“that thing”

with Halloween just a few weeks away, scary stories are to be found in abundance both in print and onscreen. some are purely make-believe, while others prove to be frighteningly real. take The Exorcist, for example; although the story itself is a work of fiction, its inspiration comes from a true story that occurred in 1949. the subject of this account was fortunate to go on living a normal life after the ordeal. but for Adam Sturtevant, an award-winning writer originally from Boston (he currently resides in Austin), seeing The Exorcist as a kid would change his life forever. for Adam, possession took on a different meaning as he watched his father succumb to the effects of alcoholism. the essay he contributes to Electric Literature tells a story equally as haunting as the book or movie. but like Roland Doe and Reagan MacNeil, Mr. Sturtevant was able to pick up the pieces despite the disturbances in his life.

when people are asked what the scariest film they’ve ever seen is, the answer is usually The Exorcist (along with Jawsbecause shark attacks and demonic possession rank high on the list of terrifying experiences that are likely to happen among Americans). it forces us to examine ourselves and our faith, no matter what we believe in. it shows us that doubt is the real source of terror and that nightmares can be real, but we can keep them at bay if we are strong.

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