Horror movies are always scary and intended to terrify us to our core. Though, when we discover the movie is a true story or inspired by true events it becomes ten times more terrifying.
Roland Doe aka Robbie Mannheim was born circa 1935 in, he was an only child and spent most of his days with adults. Particularly, he spent long hours with his Aunt Harriet. Harriet was a spiritualist and had introduced Robbie to the Ouija board as a young boy. Harriet passed in January of 1949, due to natural causes, the grief led Robbie to contact his beloved Aunt via a Ouija board.
Most neighbors and family friends described Robbie as quiet, studious and a bit unpopular, though Robbie was slightly withdrawn, the family was over all a seemingly normal part of working class America. Though the death of Harriet affected Robbie deeply furthering his withdrawn behavior and the family began experiencing strange occurences within their home after Harriet's death.
The first occurences were dripping sounds and scratching in the walls. The family had the plumbing inspected and even went as far as to tear out some walls to investigate the suspected rodent problem, but the problem contiuously grew worse and eventually the furniture was sliding across the rooms and pictures fell off the walls. At one point it was reported that the family had full on poltergeist activity in their home.
During this time, Robbie began waking with scratches and mysterious welts on his body. One particular night his mother heard a noise coming from Robbie's room, when she investigated she found the bed shaking violently with Robbie still on it. While their were occurences happening in the home, the violent activity seemed to be more focused on Robbie. It is reported that the activity even followed him to school causing desks to fly across the room. This normally withdrawn an quiet young boy, began to become violent, agressive and often would spew obscenities that sounded like they came from another voice and occasionally Robbie would speak in Latin, though he was not fluent in the language.
Knowing there was something incredibly wrong, Robbie's parents turned to the church for help. Rev. Luther Miles Schulze visited the home and witnessed Robbie's bed shaking, furniture sliding around which led him to determine that an evil presence was in the home. Rev. Schulze performed a Lutheran Exorcism but it seemed to have little to no affect on the evil presence. Rev. Schulze contacted Edward Hughes, a Roman Catholic Priest in hopes he could help rid the evil from the home and from Robbie.
Hughes visited Robbie and described the boy as having an empty gaze and when he placed a bible in front of Robbie, Hughes chair began to shake and levitate. Hughes was convinced that Robbie was possessed and began asking Robbie who he was in Latin and was not surprised that Robbie answered in Latin. Although the answer was shocking, Robbie stated in latin, "I am legions", which made Hughes believe there were more than one entity posessing the young boy. It was obvious an exorcism needed to take place.
Robbie was moved to Georgetown University Hospital, a Jesuit hospital, so the Jesuit brothers could monitor the boy during the exorcism. Upon arriving at the hospital, Robbie became violent, kicking, spitting, and screaming, that he required restraints. Father Edward Hughes recited exorcism rites for 3 nights straight, only enciting more violence in Robbie and on the ast night, the boy slipped one wrist out of the restraints, ripped a bed spring from his bed and slashed Father Hughes from his elbow down to his wrist. This injury ended the exorcism and Robbie went home. His very concerned parents continued to seek assistance from other Priests. The family visited family in St. Louis and spoke to Raymond Bishop, a priest and professer at St.Louis University, who recommended Priest William S. Bowdern. Father Bowdern was a well respected senior priest at the St.Louis Diocese,when Father Bowdern visited Robbie at his family friends home, he was welcomed with obscenities from the boy in voice that wasn't his own. Since the previous attempt at an exorcism, Father Bowdern proceeded with caution and brought two other priests, Walter Halloran and Rev. William Van Roo to assist him. This time the trio moved the boy to the Alexian Brothers Hospital, a Jesuit Institution, but this time the exorcism was conducted in the psych ward as the location was sound proof with no objects or furniture to be thrown.
The exorcism continued on for 6 weeks and failed 30 times. Father Hughes made one last attempt by baptizing the boy and forcing him to take Holy Communion, but the demons forced the wafer out of Robbie's mouth and hurled it across the room at the priest, shattering his nose. The priests finally restrained the boy and forced the wafer down his throat. For several days,nothing changed, but one day, Robbie sat up and said in a clear voice, "Satan! I am Saint Michael, and I command you, Satan and the other evil spirits, to leave the body now,”. From that day forward Robbie slowly resumed a normal life and began going to mass and school.
There were up to 40 witnesses to this exorcism, but all have worked hard to protect the identity of this young boy and his family. He is only known as Roland Doe or Robbie Mannheim.
According to reports, Robbie and his family moved back to their home and lived a happy and healthy life. Robbie went on to get married and have a full, healthy and happy life, though he has no memories of his possession.