"Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

The Exorcist- Part I

I know many of you may have seen the 1970s movie The Exorcist but how many of you know the true story behind the movie? The subject of the real story is not a girl but actually a 13 yr old boy who I'll call "Robbie Doe." He grew up in Cottage City having a troubled childhood and dysfunctional family.

In 1949, Robbie Doe's parents began noticing strange occurrences. They would constantly hear scratching in the walls and on the ceiling. Dismissing it as being just mice, they contacted an exterminator but he found none. Instead, he made things worse. Things started to move around on their own and sounds of people walking down the hallway could be heard.

The most frightening occurrences happened to Robbie Doe. His bed would shake violently. His sheets were torn and sometimes pulled off his bed. He was even pulled from the bed to the floor with them gripped in his hands. The strange events progressed to witnessed attacks on Robbie Doe.

The Jesuit priests who later went on to perform the exorcism documented many of the early events in a diary. The diary was created to help with future exorcisms. It contain details of the exorcism involving Robbie Doe.

Out of desperation, the boy's parents agreed to allow him to spend a night with Rev. Luther Schulze, a Lutheran minister. After spending time and praying with Robbie, he wasn't sure if the boy was haunted or the house. Mrs. Schulze slept in the guest room while Robbie and Rev. Schulze slept in the twin beds in the master bedroom. After ten minutes, Schulze started to hear Robbie's bed shaking as well as the same scratching noises. He quickly turned on the lights and saw his bed vibrating violently. His prayers caused it shake even more. Robbie was wide awake and completely still.

Schulze then asked the boy to sleep in the armchair. After sitting across the room, the chair began to move. It moved backwards and then jolted back and forth. Moments later, it slammed against the wall tipping over and depositing the unhurt boy to the floor. In a last attempt, Schulze made a small pallet on the floor and asked Robbie to sleep on it. As soon as the boy fell asleep, the blanket began to move. It slid across the room to right under the bed. After being startled awake, Schulze made the pallet again. The blanket slid under the other bed, Robbie's arms and legs were visible at all times and were taut with tension. The blanket never wrinkled at anytime!

Robbie Doe was hospitalized for medical and psychological evaluations. This during the time we allegedly exorcised. His mother decided to take him away from Maryland to St. Louis on vacation. She felt it would do him some good and the entity thought so too because the word "Louis" would unexplainably appear on the boys rib cage. Of course, after going to St. Louis, the weird occurrences didn't stop.

To Be continued...

*Taylor, Troy (2002). The St. Louis Exorcism Case: The story that became The Exorcist! Retrieved on August 29, 2005 from the Prairie Ghost website:

Fort Mifflin

In 1777, George Washington's Colonial army was defeated at Brandywine by British forces. Led by General William Howe, 20,000 British troops moved into Philadelphia. He needed supplies that were on 200 British ships at the mouth of the Delaware River. Howe had to get his ships up the river before it froze in order to pursue Washington. What he didn't know was that there was a small contingent of troops in an unfinished British fort called Ft. Mifflin. Their objective was to delay the British ships.

The siege of Ft. Mifflin began in November of 1777. The British took over the fort after about a week. Before and during the battle, Washington arrived at Valley Forge and out of reach from British troops. The river began to freeze and Howe didn't get his supplies.

Fort Mifflin was used during the Civil War and the Korean War as a prison. It was closed in the 1960s and is now open for tours. Most of its' haunted past deals with the Civil War but there are other spirits that have been residents of the fort for much longer. A few hot spots include: The Officer's Quarters (the place where the Screaming Woman can be heard), Casemate 5 (location of the faceless man who is thought to be Billy Howe, the only man ever hung at the prison), and The blacksmith shop (Jacob the blacksmith always wanted the back door to be open and even after death, continues to open it).

More info:

*Juliano, Dave (August 01, 2005). Fort Mifflin, Philadelphia, PA. Retrieved on August 13, 2005 on the Shadowlands website:


Here is a story straight out of Roman mythology.

Echo was a beautiful nymph and Diana's favorite but like some women she talked way too much. One day Juno was looking for her husband and Echo distracted her while the nymphs got away. When Juno discovered what Echo was doing, she said, "You shall forfeit the use of that tongue with which you have cheated me, except for that one purpose you are so fond of -- talking back. You shall still have the last word but no power to speak first."

Echo spotted a beautiful youth, Narcissus, one day running through the mountains and decided to follow him. She desperately wanted to talk to him but waited for him to speak first. After being separated from his companions, Narcissus one day asked, "Who's here?"

Echo replied, "Here."

After looking around and seeing no one, he called out, "Come."

"Come," she replied.

He then replied, "Let us join one another." Echo said the same words and ran to him. She threw her arms around him but he backed away saying, "I would rather die than you should have me!" In vain, she said, "Have me." He left her and she ran into the woods to hide her embarrassment.

Since then she lived in caves and among mountain cliffs. She faded away from grief until she completely disappeared. The only thing that was left of her was her voice. Ever since then she still replies to anyone who calls to her. Echo still has the last word.

To read more about Echo and Narcissus:

*Norder, Dan (2005). Echo and Narcissus. Retrieved on August 5, 2005 from the MythologyWeb website:
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