The Terrifying Story Of The Possession of Clara Germana Cele

Most people are familiar with the movie “The Exorcism” and perhaps you are familiar with the story that inspired the movie itself. But the story of Clara Germana Cele has been seemingly forgotten in the over 100 years since it happened. I believe, though this is speculation, that this story also played quite the role in The “Exorcist” movie.

Clara was born in South Africa in either 1889 or 1890, and we don’t know much about her life before she reached the age of 16. What we do know is that she attended St. Michael’s Mission in Umzinto in the region of Natal, South Africa and that she had been adopted by the Mission at the age of 4 due to being an orphan. But she was always seen as a well behaved and good child.

What is tragic, and puzzling, was what happened on her 16th birthday. She began to cry out for help and was erratic and confused. Her words were as follows, “Get the priest! I have to confess something. Get him quickly! I’m afraid Satan will kill me before I have a chance to confess!” Father Erasmus came to hear her confession where she told him she had made a pact with Satan.

Even before this, most at first noticed the drastic change in the young girl. Some think she may have been a rebellious teenager or overly curious but really, we’ve never found out why a young Christian schoolgirl decided to do such a thing. Supposedly, many of the locals overheard her making said pact and word spread quickly.

After the pact, it didn’t take long for the consequences to manifest themselves. Her mental health rapidly deteriorated. She became angry, unstable, and regularly began to spout blasphemies and vulgar things at random. She also often acted like an animal around her family with hissing and barking and aggression. But she also demonstrated the ability to speak in languages she had absolutely no knowledge of. A nun claimed that Clara could understand any languages pushed on her such as Polish or German. This was also observed by others than just the nun. The nuns and priests tried to pray for her and give her religious items, but Clara was just not responsive. It seemed that only the demons possessing her were in charge.

But this went beyond merely speaking in tongues. She also allegedly began to manifest the ability to read people’s minds and showed immense knowledge of secrets of both strangers and those close to her. Almost as if she could see their sins… It goes without saying that it should not be possible.

But it gets worse, the presence of blessed objects seemed to drive her insane and for a crazed 16-year-old girl, she should not have been able to manhandle the nuns and beat them up. This is also common in Demonic possessions, strength beyond what the body can normally exert. The nuns also were horrified by her cries which were supposedly extremely bestial and unlike the girl. As one Nun wrote, “No animal had ever made such sounds. Neither the lions of East Africa nor the angry bulls. At times, it sounded like a veritable herd of wild beasts orchestrated by Satan had formed a hellish choir. No animal had ever made such sounds. Neither the lions of East Africa nor the angry bulls. At times, it sounded like a veritable herd of wild beasts orchestrated by Satan had formed a hellish choir.”

Father Erasmus, the one who heard her confession and who had been called initially thought this was merely the consequences of a young mind rebelling against authority. So for 6 months later in August 1906. Two nuns found her curled up and much of her room ransacked and her bedframe ruined. She explained she had thrown away all of her crucifixes, rosaries, and other holy items. She was now vulnerable. She also began to attack the nuns and threw things around the room. She also allegedly said something close to the following to presumably the demon or demons possessing her, “You betrayed me! You promised me glory, but now you torture me.”

Several nuns and older sisters were made to watch over her. Many still believed her claims were false and for attention. According to one book, it was during this that she questioned the faith the nuns had in God and it turned into a very violent event. Clara reportedly beat several of them severely, tore off their clothes, and left a few of them unconscious. It was after this that the people at the Mission began to test her.

Her skin also reportedly burned when in contact with holy water even when Clara had moments of lucidity. Fire also apparently transfigured out of nothing around her, burning her room but not herself. Many of the people began to congregate around Clara to try and get rid of the demons and to help her, but she revealed the impure thoughts of those around her and the congregations quickly left. She also spoke about Father Erasmus’ travel to Rome at the time and knew details the Priest couldn’t even remember well.

It was during Erasmus’ travel to Rome that a younger priest took over the congregation and attempted to perform an exorcism on Clara. But she taunted him and revealed impure thoughts and he eventually cracked emotionally and slapped the girl. She proceeded to rip part of his vestments and beat him and choke him afterwards. She then sat in a corner and wept as the priest fled the scene. Clara was then put in a private room.

Many of the doors around the Mission including Clara’s began to shake and be beat upon with tremendous force like that of thunder and one priest even patrolled the hallways with a gun. Clara mocked him and told him the demon inside of her only took pleasure in the ordeal.

