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The Exorcist

October 1, 2016




Father Theophilus Riesinger, a Capuchin monk from Appleton, was the most celebrated Exorcist of the 20th century. He performed 20 exorcisms between 1912 and 1932. His most notorious case was the 1928 possession of Wisconsin native, Emma Schmidt (Anna Ecklund) - a grueling and complicated 23 day battle with demonic forces. "Begone Satan", a short book describing the exorcism in detail became part of author William Peter Blatty's source material for his best selling book,"The Excorcist". The physical details of excorcism in the book and movie are exactly as described in "Begone Satan".  Father Theophilus, Bavarian by birth, was ordained in Milwaukee and first arrived in Appleton in 1912. After a short period in Marathon, Wisconsin, he returned in 1921 and served St Joseph Parish in Appleton  until his death at the age of 73 in 1941.

Frank l Anderson