Weird History

The Story Of Roland Doe Inspired The Exorcist – But It's Way More Terrifying Than The Movie

Many people have seen or read The Exorcist, and quite a few have been scared out of their minds by the story. While the fictional tale is notoriously well-remembered, how much do people know about the true story that inspired The Exorcist?

The 1949 exorcism of 13-year-old Ronald Hunkeler wasn't front page news in the small town of Cottage City, Maryland. A few articles were written about the "incident," but most residents refused to speak about what happened. The possessed was given the pseudonym "Roland Doe" to protect his identity, and went on to live a totally normal life.

The real-life exorcism of Roland Doe was enough to inspire one of the most terrifying movies of all time. So what actually happened back in 1949?