Most horror fans know that The Exorcist is very loosely based on a difficult-to-piece-together account of a real exorcism that was performed on a boy from Maryland in 1949. So, this Halloween, cable network Destination America will exploit that fact by performing a live “exorcism” tied to the case.
At the Television Critics Association summer press tour today, Destination America announced Exorcism: Live, a TV event that will take viewers inside a St. Louis home where the boy from the case, given the alias “Roland Doe,” once lived. The event will feature the Tennessee Wraith Chasers from Destination America’s Ghost Asylum, as well as medium Chip Coffey, and will feature a full exploration of the house as well as an attempt to “rid the lurking spirits and demons that inhabit this home.”
“As we step into one of the most haunted and well-known spirit destinations in America, Exorcism: Live will show exactly what is inside this infamous, highly dangerous and possessed home,” said Marc Etkind, Destination America GM. “By actually exorcising this iconic house live, Destination America will do what it does best — bringing never before seen experiences to television.”
It all sounds like a lot of fun if you’re a big fan of the night vision-heavy ghost hunting shows that dot the cable landscape. Here’s the thing, though. Roland Doe wasn’t from St. Louis. He was from Maryland, and only traveled to St. Louis during his possession, so whatever “possessed” him didn’t originate in this house. Plus, the exorcism that seems to have worked didn’t happen at a house. It apparently happened at a hospital, according to accounts of the event. The story’s rather murky, though, so I guess we can just shrug that off in the name of spooky cable amusements. And hey, for all we know, Destination America dug up some new information.
Exorcism: Live airs October 30 at 9 p.m., just in time to freak your kids right the hell out before Halloween.