The 1973 film "The Exorcist" is regarded as one of the scariest movies of all time. But what's even spookier is the true story of the real-life exorcism that inspired it.
With that in mind, paranormal filmmakers Philip and Christopher Booth set out to make "The Haunted Boy: The Secret Diary of the Exorcist," based on the infamous, truly terrifying story of a 13-year-old boy who was allegedly possessed by the devil in St. Louis in 1949.
To delve into the gritty details, the twin filmmakers went straight to the source: tracking down an old, secret journal written by the Rev. Raymond J. Bishop, one of the priests involved in the original exorcism of the boy, who's known by the pseudonym "Robbie Mannheim."
"There are only six copies of the real, unedited diary floating around the world," Christopher Booth told AOL News. "It's a raw, 26-page account of what really happened to that boy, and it's very intense."
So what really happened to inspire William Peter Blatty's "Exorcist" horror novel and one of the most frightening Hollywood movies of all time?
The Booth brothers said the real-life exorcism case began with a boy in Maryland who developed extremely strange behavior and markings on his chest, one of which supposedly read "St. Louis."
The twins said the boy's family took it as a sign to seek help in Missouri where they had extended family. The youngster stayed at an uncle's house, and there, as the diary reveals, the apparent possession spiraled out of control.
"It started to get really scary, with the boy screaming and growling all night, keeping the neighbors up," Philip Booth explained. "So they took him to an asylum and eventually to Alexian Brothers Hospital, where the exorcism was finally successful."
Along the way, however, the Booths said incredibly chilling things occurred.
"Fourteen signed witnesses saw the boy's bed levitate. The kid broke a priest's nose and threw five grown men off him during a failed exorcism attempt," Christopher said.
"The diary also explained how the boy would write everything the devil told him to say on his bedsheets. He even drew a map of hell," Philip added.
And the spooky stuff doesn't stop there.
After going through Bishop's secret diary and deciding to make a movie about it, the Booth brothers experienced their own paranormal encounters.
Along with a team of professional ghost hunters, including St. Louis-based Paranormal Task Force leader Greg Myers, the Booths visited every single location tied to the boy's exorcism, including his bedroom.
They said they set up electronic equipment to catch any paranormal sights and sounds, and what they got back was spine-tingling.
"We got a clear EVP [electronic voice phenomena] in the boy's room that was in some other language. When we had linguists study it, they determined that it was Persian for 'I am Lord, I am master,' " Christopher said. "One of the first signs of possession is speaking in unfamiliar languages."
For their latest spooky flick, "The Haunted Boy," paranormal filmmakers Philip and Christopher Booth explored the real, untold story that inspired "The Exorcist" book and movie. Needless to say, they haven't been sleeping too well ever since.
They also spent some time tracking down the original furniture from the boy's bedroom, including the bed that allegedly levitated and a desk that is said to have moved on its own.
"To this day, the furniture is locked up at a military base in Illinois under strict guard. They wouldn't let us see it, but we interviewed the people who moved it into storage," Philip said. "It has to be some pretty powerful furniture to have it under lock and key like that."
"The Haunted Boy" will have its world premiere just days before Halloween, on Oct. 28 at Tivoli Theater in St. Louis, and the Booths are confident it'll leave viewers thoroughly freaked out.
"I still see black shadows in my room after making the movie," Christopher lamented.
The flick is also available on DVD, and -- get this -- it comes with a copy of the 26-page diary that made it all possible.
A little light reading, anyone?
Click to view image: '89831dc57bc4-exorcist_1.jpg'
Click to view image: '06c65c3741f1-exorcist.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|