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|“||We are the ones who dwell within! I am the one who dwelt within CAIN! I am the one who dwelt within NERO! I once dwelt within JUDAS! And I was with LEGION! I am BELIAL! And I...am Lucifer, the devil in the flesh!||„|
|~ The Six Demons revealing their names.|
|“||One, two, three, four, five, six. One, two, three, four, five, six. TRICK OR TREAT, I GIVE YOU TREATS AND TRICKS!||„|
|~ The Six Demons retaliating at Father Moore who tries to exorcise them.|
|“||Dolls and kisses and crosses and wishes... You think that can save your little girl?||„|
|~ The Six Demons mocking her family's prayers and faith.|
One night at 3 AM, Emily Rose experienced severe sleep paralysis in her college dormitory. This was the moment when all of the six demons entered Emily's body. She ran outside for relief but her condition grew worse. She became paranoid, often viewing people with their faces contorted. On some occassions, the demons would paralyse her body and twist her limbs at odd angles.
Nobody knew that she was demon possessed so she was given anti-seizure medication instead. Her friend Jason, however, suspected that there was something even worse going on and took her home to her family in the countryside.
As the demons continually possessed and tormented Emily, Father Richard Moore, an exorcist, was finally called to banish the spirits. Emily's doctor Dr. Cartwright also participated in the exorcism and decided to record the events with a cassette tape as evidence. They enter the house and see the demons violently attacking Emily and forcing her to self-harm in the bedroom.
With the help of Jason, they restrain her and recite the Lord's Prayer in attempts to exorcise the demons whilst the rest of Emily's family prayed downstairs. The demons, however, taunt and tell Moore to "try harder" as they summon the family cats to attack him. Jason and Dr. Cartwright help Moore recover whilst Emily frees herself and leaps out of the window.
The possessed Emily escapes to the barn but the others give chase and wanting to complete the exorcism, Moore demands the demons to reveal their names. The demons are reluctant to do so as they provoke the horses in the barn to act violently. Having enough of Moore's stern commands, the demons eventually reveal their names, resulting Emily to faint.
The day after the exorcism, Emily went to the fields and saw Virgin Mary. Offered a choice between ascending to Heaven or remaining to become a martyr but prove the existence of God and demons, Emily chooses the latter. She recounts these events via a letter and accepts her fate. Before her death, she receives the stigmata on her hands. The demons eventually kill her, leaving her body and face horribly crippled and scarred. Her death becomes a prolific court case and whilst some accuse Moore of neglecting Emily on her last days, which he vehemently denies, Dr. Cartwright decides to get involved by giving Moore's lawyer Erin Bruner the cassette tape of the exorcism. Before he could give her the tape, a demonic hooded figure, presumed to be one of the six demons, appears before him. He becomes distracted as a speeding car suddenly hits him, killing him instantly.
These are the names of the six demons in order:
- Cain- The first murderer in the history of mankind, according to the Bible. He killed his brother Abel out of spite and jealousy.
- Nero- The Roman persecutor of early Christians. He infamously blamed them for the ills of the empire, tortured them and burned them alive through various means.
- Judas Isacriot- One of Jesus's disciples who betrayed Jesus and decided to hand Him over to the Roman authorities, who planned to crucify Him.
- Legion- A group of demons who infamously possessed a man in Gerasenes but was later exorcised by Jesus. They later possess a herd of pigs, successfully driving them to commit mass suicide.
- Belial- The second most powerful demon in the hierarchy of demons. He is heavily associated with lawlessness.
- Lucifer- Also known as the Devil or Satan. He is the ruler of the hierarchy of demons.
Real life demons
These were the demons that possessed Anneliese Michel in the real exorcism.
- Adolf Hitler
- The behaviour of some of the six demons can explain why Emily developed strong anti-Christian prejudices despite being Christian all her life (Nero, Lucifer), a murderous hatred towards her family and their horses (Cain, Legion), her focused aggression towards Moore for being a priest (Belial) and eventually self-harming/suicidal tendencies (Judas) during her last days.
- Emily's encounter of the Virgin Mary prior to her death could be a possible reference to how Anneliese (the real Emily) believed she was dying to atone for the sins of the youth.
- Like the real case, the existence of the six demons are disputable and could be a symbolism of Emily's deteriorating mental health, as suggested by skeptic Ethan Thomas in the film.