Ep 78: The Devil and Anneliese Michel – Exorcism on Trial (Part 3)

Anneliese Michel's gravestone in Klingenberg am Main, Bavaria, Germany. Photo by Offenbacherjung, with no endorsement of the content of this episode or topic. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Dr. Jennifer Sy, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Sy, Ph.D.


“The Klingenberg case was for all those involved, a breathtaking experience. Someone on the outside cannot possibly appreciate this experience. Man’s imagination is stretched past the limit when it comes to demonic possession.”

– Father Ernst Alt, quoted from "Anneliese Michel: A true story of a case of demonic possession" by Lawrence LeBlanc and Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea


Anneliese Michel was buried in the Klingenberg Cemetery, Klingenberg am Main, Miltenberger Landkreis, Bavaria (Bayern), Germany. To this day, her grave remains a pilgrimage site for believers.


Was Anneliese Michel truly possessed by demonic forces, or was she suffering from a more earthly psychological affliction such as an extreme case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with Scrupulosity, epilepsy, PTSD or Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis?  Tonight we examine this case from the solely scientific, clinical angle with our interview of Dr. Jennifer Sy, Ph.D. of the Houston OCD Program.  Dr. Sy is a licensed clinical psychologist with training in cognitive-behavioral treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.  She received a BA in Cognitive Science from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and her MS and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wyoming.  She has published on cognitive/behavioral mechanisms and exposure-based treatment of social anxiety, specific phobias, and panic.  In the end, however, even with a diagnosis that seems to cover many of her symptoms, those who allow themselves to consider possibilities beyond flesh and blood may wonder if the truth of Anneliese Michel will remain forever hidden between the worlds of the natural and the supernatural.

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Interested in Podcasting? Come see Scott and Forrest at Podcast Movement 2017 in Anaheim, California

August 23 – 25, 2017

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Reference Links:


Related books:

The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel:
By Felicitas D. Goodman

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Episode 78: The Devil and Anneliese Michel – Exorcism on Trial (Part 3).  Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Audio Editing by Sarah Vorhees; Ryan McCullough Sound Design; Research Assistance by Tess Pfeifle and the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Copyright 2017 Astonishing Legends Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.