THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH NEEDS MORE EXORCISTS. THAT FACT PROMPTED BISHOPS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO CONVENE TWO MONTHS AGO IN BALTIMORE... TO RESPOND TO THE GROWING DEMAND FOR PRIESTS TO LEARN THE ANCIENT RITE. AND HOLLYWOOD COULD NOT HAVE HAD BETTER TIMING. IN JUST THE LAST SIX MONTHS, TWO MAJOR MOTION PICTURES HAVE COME TO THEATRES.... "THE LAST EXORCISM" IN AUGUST AND "THE RITE" OPENED LAST WEEKEND.
COURTESY "The Last Exorcism" LIONSGATE
HOLLYWOOD MOVIES ARE ABOUT AS CLOSE AS MOST OF US EVER GET TO AN EXORCISM.
BUT WE WANTED TO GET A CLOSER LOOK, IN THE REAL-WORLD.
SO WE TRAVELLED HERE TO KANSAS, OKLAHOMA , WELL BEYOND THE GATES OF HOLLYWOOD:
"This is Jeff Ferrell with KSLA News 12. I'm here to see the Mannings."
FERRELL: "This is very secluded."
THIS IS THE SAME PATH A ROMAN CATHOLIC MONSEIGNOR HAD ALREADY TRAVELED ONCE FOR THE INITIAL INTERVIEW AND THE FIRST STAGES OF AN EXORCISM.
IT INVOLVES A WOMAN WHO AGREED TO SPEAK WITH US BEFORE THE EXORCIST'S SECOND VISIT.
FERRELL: "Are you Kevin?"
KEVIN MANNING/HUSBAND: "Yes sir."
FERRELL: "Hey, Jeff Ferrell."
MANNING: "Jeff, how you doin'?"
ONCE INSIDE, KEVIN BEGAN EXPLAINING THAT HIS WIFE TINA IS ALWAYS TIRED.
TINA MANNING/KANSAS, OK RESIDENT: "Why don't you tell him the truth?"
MANNING: "What's that? How you were getting lazy?"
TINA MANNING: "He thought I was getting lazy because every time he's home all I want to do is sleep because it was the only time I felt comfortable sleeping.
FERRELL: "...was when he was home?"
TRUCK DRIVING KEEPS TINA'S HUSBAND GONE FOR DAYS AT A TIME IN AN EMPTY HOUSE.
EXCEPT, SHE FEARS IT'S REALLY NOT SO EMPTY AND RESPONSIBLE FOR HER POSSIBLE DEMONIC POSSESSION.
FERRELL: "Do you ever get the feeling that the demon is talking through her?"
KEVIN MANNING: "When she gets angry, 'cause she doesn't get angry."
AND HER ANGER HAS BEEN BUILDING.
TINA MANNING: "Yeah, when I get angry now my head feels like it's going to explode. I just, I'm trying real, real hard not to go crazy."
BUT OF COURSE ANGER ALONE IS NOT A CLEAR SIGN OF POSSESSION.
COURTESY "The Rite" WARNER BROS. PICTURES
PRIEST: "It's not the Devil. It's just a very, very sick girl. She doesn't need a priest. She needs a shrink." (scream)
WARNER BROTHERS NEW RELEASE "THE RITE" BEGINS WITH A SKEPTICAL PRIEST WHO AGREES TO STUDY UNDER A RENOWNED EXORICIST AT THE VATICAN.
AND EVEN THE MOVIE DESCRIBES VALID CASES AS VERY RARE.
THAT'S WHAT THE MANNING'S THOUGHT TOO.
IN FACT, HER HUSBAND SAYS THE EXORCIST, IN THE CASE, WASN'T SURE SHE WAS POSSESSED FOR SURE UNTIL HE CAME TO THE HOUSE TO INVESTIGATE PARANORMAL ACTIVITY THAT HAD BEEN INCREASING IN FREQUENCY AND INTENSITY.
BUT THEIR SKEPTICISM ENDED QUICKLY WHEN THE EXORCIST PUT HIS HAND ATOP HER HEAD AND BEGAN RECITING LATIN PRAYERS.
KEVIN MANNING: "She gasped and her head went like that. And he just stayed with it. He never broke strike and all of a sudden her whole body, her stomach started going crazy. And she started crying like crazy."
TINA MANNING: "It felt like my head was being stretched off my shoulders like someone was pulling my head off."
IT WAS ENOUGH TO CONVINCE KEVIN.
KEVIN MANNING: "I saw the hand of God and I saw the hands of what the Devil can do."
COURTESY "The Exorcist" WARNER BROS. PICTURES
REAGAN/POSSESSED GIRL: "What a wonderful day for an exorcism."
BUT UNLIKE THE HORROR CLASSIC "THE EXORCIST", WHICH FEATURED SPINNING HEADS AND LEVITATION...
EXPERTS SAY YOU LIKELY WON'T SEE THOSE SUPERNATURAL THEATRICS IN THE REAL-WORLD.
THE MANNINGS DO REPORT SEEING WRITING SPONTANEOUSLY APPEAR IN FRONT OF THEM ON A SHOWER STALL DOOR...AND ORBS CAPTURED ON RECENT PHOTOS THEY BELIEVE TO BE SPIRITS.
THEN THERE ARE THE SHADOWS:
TINA MANNING: "We've seen like the size of a cat, black thing just going up the wall, coming around, going up the ceiling and taking off."
JEFF FERRELL/KSLA NEWS 12: "We arrived here at the Manning home in Kansas, Oklahoma three days before the planned exorcism by the Catholic Church. The Mannings hope that such an ancient rite of exorcism will get rid of of of their problems. They're also hoping that moving in about two weeks will end the rest."
BUT SINCE OF VISIT, BAD WEATHER HAS REPEATEDLY DELAYED THAT PLANNED EXORCISM.
AND EVEN IN THEIR NEW HOUSE TINA MANNING REPORTS STRANGE ACTIVITY, LIKE MYSTERIOUSLY SLAMMING DOORS THEIR FIRST NIGHT. JEFF FERRELL KSLA NEWS 12.
JEFF TELLS US THAT MANNING'S EXORCISM IS STILL SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE. WE'LL KEEP YOU POSTED ON THAT CASE. BUT JEFF ALSO RECOUNTS A WARNING HE RECEIVED. THAT WARNING: CURIOSITY-SEEKERS AND GHOST HUNTERS HING FOR 'CASPER' ARE PUTTING THEMSELVES AND THEIR LOVED ONES IN DANGER. THE REASON: SOMETHING CALLED "DEMONIC ATTACHMENT"... QUITE LITERALLY TAKING IT HOME WITH YOU.