Five things you probably didn’t know about The Exorcist

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Let me just start by saying that until this weekend, I didn’t even know The Exorcist was a book before it was a movie. So my apologies to William Peter Blatty, the author. As much as I love comparing books to movies, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I won’t be reading The Exorcist. Ever.
The movie terrifies me and has kept me awake for too many nights already. I can’t even imagine reading the book, which I’ve heard is even scarier than the movie. (How is that possible?)

While you may have already known it was a book, here are five things you probably didn’t know about The Exorcist:

Author William Peter Blatty worked as a comic novelist and screenplay writer for Peter Sellers. When he could no longer get work in the comedy job market, he wrote The Exorcist. It took him nine months.

Blatty doesn’t consider The Exorcist to be a work of horror, but rather a “suspenseful supernatural detective story, or paranormal police procedural.”

Blatty also wrote the Academy-Award winning screenplay for the film. The language in certain scenes of the film is taken almost word-for-word from the book.

The 40th anniversary edition of the book is considered a “second draft” by writer William Peter Blatty. He revised dialogue, reworked certain sections, and even introduced a new character in the new edition.

Blatty was inspired to write the book after learning about a true demonic possession case from 1949, but he insists that, contrary to popular belief, The Exorcist was not based on a true story: “While writing the novel, the only facts that I had at hand were the classic symptoms of possession that had somehow remained an identical constant in every culture and in every part of the world going back to ancient Egyptian times.”

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