1/6/11

The Haunted Boy The Secret Diary of the Exorcist review Travis Brown St. Louis Horror Movies Examiner

The Haunted Boy The Secret Diary of the Exorcist review Travis Brown. St. Louis Horror Movies Examiner. So if you were in St. Louis around Halloween and you happened to drive by the Tivoli theatre in the world famous Delmar loop you may have noticed on October 21stand October 28ththere were huge lines of people waiting see a documentary brought to you by the fabulous team of the Booth brothers and their associates of Spooked TV productions. The reason this documentary hits home a little more than most in our fair city is due to the fact it was about the tale of a young boy who was brought to St. Louis to have demons exorcised from him. Some know it as the tale that influenced the book and hit move The Exorcist but after seeing this documentary it stands alone as its own film and it is called The Haunted Boy. 

St. Louis has a rich history of paranormal phenomenon. From the school yards of Alton Illinois to the Lemp mansion our fair city has many tales and urban legends that cover St. Louis and the surrounding areas landscape. Lemp being the most famous for ghost hunting and occurrences has always stood out but many know and remember a story of a young boy who was brought to St. Louis and he was believed to be possessed by demons. Let me start off by saying this, “thank you Booth Brothers.” Thank you for bringing to light a tale that has baffled me for years on how everything went down involving the boy, Alexian Brothers Hospital, St. Vincent and the Bel-Nor House. Due to the popularity of the fore mention brewery house the tale of the Haunted Boy sometimes gets lost in the St. Louis supernatural shuffle. Not by these guys standards though. Some people make documentaries and some make films. Well I will say for sure that even though this was made as a documentary with true accounts, this is a film, and a well done one at that. Now I’ve heard of the brothers but had never seen their work. After seeing this film I can say that this film is a documentary to the second power. This is not your everyday “Most Haunted Places” type vision like you would see on A&E or the Travel Channel and also not just a run around with negative light camera ghost hunters’ episode as well. This is an  in your face well done telling of some strange happening in St. Louis, most swept under the rug but was brought to life by the finding of one diary. This diary was written by the overseeing Father of the exorcist Father Borden. Borden was a teacher and catholic priest in St. Louis and was asked to come to the house of the boy who was possessed. They eventually moved the exorcism to the old Alexian Brother’s hospital and that’s when it really kicked off. The Booths bring to light the knowledge that the Vatican had on the happening here in St. Louis and what was done to take care of this exorcism and also to keep the happenings under wraps. The boy was kept on the fifth floor of the old hospital in the insane asylum area and there were many reports of screams and strange paranormal activities happening on the floor and in the boy’s room. There is even an account that this room was so haunted that even the furniture was damned. The Booths did a good job showing the background history of the priest who conducted the exorcism. He was a pillar of the St. Louis community and but after certain tragedies in his life had somewhat lost faith in the church yet his will was still strong. Being a fan of the Exorcist film the lost of faith was something that immediately struck out to me as significant as a parallel between this documentary and the film. I remember the father who assisted with the priest in the Exorcist movie lost his mother and also had lost some faith in the church and it made it easy for the demon to torment him with lies during the exorcism. I like that Haunted Boy chose to go in the direction of claiming that the boy was just a vessel to get at the priest here in St. Louis who had lost faith. After many hearings of the tale that was one of the first times I heard that particular scenario. I always wondered why the boy came to St. Louis and I know the tale of the raised scars on his body spelling out the word Louis, but I thought it was due more to his relatives that lived here but the more I watched the documentary it made sense that the demon was able to use the boy to seek out what it really wanted Father Borden.
 
The Booths were able to not only show and document what happened at the Alexian Brother’s hospital but also to take you to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Normandy Mo. Also inhabiting the 5thfloor (which seems to be a common thing) which eventually became a housing project. Even decades after the boy left St. Vincent they were reports from tenants of weird noises in the building and a lot of commotion on the fifth floor. The creator of the housing project even had to promise the nuns not to occupy the fifth floor once they started acquiring tenants. Never has there been so much of this tale and even to bring in experts and contact the demon in the house at Bel-Nor was a sight to see its self and the section with lady and the crystals were unbelievable. The Booths are know in the industry as rock stars of the paranormal community and believe me they don’t disappoint. They spoke to many experts in the film that dealt with demonic possession including one young man that still exorcised demons to this day. He went over the telling that he researched and what heard hear about the accounts and they all point to the fact that this was a true American exorcism one that had never been seen like this before. I know there are many skeptics out there, but I have believed this to always be true. I’m just happy that finally the story of the Haunted Boy is being told the right way.
 
There is so much I can say about this film but no matter what I say it really wouldn’t do it justice. See the thing is about a documentary like this when you write a review just want to tell people that it’s worth seeing or a snoozer and I can say this film caught my attention from beginning to end. It hit home on so many levels especially since I live one neighborhood over from the Bel-Nor house. All in all I say that the Booth Brothers are definitely worth paying attention too and I’m already locating their previous films to watch as well. All the guests in this movie were genuine and they all had so much to say. The information at times is quite overwhelming but well worth it. I would have liked to see a little more on the history of the boy and his family but the telling of his aunt introducing him to Ouija boards and the like allowed me to understand how these certain events came to be. This will be premiering on SCFY TV and I would request that you all see it not just us Missourians. Also available on DVD through their site which you should check out as well at www.spookedtv.com I know those guys have many projects ahead of them and I’m interested to see anything they have to bring to the table. Check it out! www.thehauntedboy.com

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