Expelling Evil Spirits: The Exorcism Quiz

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About This Quiz

Exorcism may be forever linked to one iconic film, but the practice has deep religious roots and a history that's as long as it is controversial. Take this quiz to test your knowledge of exorcisms real and imagined.

How many people worldwide are certified to perform Catholic exorcisms?

An estimated 500 to 600 Catholic exorcists are certified worldwide though the church doesn't keep official records.

True or false: Priests performed an exorcism on Mother Teresa before her death.

Before her death in 1997, priests performed an exorcism on Mother Teresa. Despite worries to the contrary, the exorcism won't damage her path to sainthood.

What symptom led to Mother Teresa's exorcism?

Forget the spooky symptoms you see in horror movies — Mother Teresa's exorcism was spurred by a bout of insomnia.

What year did the famous exorcism that inspired "The Exorcist" take place?

The 1949 exorcism of a 13-year-old from St. Louis inspired the classic film.

What name did the church use to protect the privacy of the boy in the 1949 exorcism?

To protect the youngster, the church referred to him as Roland Doe or Robbie Mannheim.

True or false: The real Roland Doe has never spoken about his brush with the devil.

Roland Doe grew up to marry and work for the government, but he never spoke publicly about the 1949 exorcism.

What is the English translation for the Greek word "<i>exousia</i>," which gave us the term "exorcism"?

<i>Exousia</i> means "oath," so an exorcism is essentially making an oath to a higher power than the demon currently possessing a victim.

True or false: Some demon possessions are voluntary.

If a person accepts being possessed, it’s known as integration, while a true possession is always involuntary.

True or false: Some victims of demons still maintain some control over their actions.

If the victim still has some control, he is said to be obsessed or oppressed rather than fully possessed.

How long does a Catholic exorcism take?

The average exorcism, which is conducted in Latin, takes between 35 and 45 minutes.

When did the Roman Catholic Church write its first rule book for exorcisms?

"<i>De Exorcismis et Supplicationibus Quibusdam</i>," or "Of Exorcisms and Certain Supplications," came out in 1614 and was a guidebook for Catholic exorcisms.

What year was the 1614 Catholic exorcism guide updated for the first time?

It took almost 400 years before the 1614 guide was revised in 1998 by Pope John Paul II. It was published in English in 2014.

True or false: Any priest can perform an exorcism.

Only a priest authorized by a bishop can legally perform an exorcism, according to the Roman Catholic Church.

What piece of information must a priest ask the demon when performing an exorcism?

During an exorcism, the priest must interrogate the demon to find out its name and when it plans to leave the victim.

True or false: Pope John Paul II performed an exorcism.

Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis have performed exorcisms, in 1982 and 2013, respectively.

What is the name of the real family that inspired the film "The Conjuring"?

"The Conjuring" followed the trials of Rhode Island's Perron family as they fought off demonic possession.

How many exorcisms were performed on Anneliese Michel?

Around 70 exorcisms were performed on young Anneliese Michel during the 1970s. She eventually died from the abuse.

Where was Anneliese Michel from?

The demonic possession and exorcisms of the young German girl were captured in the movie "The Exorcism of Emily Rose."

True or false: Anneliese Michel's exorcists went to jail for their actions.

Two priests and Michel's parents were sentenced to six months in the slammer after Michel's exorcism-related death.

True or false: You need an exorcism if you are subject to the evil eye.

A person who is cursed, or subject to the evil eye, requires only a special prayer, not a full exorcism.

Whose exorcism was broadcast on "20/20" in 1991?

ABC showed the exorcism of a young girl named Gina on a 1991 episode of "20/20."

True or false: The Catholic Church forbids covering an exorcism in the media.

Thanks to the 1998 changes to the exorcism rules, filming an exorcism is now forbidden.

True or false: People have died recently during exorcisms.

Exorcisms may seem like a thing of the past, but several people have died in the past decade during the demon-expelling process.

Which of these is NOT a common sign of possession?

Three of the most common signs of possession include abnormal strength, knowledge of hidden things and the ability to understand unknown languages.

How many priests in the U.S. are certified to perform exorcisms?

If you want an exorcism in the U.S., you'll need to track down one of the estimated 30 priests who are authorized to do the deed.

What is the 2011 film "The Rite" based on?

The film is inspired by a book on exorcism training written by the Rev. Gary Thomas, who learned the craft in Rome.

Who wrote the book "The Exorcist"?

William Peter Blatty wrote the famous 1971 novel after reading an article on exorcism in The Washington Post.

True or false: "The Exorcist" was never supposed to be a horror novel.

Blatty wrote his novel with an eye on Damien Karras' faith and never intended to scare readers.

What year was "The Exorcist" movie released?

The film came out in 1973 and still ranks as one of the scariest movies of all time.

What is the name of the demon victim in "The Exorcist"?

Linda Blair played the young Regan, who is fully possessed by evil forces in the film.

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