One can only imagine the horror it must have been to see demons defile and use such a young girl. But her foolishness had clearly played a part…

It was around this time she also began to physically change. Her neck would stretch and extend so harshly that visible bumps would form from the damage to her body. She also began to got to the ground and wiggle around like a snake and even bit a nun severely who was knelt praying for her. This left puncture wounds like that of a snake bite..

Finally, an exorcism was arranged for Clara with Reverend Mansueti who by this time was the director of St. Michael’s Mission and Father Erasmus, her personal confessor. The exorcism began in the morning and went on until noon then was again carried on with at 3pm and carried on until night. Clara began the exorcism by ripping off one of the priest’s collar and attempting to strangle him with it. But the priest continued un-phased.

Well over 100 people were said to have witnessed the event, specifically when Clara began to levitate.

She allegedly levitated both horizontally and vertically and her strange animalistic noises were heard by all. They put her through extreme pressure trying to exorcise the demon and finally, after hours the following day, the demon agreed to leave after levitating her 6 feet in the air and dropping her. Though the exorcism seemed to have worked.

What is truly mind boggling is that after all of that, she made another pact with Satan in 1907. She had to be exorcised a second time which was again, a success and not many details are known about it except for the room apparently being filled with a truly foul smell after the demon left.

Many still believe this was just a case of mental illness, but as far as all the sources indicate, she lived a normal life after the exorcisms. Had she been just mentally ill, this never would have happened, and she would have lived the same way for the rest of her life. Likely she would have ended up in a sanitorium or asylum. Sadly, she died of heart failure at the age of 22 in 1912. There have been speculations about whether the pacts shortened her life, but such ideas are just conjecture as far as we know.

What do you think? Was Clara Germane Cele truly possessed by a demon or even multiple demons? Or was it just a lie and bad behavior from a mentally ill orphan? I’ll leave that to you to decide.]

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Bill Ramsey

However, Ramsey was changed. Intense and pure rage had installed itself firmly within his psyche. Using this and the adrenaline-fueled strength he now possessed, he had uprooted a fence post – with the fence still attached – and was swinging it like a club. Not even his parents could easily remove the post with their bare hands. What the young child did next made both of his parents flee back into the relative safety of their home – leaving Bill isolated outside. Bill Ramsey placed the wire meshing into his mouth and began gnawing at it! The cold sensations returned and a low growl emanated from deep within him. Both his parents remained inside the house until it was apparent that their son had calmed down considerably.

Dark Dreams

For nearly fifteen years after that terrifying incident, nothing even remotely similar happened in the life of Bill Ramsey. He had grown up, got married and became a doting father of three. The first two years of his marriage though were plagued by nightmares. Each dream was the same and the results ended up identical as well. Ramsey always awoke in a cold sweat and was overwhelmed by feelings of dread and unease. In his dream, he was always a few steps behind his wife, who would then turn to face him and run away in extreme terror. It was only in 1967 that these dreams ended. 18 months on, and Bill woke one night to hear what he thought was panting of a wild animal somewhere inside the bedroom. He was correct. It was Bill himself.

1983 Headline Of The Sun Newspaper

Once again there was a lull in activity for approximately fifteen years. It was now 1983 and Bill was out with some friends at a local pub. After several drinks, Bill began to feel the same icy chills that first manifested much earlier in his life. He made an excuse and headed to the lavatory. Once there he checked himself in the mirror and saw a wolf looking back at him. This was just a precursor as to what was to happen on their way home. In the car ride home, and without any warning, Bill began to growl and immediately turned to his fellow passenger. Both hands twisted into claws and Ramsey tried to bite the leg of his friend. The designated driver didn’t panic. He brought the car to a stop and made attempts to get the raging Bill out of the back of the car. It still took several minutes and quite a bit of effort to finally get Bill out of the car. By now the frenzy had dissipated. The Sun newspaper documenting the story of Bill Ramsey. The Sun newspaper documenting the story of Bill Ramsey. Worse was to come, but not for another 18 months.

Shortly before Christmas 1983, Bill begins to suffer from chest pains and thoughts immediately turned to a possible heart attack. Bill checked himself into the Emergency Room of the local hospital and was halfway through a blood pressure examination when he sank his teeth into the arm of the nurse and ran through the ward as a man possessed. Witnesses would later reveal that Bill had hunched shoulders and both hands had curled into talons or claws and bared lips just like a rabid animal. Anyone that dared approach was knocked down easily with almost superhuman strength. It took quite a few people, working as a team, to finally subdue the rampaging man. A police officer managed to place handcuffs around Ramsey’s wrists but still, this was not sufficient. A tranquilizer finally put an end to the outburst. The following morning this tranquilizer had worn off and so did the original transformation. 

