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Who is Peter Moore? Everything you need to know about Exorcisms

  • Tuesday October 10th 2023

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In Honour of Halloween, we are taking a look through some of the most well-known exorcisms! 

So, what exactly is an exorcism?

well, exorcisms are considered a spiritual practice where demons or spiritual entities are evicted from a person, place or object.

This is usually done through vigorous prayers and anointing with holy water and holy oil. It's usually quite an elaborate ritual which can take a number of days or weeks.

Typically associated with the Roman Catholic faith, many priests are still performing exorcisms to this day!

The concept of exorcism or possession dates back hundreds of years ago, potentially around the beginning of early Shamanistic beliefs, where the dead were thought to cause harm to the living. 

Many ancient cultures including Egyptian and Babylonian cultures often associated illness and death with the works of evil spirits.

Typically exorcisms are performed by Priests, with a prayer which falls under the category of sacramentals, throughout time many exorcisms have been performed on both the young, and the old!


When and how are people referred to an Exorcist?

There's typically a protocol followed, where an assessment is conducted to determine the individual's mental state. This includes medical, psychological and psychiatric testing. After which, the individual may be referred to an exorcist for a final evaluation regarding demonic possession.


Exorcists typically deal with four types of possession:

  1. Demonic possession - where a demon is using someone's body as their own - this is rare.
  2. Demonic infestation - the presence of evil in a location, for example a house or an object.
  3. Demonic vexation - these are physical attack's on a person's body including cuts, bites or bruises.
  4. Demonic obsession - a demon has attacked someone's mind. Effecting their thoughts and emotions.


Famous Exorcisms throughout time

The exorcism of Mademoiselle Elizabeth de Ranfaing

In 1619, Mademoiselle Elizabeth de Ranfaing a recent widow, was sought in marriage by a particularly bitter physician. After refusing his advances, he gave her potions in the hopes of causing her to fall in love with him. Unfortunately, this didn't work and caused several strange health developments for Elizabeth, which various physicians were unable to cure.

In September 1619 it was decided that an exorcism would be most appropriate, during which the alleged demon that possessed her made detailed responses in Latin, French, Greek, Hebrew and Italian. It was also able to recite the sins and thoughts of the individuals examining Elizabeth and exposed secrets of the church.

At one point, the demon even interrupted the priest and mocked him for making a mistake in Latin.

Finally, in 1625 after several exorcisms the possession finally disappeared with Elizabeth eventually going on to found her own order of Nuns - helping women who were recovering from a life of prostitution.  


The exorcism of Roland Doe

One of the most well known exorcisms of the 20th Century was on a boy called Roland Doe in 1949 - the inspiration of the famous movie and novel "The Exorcist".

It was believed that he was under a demonic possession. Supernatural claims started when he began throwing deliberate tantrums at school. This was followed by mysterious marks appearing on his body, and his sudden ability to speak Latin. 

Roland was eventually placed under the care of Reverend Luther Miles Schulze after many failed attempts from psychiatrists and medical doctors to solve the disturbing behaviours displayed by the teen. Rev. Luther performed the first exorcism on Roland with the subsequent exorcisms performed by 3 other priests.

During one of the exorcisms Robbie allegedly broke from the mattress, slashed the priests arms and broke a spring off the bed to use as a weapon.

When another priest, Walter Halloran was called to the psychiatric wing of the hospital where Roland was staying, he noted that words including "hell" and "evil" appeared on the teenagers body. 

The final exorcism was successful despite the teen breaking priest Walter Halloran's nose. It's reported that Roland Doe went on to lead a normal life afterwards.


The Tanacu exorcism

This exorcism took place in 2005 with a mentally ill Romanian nun who was unfortunately killed during the process with priest Daniel Petre Corogeanu. This exorcism served as inspiration for movies such as "Beyond the Hills" and "The Crucifixion". 

Maricica Irina Cornici was thought to be suffering demonic possession and was bound to her room and tied by her hands and feet whilst the exorcism took place. She was later chained to a cross and carried into the church in order to anoint her wrists and forehead with holy oil - a common practice in exorcisms. 

Maricia was kept in the church for 3 days where they prayed to cast the devil out of her and continued to wet her lips with holy water.

Unfortunately, when she was eventually untied after being "cured", Maricia fainted after being given some bread and tea. The nuns were unable to wake her and eventually an ambulance was called as her pulse was very weak. She was administered with 6 doses of adrenaline but unfortunately died by the time they reached the hospital. 

This case was publicised in the Romanian media and gained a lot of publicity due to a lengthy trial involving the Priest.

One Priest was sentenced to 7 years in prison for her death. Another Nun was sentenced to 6 years and three other Nuns to 5 years. Despite many affirming that Maricica was demon possessed, the coroner maintained the her cause of death was due to an overdose of adrenaline. 


The exorcism of Peter Moore

During Regency England many Roman Catholics faced persecution due to changes in the official religion of England, a period called - the English Reformation.

Many held the view that the beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church posed a direct threat to their freedom. During this turbulent time, there were varying attitudes towards exorcism in the Regency Catholic Church. 

Between1814-15 a number of letters were addressed to Bishop William Poynter from a Thomas Moore desperately seeking help for his alleged demoniac brother, Peter Moore who he believed had been possessed by a demon.

Unfortunately for Thomas, priest Richard Broderick who had initially agreed to perform the exorcism, pulled out at the last minute, sending the family into a panic. 

Bishop William Poynter instructed Thomas and his family to find another priest to perform the exorcism, however Thomas was unable to do so, leading to Bishop William forbidding the exorcism. 

This exorcism is particularly interesting as it directly illustrates the differing views towards exorcisms in the Catholic Church.

Many believe that Bishop William Poynter actually put pressure on his clergy not to agree to the exorcism of Peter Moore. In contrast, around the same time, another priest actively authorised, and encouraged many exorcisms - Vicar Apostolic, John Milner. 

It's widely believed that Bishop William Poynter declined the exorcism as he thought it would bring scrutiny to the already fragile Catholic Church.

So, the Moore families search for an available priest to rid Peter Moore of his demoniac possession continued...

The question remains, what happened to Peter's demons?

This Halloween, experience the exorcism first hand at the London Dungeon. Witness the chilling whispers of Peter’s lost soul and the unsettling echoes of centuries-old curses.

Will you summon the courage to face the darkness head-on, or will you succumb to the malevolent forces that lurk within?

Join us for an experience that will haunt your nightmares for years to come. The exorcism awaits, and only the bravest souls shall emerge unscathed… if they emerge at all.

Ready to face your demons at the London Dungeon this Halloween?

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