Not surprisingly, many horror movie villains suffer from serious mental illness, mental disorder, or physical ailments that can cause them to behave strangely. Become monsters who commit atrocities against innocent victims, stalking, murdering, raping, molesting and bullying their prey.
Sometimes a vicious cycle of torture, misery, insanity and criminality is created in which the victim becomes the victim of other victims who are often just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their actions are so horrific that some people confuse their actions with demons, immortal goblins, mutants, ghosts, or demons themselves.
Although these films often allow supernatural and natural possibilities to explain the description of events, medical science usually allows for only one cause, although the cause, mental illness, applies to the villains and victims of films like Stephen King’s enormous, which take many forms to carry out, all horrifying and terrifying.
After Adolph Hitler and Lucifer took up residence in her, Annaliese Michel began to do things she’d never done before. She licked her urine off the floor. She went into trances. She soiled herself. Her hands swelled to gargantuan size. She saw devilish faces leering at her from the walls. She feared churches. She refused to enter a chapel at a shrine, saying the ground of the holy site burned her feet. She spoke in a deep voice. A stench emanated from her.
Eighteen months later, in 1967, after being subjected to sixty-seven exorcism rites, Michel died of malnutrition in Klingenberg, Germany. She was twenty-three years old. A movie, The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), based on Michel’s horrific experiences, brought her story to public attention around the world. The exorcists, Fathers Arnold Renz and Ernst Alt, left behind a record of many of the rites, some of which lasted four hours. On the tapes, Michel can be heard growling, barking, and naming the names of some of the demons the priests believed tormented her: Cain, Nero, Judas, Lucifer, Hitler.
Michel had stopped taking the medication prescribed for the epilepsy from which she had been diagnosed as suffering, and her parents entrusted their daughter’s fate to the priests. Becoming malnourished, she died of starvation.
After Michel’s death, the exorcists were tried. Both Father Renz, 67, and Father Alt, 40, were convicted of negligent homicide and received suspended prison sentences. They were ordered to pay for the cost of the proceedings. The court concluded that Michel’s condition—at the time of her death, she weighed only seventy pounds—should have indicated her need of medical attention. Medical and psychiatric witnesses testified that epilepsy and Michel’s parents’ strict religious upbringing were to blame for the victim’s ordeal.