Are Exorcists Exorcising The Wrong House?

"There's something dark in this house. Demons. Satan's minions."
Destination America

The St. Louis home that inspired William Peter Blatty's "The Exorcist" is also a part of Hollywood lore.

But as the team from Destination America's "Ghost Asylum" converge on that house for a highly publicized TV exorcism, we must ask, "Did Destination America pick the right location for this demonic scrubbing?"

In a live presentation Friday night, the GA team will attempt to rid the house of a malevolent presence that allegedly still resides there, 66 years after the original story unfolded.

There's a general impression that an exorcism was performed on a 14-year-old boy who lived there. But there have been many conflicting reports over the decades as to where exactly these events took place.

While strange, alleged paranormal manifestations may have occurred in the house (pictured below), some reports over the years suggest the actual bulk of the exorcism of that activity took place elsewhere in St. Louis.

Destination America

The young teen at the center of the story was someone identified as Roland Doe, who had lived in the Washington, D.C., area and ended up moving to the home of a relative in St. Louis after he began displaying signs of physical attacks on his body and bed.

The manifestations continued in St. Louis, eventually involving the intervention of 12 priests over four months who assisted Catholic priest (and lead exorcist) Father William Bowdern.

According to a detailed account by, the exorcism may have started at the house where Doe was staying, but continued at the rectory of the St. Francis Xavier Church before Doe was moved to Alexian Brothers Hospital in St Louis.

That's not exactly true, says "Exorcism: Live!" creator and executive producer Jodi Tovay.

"There's a reason why we're doing the show from the house instead of other places," Tovay told The Huffington Post.

"The house where Friday's exorcism is taking place is the house where most of the St. Louis exorcism rites were performed. This is all according to an historical record -- the diary written by one of the 12 supporting exorcists on the team. Regarding the Alexian Brothers Hospital, that is where the final exorcism was performed and Roland was officially exorcised."

While that seemed to end the reported demonic problem for Doe, Tovay says subsequent residents of the house have also reported unexpected things.

"There have been unusual reports of paranormal activity at this house for many years since 1949, as well as from the hospital, which has since been torn down," said Tovay. "That's why we're focusing our program on the house.

"During Friday night's seance, the main questions we're going to ask are: Why this boy? Why St. Louis? and Why this house?"

There are some who believe that, 66 years later, demons still live in the house -- including psychic-medium Chip Coffey.

"They're demons. They're Satan's minions. They're his worker bees, his drones," reports

Coffey will conduct the seance at the house on Friday night. "There's something dark in this house. That's not a question mark."

Viewers of "Exorcism: Live!" will be able to interface with the exorcism participants via online robot cameras placed throughout the house.

"We're inviting the audience to be incredibly interactive with us and telling us where to go," said Tovay. "It'll be a very viewer-driven type of show. If you go to, we'll be streaming six robo-cams in the house, separate from the actual show. It's a unique online experience."

Whether there be demons there or not, we hope the team will exorcise with caution.

Destination America
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