Anneliese Michel (September 21, 1952 – July 1, 1976) was a German Catholic woman who was said to be possessed by demons and subsequently underwent an exorcism. Two motion pictures, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Requiem are loosely based on Anneliese’s story.
Anneliese experienced what is recognized by medical professionals as severe psychiatric disturbances from the age of 16 to her death, at age 23, as a direct or indirect result of an exorcism ritual. Both priests who performed the exorcism and Anneliese’s parents were convicted of negligent homicide. The Roman Catholic Church, which had authorized the exorcism, reversed its position and declared Anneliese Michel a case of mental illness. Many people believe she was genuinely possessed by demons, and her grave-site is a destination for pilgrims to this day.