It's hard to believe that my point of origin in this country had one of the most famous exorcisms in history. Apparently, people are still talking about it.
One man described living near the suburban St. Louis home where the 13-year-old boy arrived in the winter of 1949 (his Lutheran mother was a St. Louis native who married a Catholic). Another said she was a distant cousin of Father William Bowdern, who led the exorcism ritual after consulting with the archbishop of St. Louis but remained publicly silent about his experiences — though he did tell Allen it was "the real thing.
I've heard the stories myself. My grandparents were in their 30s with two little girls in West County when it all happened. Everyone was talking about it and everyone believed it. Father William Bowdern, who performed the exorcism, was viewed as a savior to the community for many years.
He drove the devil out of the Gateway to the West!