03/02/2005: Obituaries of note....
We've just received word that Rev. William H. Halloran, S.J., died on February 1 at the Jesuit residence hall of Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, at the age of 83.
The name probably doesn't ring a bell to you, but Fr. Halloran is the last of the team of Jesuit priests and seminarians who are alleged to have performed the Catholic rite of exorcism on a 14 year old boy in St. Louis, MO, in March-April of 1949. The rite (which, according to legends I heard growing up in St. Louis, occurred mostly in a room at Alexian Brothers Hospital (now St. Alexius Hospital) in South St. Louis) is famous in certain circles for being "the true story" which inspired William Peter Blatty's novel (and William Friedkin's movie adaptation), The Exorcist.
For the popular version of the "true story", author Troy Taylor digests what we South St. Louis Catholics were taught as gospel. For a more skeptical take, CSICOP investigator Joe Nickell offers some decidedly more rational explanations.
Len on 03.02.05 @ 08:31 PM CST