Was Joan Vollmer Possessed?

Was Joan Vollmer Possessed?

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.

Joan Vollmer
Joan 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.

Matthew Nuske
Matthew Nuske

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.

Ralph Vollmer
Ralph Vollmer Praying

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.


The Aftermath

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.

6 thoughts on “Was Joan Vollmer Possessed?

  1. This is a hugely tragic event that could have been avoided if people used some common sense.  If someone has a history of psychiatric problems,  the first course of action is medical not religious.  In the Bible, people with psychiatric problems were considered to be demon possessed, but they didn’t know any better.  Now we do.  As a religious person, I know that God gave us the gift of knowledge so that we can learn about our world and use the latest in scientific and medical advances along with prayer to achieve healing and wholeness.

    1. I agree with you there – common sense should have prevailed here, but we’ll never really know what went on in that house, and how things panned out the way they did! 

  2. Hi there,

    Interesting story! It was fascinating!

    I’ve never heard of the Joan Vollmer story before reading your article, and all I can say is that she was a victim of what happened. It’s unbelievable how people can believe in exorcism. I think in Italy,  they genuinely believe in exorcism until today.

    Which is OK as long as no one gets hurts. The husband should have checked her past; this would have never happened. Poor women! All she needed was medicament for schizophrenia.

    Thank you for sharing great content!

    1. No problem Daniella – it’s great to see the response we’ve had to the article, so many people have opinions on this subject – thanks for leaving yours! 

  3. I blame the whole group that was exorsing and the people living in Joan Vollmers’ neighbouhood. Surely its like all off them were mentally ill to believe that a person dead for days can resurrect. If they believed that it was a demon, then why did they exorsed when Joan was still alive. I just felt sorry for the body and soul of Joan Vollmer, what was she saying when seeing this happening to her body.

    Thank you so much, enjoyed every bit of the story, wish it was a long one 🙂   

    1. Yeah it’s all a bit messed up really, isn’t it Ngonidzashe? So sad that so many people involved believed the same thing…

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