47: The Exorcist (Crossover Episode w/ Pages and Popcorn)

In this special crossover episode, Kaylia (Pages and Popcorn) and Matt (Ghosthropology) talk about that 1970s classic: The Exorcist. We discuss the “true story” that inspired the novel, the novel that inspired the movie, and the movie that has inspired fear for almost 50 years.

The Exorcist is a 1971 horror novel by American writer William Peter Blatty. The book details the demonic possession of eleven-year-old Regan MacNeil, the daughter of a famous actress, and the two priests who attempt to exorcize the demon. 

The novel was inspired by a 1949 case of demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University.[1] As a result, the novel takes place in Washington, D.C., near the campus of Georgetown University. 

The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin and written for the screen by William Peter Blatty, based on his 1971 novel of the same name. It stars Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran (in his final film role), Jason Miller and Linda Blair. It follows the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother’s attempt to rescue her through an exorcism conducted by a pair of Catholic priests.

This episode was written by Matthew Armstrong with music by Matthew Armstrong and production assistance from Kaylia Metcalfe.

Support The Show

Supporters get early access to our episodes as well as that warm feeling of knowing that you, yes you, are helping our intrepid Ghosthropologist keep working and keeping our producer well-caffeinated.

Show Notes and Sources

Deleted scenes

Looper’s take on the ending

The Take: Surprising Politics of The Exorcist

Captain Howdy Rides Again

Nightmarish Conjurings

American Hauntings Ink

Astonishing Legends

The Atlantic 

AV Club

The Conversation

Little White Lies

Skeptic Magazine

Skeptical Inquirer

St. Louis University

Strange Magazine 

Stuff You Missed in History Class


US Conference of Bishop’s Q+A on Exorcism

Chambers, A. C. (2021). ‘Somewhere between science and superstition’: Religious outrage, horrific science, and The Exorcist (1973). History of the Human Sciences, 34(5), 32–52. https://doi.org/10.1177/09526951211004465 

Van Wirt, Bill (1974). The Exorcist: Radical therapy.  Jump Cut, no. 1 pp. 4-5.  https://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/onlinessays/JC01folder/exorcist.html

If you have a story about a ghost, some bit of folklore, or anyting else you want to share, please contact me.

Published by kayliametcalfe

Queer,loudmouth,skeptical-agnostic-pagan,book addict,coffee lover,wine drinker, SAHM,writer,editor,producer,podcaster. -She/her

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: