In this article we will be taking a look at the tragic exorcism of Joan Vollmer. Was the 49-year-old possessed by demons and could her tortured and painful death have been avoided?
Let’s take a closer look…
What The Doctor Found…
February, 1993, and a local doctor is called out to farm dwelling in Antwerp, Victoria. When he gets there, he is confronted by the scene of a group of people praying frantically…and a decomposing body in a nearby room.
The body was not in a good shape, and had obviously been decaying in the heat for quite some time.
The doctor angrily quizzed the group of people, and asked them why they had not called him earlier. They told the doctor that they expected the dead body of the woman to be resurrected.
This was the gruesome scene of an exorcism. Those who took part in it, believed that the body would be brought back to life. Outsiders thought it was nothing more than a shocking death that could have been avoided.
The dead woman was 49-year-old Joan Vollmer, wife to 55-year-old Ralph Vollmer.
Locals came forward and claimed that Ralph had believed his wife to be possessed for many weeks. He often complained about her dancing in the garden, yelling obscenities and also acting like a rabid dog.
He eventually called in a group of amateur exorcists from an extreme religious group, for help…
The Exorcism of Joan Vollmer
The exorcism started out timid enough – the group simply started intense praying rituals when Joan was in the home. When this did not work, they forcefully tied Joan to a chair and prayed directly at her.
They began to force her eyelids open to ensure she was still with them – they believed that both she, and the demon inside her, needed to see what they were doing – needed to witness The Lord in action.
Days went by, and still there was no sign of this demonic entity leaving Joan’s body.
The group eventually enlisted the help of a local named Matthew Nuske, a assistant green keeper from a golf course, who’s mother believed he had a god given ability to exorcise demons.
Nuske arrived on January the 30th – which turned out to be the last day of Joan’s life.
Nuske started the exorcism by wrapping the whole house in cling film, as a way of keeping the demons inside. He then went about burning various items around the home – saying they were linked to demons.
The group then concluded that two demons were still inside Joan – and they needed to be ‘squeezed’ out. The group began at Joan’s lower abdomen and forcibly squeezed as hard as they could, moving the demons up through her body and out of her mouth.
Unfortunately, when the group started squeezing her neck area, they caused her to begin having a heart attack.
The group of exorcists later claimed that once the demons had left Joan’s mouth, she let out a hiss, and all the lights in the home blinked out.
Joan died, but the group were not worried, as they believed she would rise once again.
When Joan did not come back to life, the group called up a Mrs. Clugston, who had been offering them advice throughout the proceedings. She told them that The Lord had communicated with her, and informed her that they needed to lay their hands on her body, and command her to walk again.
This didn’t work.
Mrs. Clugston eventually phoned the local minister for help, and he phoned the local doctor…who visited the scene…and called the police.
When Ralph Vollmer was interviewed by the police, he still believed that his wife would rise from the dead. He even told them to save their questions for when she did.
On the day of the funeral, Ralph invited the local media along, because he was positive that this was the day Joan would breathe once again.
He was wrong.
The group involved in the exorcism eventually stood trial – Ms Reichenback and Mr Klinger who were there from the start of the exorcism received 4 months (20 months suspended) and 3 month (15 months suspended) prison terms, while Mr Vollmer and Mr Nuske had their prison terms completely suspended.
When police delved deeper into the case they discovered that Joan Vollmer had once been sent to a psychiatric institution. Her abusive childhood and the suicide of a previous husband had apparently triggered off some kind of schizophrenia.
It was noted that she stopped taking her medication, shortly before the demonic possession took hold.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the case of Joan Vollmer, please leave them in the comment section below.