(OPINION) The real-life exorcist played by Russell Crowe in a terrifying new film conducted his work in a Vatican chamber set away from Rome’s streets – so nobody could “hear the screams”. Father Gabriele Amorth led tens of thousands of exorcisms before his death in 2016 aged 91.
According to Daily Star, His nightmarish career has now made it to the big screen in The Pope’s Exorcist, with Oscar winner Crowe saying of his work: “It’s a very dark pursuit – you’re dealing a lot with people who are suffering deeply.”
But while the film is sure to terrify audiences once it is released on Friday (April 7) in the UK, the real experiences Father Amorth claimed to have witnessed are even scarier.
From a “demon-possessed” man who “hovered in the air” to a little boy who found supernatural strength to fight off three huge cops, here are some of Amorth’s most spine-chilling encounters with evil.
Italian Catholic priest Amorth was the Chief Exorcist in the Vatican and he co-founded the International Association of Exorcists. He had a mischievous sense of humor and joked before sessions: “You know why the devil flees when he sees me? Because I’m uglier than he is.” But one petrifying exorcism in 1997 was no laughing matter.
A young man was led into his exorcism room which was nine by 15ft – and Amorth immediately sensed evil. The alarming meeting was told by Marcello Stanzione in the book, The Devil is Afraid Of Me: The Life and Work of the World’s Most Famous Exorcist.
He wrote how the “slim peasant” began cursing in English after Amorth asked for Jesus’ help, despite his native tongue being Italian. Stanzione added: “His curses and threats were aimed solely at the exorcist; then he began spitting at him and preparing to attack him physically.