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With streaming, DVR and general apathy working against live television to continue capturing the eyes and brains of audiences, it takes some pretty strong non-sports programming to get people interested. And while the major networks (or maybe just NBC) have been keen on using live musicals as bait, Destination America is going old (testament) school with their upcoming special Exorcism: Live!. For those of you out there not into that whole “context clues” thing, this show is going to feature a live exorcism. The power of ratings compels you!
While the idea of putting a live exorcism on the air is a questionable one, there is no arguing that Destination America has scheduled it perfectly, as they’ll be airing the special on Friday, October 30, making it the perfect complement to gorging on candy from your kids’ trick-or-treat earnings. The announcement was made at the TCA press tour, but presumably not from a levitating bed.
According to IGN, the special will take place within the St. Louis house that was the setting of a 1949 exorcism of a young boy called Roland Doe. (This was the event that inspired author William Peter Blatty to pen his novel The Exorcist, which you may have heard of.) Members of Destination America’s Ghost Asylum squad, the Tennessee Wraith Chasers, will be there (along with psychic medium Chip Coffey from Paranormal State) to examine the house using modern ghost-hunting equipment. So it won’t actually involve a possessed person, I guess.
That won’t be the only way that technology will enter into things, as Destination America will also have cameras set up in different parts of the house that viewers will be able to watch on the network’s website. And should people see something questionably spooky, they’ll be able to chat with the network through Twitter. I expect some major social media shenanigans to occur.
Though the unimaginatively titled Exorcism: Live! is the first in-the-moment presentation of such an event, this won’t actually be the first exorcism seen on TV. Back in 1971, NBC aired footage from one that took place in Chicago that also inspired the book True Haunting and an episode of Paranormal Witness. You can watch it below.
With movies like The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Deliver Us from Evil still hitting theaters, it’s obvious that demonic possessions haven’t become unpopular with audiences, at least fictionally. So get a big bowl of pea soup and a vibrating crucifix handy, as Exorcism: Live! will hit Destination America on Friday, October 30, at 9 p.m. ET.