Discovery Channel Exorcism Show Earns Vatican Blessing

by | January 5, 2011 at 3:34 PM | TV News

16th April 1975: The Reverend Trevor Dearing performing an exorcism on a alcoholic prostitute at St Paul's Church, Hainault, Essex. (David Ashdown/Keystone/Getty Images)

16th April 1975: The Reverend Trevor Dearing performing an exorcism on a alcoholic prostitute at St Paul's Church, Hainault, Essex. (David Ashdown/Keystone/Getty Images)


What the devil is going on here? It’s a new Discovery Channel show about real-life exorcisms that reportedly has the approval of the Catholic Church.

In fact, according to the story on EW.com, the Vatican has agreed to participate in the production of the series, providing its producers with “access into the Vatican’s case files, as well as interviews with the organization’s top exorcists – religious experts who are rarely seen on television.”

The show, called “The Exorcist Files,” will use re-creations to tell stories from the Vatican annals of “real-life hauntings and demonic possessions,” the story said. No premiere date has been set yet, but the show will likely debut some time this spring.

What possessed Discovery to pursue this exorcism project? The stories are “fascinating,” said Discovery President and General Manager Clark Bunting.

Of course, for many of us, the topic of exorcisms immediately brings to mind memories and images from one of the scariest movies of our lives, 1973’s “The Exorcist,” starring Linda Blair. With this new show on Discovery, the Vatican apparently feels there’s an opportunity here to separate the “facts” of demonic possession from the fiction.

It’s a “we report, you decide” approach that appealed to the Vatican’s representatives, Bunting explained. “The Vatican is an extraordinarily hard place to get access to,” he said, “but we explained we’re not going to try to tell people what to think.”