shoulders. Father Hughes stops the exorcism, after which the word "Louis" mysteriously appears on Ronald's body. According to witnesses, it was not uncommon for words to appear as if he had a skin rash, and his parents took this as a sign that he should seek help in St. Louis, where his niece was attending school. . He put them in contact with Father William S. Boudern, a professor at St. Louis University, who obtained permission for a second exorcism after claiming to have seen Ronald speaking Latin in a fuzzy voice as objects flew across the room and The boy's bed shook.

Take Two

Roland Doe's second exorcism took place at Alexion Brothers Hospital in St. Louis, where two other priests, Father Walter Halloran and Father William Van Roo, assisted Father Borden. In a round of violence, Ronald broke Halloran's nose, but on April 18, after nearly a month of tireless work by three priests, Ronald experienced several seizures and shouted that the devil would not leave him. The priests placed garlands and crucifixes on his body and prayed to St. Michael to free Ronald from Satan's grip, and within minutes, Roland appeared out of his mausoleum, looked into the priests' eyes, and Said, "He's gone." Later, the boy claimed that he had seen visions of Saint Michael and Satan in battle and that the saint forced Satan to flee.

By all accounts, Ronald Hunkler continued to live a normal life, and his story remained largely unknown outside of a very detailed Washington Post article. One person who noticed this was William Peter Blatty, who used Hunkler's story as the basis for his 1971 novel The Exorcist, which became a pop culture phenomenon two years later after it turned into a hit. Went. This new attention came with increasing interest in Hunkler's case by researchers, however, who sought conflicting information and due diligence from those who documented the alleged incidents as well as Ronald's reputation among his peers as a bad bully. failure disclosed. to tantrums. They determined that the alleged signs of demonic possession implicated by witnesses were almost certainly either exaggerated or intentionally caused by Ronald.

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