The 13th Floor

Attempted Exorcism in German Hotel Goes Horribly, Fatally Wrong

So far, five people have been arrested in Frankfurt, Germany following the death of a family member who was apparently undergoing a brutal exorcism ritual.

[Details of this case may be disturbing, so proceed with caution.]

According to Associated Press, German police found the body of a 41-year-old South Korean woman in a room at the Frankfurt Inter-Continental Hotel after receiving a call from a member of the victim’s family. They arrested five of the woman’s relatives — including her teenage son — who claimed they had been attempting to expel what they believed was a demon possessing the victim’s body.

Police stated that the cause of death was asphyxiation, as the family members had been putting considerable weight on the woman’s chest, stuffing a towel into her mouth to muffle her screams.

“According to our current information, the suspects subjected the victim to pain and agony for at least two hours,” Chief Prosecutor Nadja Niesen told AP, adding that “their actions were motivated by a callous and merciless attitude.”

Police later found another 41-year-old woman in a house which the same family had been renting in nearby Sulzbach; she was suffering from hypothermia and dehydration, and was taken to a hospital. Details have not been released regarding the second woman’s possible connection to the exorcism case.

This incident is unnervingly similar to the case of Anneliese Michel, a young German woman who died in 1976 following a lengthy exorcism ritual; her parents and the priest involved were later charged with negligent homicide. The case became the inspiration for Scott Derrickson’s 2005 horror film THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE.