Episode 25: An Exorcism in Earling

Screams could be heard throughout the town of Earling, Iowa in 1928. It was there, in a Franciscan Convent, that Father Theophilus Riesinger conducted a series of exorcisms on Anna Ecklund…or what is Emma Schmidt? Samantha and Aaron dive into the mysterious and troubling world of demonic possession with the story of Wisconsin natives Anna Ecklund and Father Riesinger. With a topic this complex, Samantha and Aaron make sure to provide a lot of background information on the practice and history of exorcisms, as well as a look at the practice in pop culture. Although Aaron didn’t approve of Samantha’s working title, Fun with Satan, they hope you enjoy this trek into the demonic dark side. 

Time Stamps

Intro: Am I an Adult?- 1:02
The History of Exorcisms- 5:30
Rituale Romanum- 12:22
Introducing the Case- 17:33
The Exorcism Gets Going (And Gross)- 22:01
Midway Break- 33:05
Visions and Prophecy-37:49
Exorcisms Today- 44:00 
Pop Culture and Wrap-Up- 51:38

Further Reading

You can read the article about exorcisms from The Atlantic here.

Learn about the changing views the Catholic Church has on exorcisms here.

You can read about Begone Satan! and the earliest pamphlet on the case here.

We found our copy of Begone Satan! on Scribd.

Time Magazine ran a brief overview of the case in 1936.

And here you can find out more about Father Theophilus.