• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Fire resurrects 'devil talk' in exorcism town

The Local · 13 Jun 2013, 11:33

Published: 13 Jun 2013 11:33 GMT+02:00

"Yes, people are talking about it again," Peter Ott, head of the Klingenberg fire brigade told The Local on Thursday.

He led the operation to fight the fire at the sawmill owned by the Michel family - whose daughter Annelise died during an exorcism back in 1976, something which has cast a cloud over the town located some 60 kilometres south-east of Frankfurt ever since.

Her distraught parents erected a chapel in her honour - and this, as well as her nearby grave, has over the years become a place of pilgrimage for devout Catholics.

Annelise's story was turned into the 2005 Hollywood film The Exorcism of Emily Rose starring Laura Linney and Jennifer Carpenter. German filmmaker Hans-Christian Schmid also made a film about the case called Requiem.

Annelise's deeply religious parents brought priests to help her fits which doctors said were most likely due to epilepsy.

The archbishop of Würzburg gave them official permission to conduct an exorcism - a very rare occurrence. By the time she died, she weighed just 31 kilos. She was 23 years old.

Now the regional criminal police are investigating whether the fire at the sawmill was started deliberately, said fire chief Ott. It still belongs to the Michel family, and is managed by Annelise's sister.

"It was a huge fire," he said of the blaze which started in the early hours of June 6.

"We were called there at 42 minutes past midnight, and we were still there at 7pm the following morning. We had to get a digger in to tear down parts of the sawmill so we could reach different parts of the fire. The house next door was also badly damaged."

He added that a car trailer parked outside the wreckage of the sawmill was set on fire on Wednesday night.

Both Michel parents are already dead, and the tz newspaper reported that the house has been standing empty since then, with some locals claiming to have seen spooky apparitions in the shadows there.

Story continues below…

The paper even noted that the date of the fire - the 6th day of the 6th month - could be made into the devil's number if the digits of 2013 were added together to make six.

"Of course, much is being speculated - that the fire is to do with the Michel family. But I don't think there is a connection," said Ott.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
File photo: DPA

When a man swimming naked in a Bavarian lake felt a strange pain in his nether regions, he looked up to see a fisherman on the shore. "Don’t pull!" he shouted.

Study finds rival Rhineland beers 'actually taste the same'
Left: Altbier. Right: Kölsch. Or can you even tell? Photos: DPA.

Cologne and Düsseldorf have a long established rivalry, not least over who has the better home brew. So the results of a new study might be more than they can swallow.

Eastern Europe pushes Germany for joint EU army
Angela Merkel (l), Beata Szydlo and Victor Orban. Photo: DPA

Eastern EU countries on Friday pushed for the bloc to create a joint army as they met with Germany for talks on sketching Europe's post-Brexit future.

Merkel’s party mate wants to get rid of all Karl Marx streets
Karl Marx and one of the roadways in Berlin named for him. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Nicor

Hundreds of streets are named after the founder of communism, but this conservative politician wants to give Marx the boot.

State elections
6 reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Photo: DPA

With state elections around the corner, The Local looks at the poor side of Germany's "poor but sexy" capital city.

Upstarts RB Leipzig plan to go right to top of Bundesliga
RB Leipzig players celebrate scoring against Dynamo Dresden. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig make their Bundesliga debut on Sunday, but the East German outfit, sponsored by energy drinks manufacturer Red Bull, are already far from popular in Germany's top-flight.

Poland criticizes Germany’s 'self-serving' foreign policy
Witold Waszczykowski. Photo: DPA

The Polish foreign minister has said that Germany all too often follows its own interests at the expense of its partners, as Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to visit Warsaw.

Vast majority of Germans in favour of burqa ban: poll
Women wearing niqab veils in Saudi Arabia. Photo: DPA.

A survey found that the vast majority of respondents were in favour of Germany passing a ban on the full-body veil sometimes worn by Muslim women.

Czech police detain driver for harassing Merkel's motorcade
Angela Merkel. File photo: DPA

Czech police arrested a man on Thursday for attempting to drive into the motorcade of visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Prague, they said.

Teacher convicted for holding kids back after class
Photo: DPA

A music teacher from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has been found guilty of "holding people against their will" after he made some naughty stay kids back after class.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,653
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd