2005: Maricica Irina Cornici
Romanian nun Maricica Irina Cornici was 23 when she began hearing voices. She thought it was the devil talking to her. Although she was treated for schizophrenia, she relapsed and was then subjected to an exorcism. Bound to a cross, gagged with a towel, and left in a dank convent room for three days without food and water, Cornici died of suffocation and dehydration, according to CBS‘s coverage of the case.
2010: Kristy Bamu
On Christmas Day 2010, a 15-year-old boy, Kristy Bamu, was beaten and drowned in a bathtub in London by his sister and her friend in an attempt to exorcize evil spirits from the boy, according to the BBC. Originally from the Republic of Congo, the pair tortured the boy with knives, sticks, metal bars, a hammer, and a chisel until he “begged to die.” The pair were convicted of the boy’s murder.
2015: The exorcism of Laura
If you thought exorcisms were a thing of the past, guess again: In Argentina, church officials filmed the exorcism of a 22-year-old woman named Laura by Bishop Manuel Acuna. Laura writhes, bangs her head, and screams profanities. Supposedly, the exorcism ends well as the evil spirits leave Laura and the bishop makes the sign of the cross over her. If you want to read first-hand accounts of exorcisms, check out Interview with an Exorcist, a book about Father Jose Antonio Fortea.
Sign up here to get Reader’s Digest’s favourite stories straight to your inbox–for free!