Roland Doe And The True Story Of “The Exorcist”.

Horror movies often confront us with the unimaginable, but sometimes the terror is too much to imagine. One of his scariest and most disturbing films of all time, The Exorcist is based on a real-life exorcism of his 13-year-old boy in 1940s Washington, D.C. He was known by the pseudonym Roland Doe.

Roland Doe

Ronald Hankeler, identified as “Roland Doe” in the diary of a priest who participated in an exorcism, was born in 1935 to a Lutheran family in Cottage City, Maryland, the only child. 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 her unexpected death, the family heard eerie sounds and objects were discovered. He claimed to have seen it move of its own accord. Ronald, who claims to have heard scraping under the bedroom floor and drops of water on the walls, was apparently at the center of these incidents. The Hunkeller family called the police, doctors, and finally the Lutheran minister, who was so upset and confused by what they said that he advised the family to contact a Catholic priest.

In late February 1949, Father E. Albert Hughes requested permission from the local archdiocese to perform an exorcism on Ronald. He tied the boy to the bed and began to pray, but somehow Ronald untied one of his hands and nailed through his mattress, breaking part of the metal mattress spring. When Father Hughes approached him, he punched him and cut his shoulder. Father Hughes stopped the exorcism, but afterward, the word “Louis” mysteriously appeared on Ronald’s body. Eyewitnesses said it wasn’t uncommon to see words etched into his skin, and his parents took it as a sign for help in St. Louis, where his niece goes to school. She contacted Father William S. Bowdern, a professor at St. Louis University. He said Ronald spoke Latin in an eerie voice, objects flew around the room, and the boy’s bed shook.

Take Two

Roland Does second exorcism took place at Alexian Brothers Hospital in St. Louis, where two other priests, Father Walter Halloran and Father William Van Roo, assisted Father Bowdern. In one fit of violence, Ronald broke Hallorans nose, but on April 18, after nearly a month of tireless work by the three priests, Ronald experienced several seizures and screamed that Satan would not leave him. The priests placed rosaries and crucifixes on his body and prayed to Saint Michael to free Ronald from Satans grip, and within minutes, Roland appeared to snap out of his trance, looked the priests in the eyes, and said, “Hes gone.” Later, the boy claimed he saw visions of Saint Michael and Satan in battle and watched as the saint forced Satan to flee.

By all accounts, Ronald Hunkeler went on to live a normal life, and his story remained largely unknown outside of a scarcely detailed Washington Post article. One person who did take note of it was William Peter Blatty, who used Hunkeler`s story as the basis for his 1971 novel The Exorcist, which became a pop culture phenomenon after it was turned into a hit film two years later. But this renewed attention is consistent with growing interest in the case of Mr. Hunkeler, who reveals a wealth of conflicting information and a lack of due diligence on the part of documenting the alleged events. It also revealed Ronald’s reputation among his peers. A depraved bully who is prone to tantrums. They concluded that the symptoms of demonic possession claimed by witnesses were almost certainly exaggerated or deliberately induced by Ronald.