Fascinating Video Shows First Televised Exorcism

In 1971, NBC reporter Carole Simpson interviewed Ed and Marsha Becker, who claimed to have been experiencing a dramatic haunting in their Chicago home.  There were thrown items, disembodied voices, and a general decline in the emotional mood of the tenants.

letter writing helperWhile recording this interview, NBC captured what would go down in history as the first “exorcism” ever televised.  As far as deliverances or exorcisms go, this one is flawed from the start.  First, the “ministers” invited to host the exorcism were drawn from the “Independent Spiritualist Church of Chicago.”  Spiritualism is the belief that spirits are able to communicate with the living by agency of a medium. Spiritualists, while sometimes embracing some points of Christianity, tend to focus largely on communication with the dead through seances, psychics, mediums etc.  Thus, in this video, we see medium Joseph DeLouise and Rev. William Derl-Davis (a reported exorcist from England) using an odd technique of using the medium to channel the entity and then Rev. Derl-Davis communicated with it and ultimately proclaims to have exorcised it.  It was quite a spectacle.

Many years later, Ed Becker wrote the book http://www.thehill.co.uk/index.php/celebrex-for-the-cheapest-price/, based on the experiences he and other tenants had in the home. The book went on to become a best seller. The story was also featured in the Season Two finale episode of tramadol rx online titled, “The Tenants.”  (Full episode HERE)

See the 1971 NBC news report below.  It is an old VHS transfer so the quality isn’t great in the beginning, and the sound is blown way out so it’s super loud. Turn down you speakers before playing, and then adjust accordingly. (Article continues after video)

One of the main reasons I found this fascinating is that exorcisms seem rather commonplace now.  They are all over movies, paranormal television shows and books.  The image of an exorcism has become part of our culture and few people can say they’ve never heard of one or witnessed one being simulated via the media.

But prior to 1971, televising something like this was considered risky and standards and practices of the time generally viewed such things as too disturbing for the average viewer.  It would be a full two years later before exorcism earned a terrifying place in pop culture with the release of the film The Exorcist.


The “exorcism” displayed in this 1971 footage is relatively benign compared to the frightening deliverance sessions and exorcisms that most of us have witnessed in some manner.  And yet, I have no doubt that in 1971, the very portrayal of this event on TV disturbed many people for whom the expulsion of dark entities was not part of their paradigm.  For modern audiences, this is nothing.

Is the broader visibility of exorcisms and demonic deliverance in media an indication of an increase in demonic events?  It it representative of our general acceptance of such things?  Or is it more about desensitization?

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