After a hearty breakfast, the attending doctor listened to the whole story and recommended that Bill remains under observation. However, he was a voluntary patient and was fully entitled to check himself out. Bill did so but was back within the span of two months. In January 1984, Bill had just finished a visit to his mother when he began to feel an attack coming on. He made it to the same hospital on the same terms of his previous visit. The attending nurse was alone with Ramsey in the Emergency Room and feared for her life once she told Ramsey that she was going to find a doctor. Ramsey threw to one side and lunged for an orderly. By chance four police officers entered the hospital and immediately circled Ramsey. The officers and Ramsey had a stand-off for a few seconds until Ramsey began snarling and growling at all four. The policemen advanced on Ramsey, who defended himself with some vigor. One of the four police officers suffered wounds so severe that he ended up in the hospital for another four days. All four managed to handcuff Ramsey again. The short walk to the waiting squad car went off without incident, as Ramsey had apparently regained his faculties. When he arrived at the local police station, they immediately summoned the police surgeon. Ramsey considered the suggestion of checking himself into a mental institution but decided against it, citing the stigma that he might feel in the days to follow. Since he was clearly in control and rational, Ramsey was released.

In the summer of 1987, he was back at the police station. This time, however, he was much more public-spirited. Having made a citizen’s arrest to a local teenage prostitute, he drove her to the station. The second that he parked his car, she fled into the station. Ramsey once again felt the now familiar sensations surging from the middle of his chest, just as a burly policeman approached the car. The officer, considerably bigger than Ramsey, started to question him and made the big mistake of gently touching Ramsey’s arm. The wolf within him took immediate hold of Ramsey and the officer was thrown to the ground and was having the life choked out of him until help finally came. Ramsey was so wild, that it took a dozen policemen to hold him down and two injections to finally restrain him. For the next ten days, countless MRI’s, x-rays and psychiatric tests could not determine what was wrong with Ramsey. Clearly, there was some issue that needed resolving. Nobody should really switch from mild-mannered rationale to rampaging berserker and back again in the space of a few minutes unless there is something seriously wrong.

Ed & Lorraine Warren Become Involved

Ed & Lorraine Warren

One thing that went in Bill’s favor was the visit to London of American ‘Demonologists’ Ed and Lorraine Warren. Bill’s story appeared on a television show at the time of their stay. Lorraine immediately considered that Bill was being possessed and got in touch with the Southend-on-Sea police station. After dialogue on both sides, the Warrens obtained the opportunity to talk to the Ramseys.

The Warrens negotiated with Bill Ramsey and finally convinced him to come to their church in Connecticut and undergo an exorcism with their own specialist, Bishop Robert McKenna. Bill relented and made the trip with his wife in 1989. A tabloid newspaper, The People, sponsored the trip. The night before the exorcism was due to take place, Ramsey tried to strangle his wife while she slept. When the exorcism actually began, Bill was not at all impressed. The service was being conducted in Latin and for half an hour nothing happened. Bill then took on an entirely different appearance – his face contorted and both hands formed claws. McKenna commanded the demon to leave. The full force of werewolf fury descended on McKenna one time and then disappeared for good. The whole event was recorded on film.

Bill Ramsey During The Exorcism

Bill Ramsey last appeared in public in 1992 when he updated his progress. Just before his exorcism, the transformations were increasing in both frequency and seriousness. Since that time, there have been no incidents recorded.

The Ramseys And The Warrens With The Priest Who Performed The Exorcism

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That’s right. The fictional story behind the movie, written by William Peter Blatty. Was based off of a real story of an exorcism that took place in the 1940’s in St Louis, Missouri.

The exorcism was of a young boy named Roland Doe (alias).

Roland and his family began to experience strange happenings around their home after Roland played with his deceased aunt’s Ouija board shortly after her passing. The activity started with scratches coming from inside the walls and from there things escalated.

One night after the scratching sounds had turned to bumps and knocks. The activity seemed to move out of the walls and into Roland’s bed. He was awakened and terrified by his bed shaking and bouncing. He wasn’t the only one to have seen this activity however. His mother joined him in the terror, after she heard him screaming.

After this the “demons” seemed to overtake the boy and he began to manifest incredibly violent and scary behavior. This was accompanied with words now being carved into his skin.

The protestant family eventually contacted the Catholic church to receive an exorcism for the boy, after the priests dubbed it as the “real deal.”

From here the boy was exorcised and would eventually be cured. Or so the story goes.

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