Anneliese Michel. Born in Bavaria in 1952, Anneliese Michel is perhaps the last embodiment of Satan you’d expect.
Michel was part of a devoutly religious family, who believed that she needed to pay penance for her mother’s sins. Her older sister was illegitimate, and when the 8-year-old girl died, the message was a clear one for the religious family. A even clearer sign came when Anneliese was 17 and she was diagnosed with epilepsy. The seizures got worse and worse, and she began showing classic signs of demonic possession. She heard voices telling her that she was damned, she asked for exorcisms, and she got worse and worse. Religious imagery sent her into a panic, and conventional medicines and treatments were no help.
During her exorcism, various voices gurgled out of her, claiming to be anyone from Hitler, Nero of Rome, Judas, and Satan himself. Michel (or her demons, anyway) violently refused food and water, instead spending her hours screaming, beating herself bloody, and licking up her own urine. Finally, she died of starvation and pneumonia on July 1, 1976, weighing only 68 pounds. She was buried next to her sister, in an area of the cemetery reserved for suicides, though the courts didn’t agree, eventually charging and convicting her parents and the priests of negligent homicide. Still, when the Telegraph interviewed her mother before the release of The Exorcism of Emily Rose, a movie based on this incident, Anna Michel said, “I don’t regret it. There was no other way.”
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