Father William Bowdern is the name of the Catholic
Priest said to have been responsible for freeing the young boy commonly
known as 'Roland Doe' from Demonic possession in the exorcism that is
thought to have become the basis for the notoriously scary movie 'The
Roland Doe is also sometimes known as 'John
Hoffman' and it is unknown which, if either is the real name of the boy. All known information regarding the exorcism of
Roland Doe has been taken from a mysterious diary believed to have been
kept by one of the priests in attendance.
Extracts from the priests diary tell of:
Unexplained dripping noises, a picture of Jesus
being shook on a wall, scratching noises under floor boards, and
footsteps. Soon after this began Roland Doe's Aunt died (The Aunt
with which he lived who had also previously instructed Roland in the use
of the Ouija board).
Soon after his Aunts death scratches began to
appear on the young boys body, this went on for several days, and then
words began to appear on Roland Doe's body, words which appeared to have
been made by claws.
Father Bowdern was
called and permission was obtained to perform an exorcism. Roland
Doe was over the next few months transported back and forth between his
home and a nearby church as the exorcism continued.
The Roman Ritual of Christian Exorcism reads:
"I cast thee out thou unclean spirit, along
with the least encroachment of the wicked enemy and every phantom and
The exorcism initially met with
repeated failure, with one priest being slashed with a bed spring, and
an image of the devils face appearing on Roland Doe's leg. The
Catholic Priest Bowdern however refused to give up and dressed in
religious talismans and holding a crucifix repeatedly performed the
The possession of Roland Doe came to an end
when during the final session the young boy unexpectedly cried out
"Satan! I am Saint Michael! I command you to leave this body now!"
Roland Doe's body then with a massive violent spasm uttered "He is
Roland Doe later claimed to have seen a vision
of Saint Micheal expeling the demon.