In this article we will be taking a look at the case of the Michael Taylor exorcism of 1974, in a small town called Ossett in Yorkshire, England.
The Phone Call
At 9:45 am on the 6th October 1974, the West Yorkshire police force received a troubling phone call about a man walking naked through the town, covered in red paint.
PC Ian Walker was sent to the scene alone, as his superiors were more than certain that this was nothing more than a common hoax caller.
When he arrived he found a man curled up in the fetal position covered from head to toe in blood. As PC Walker leaned over to comfort the distressed man, he looked up and began shouting…
“It is the blood of Satan. It is the blood of Satan”
A local approached the officer and told him that he recognized the man – his name was Michael Taylor and he was married with kids…
PC Ian Walker immediately radioed for officers to be dispatched to Taylor’s home.
The police arrived at a scene they would never forget – both Mrs. Taylor and the pet dog were gruesomely ripped to shreds on the kitchen floor.
Mrs. Taylor had choked to death on her own blood, but not before her tongue had been ripped out and her face cut off. The dog’s legs had been ripped from it’s sockets before it was strangled to death.
Michael Taylor was immediately arrested for his wife’s murder…but he could not remember anything about the incident. In the meantime he was remanded to Broadmoor Hospital, a high security psychiatric unit, to await trial.
Taylor was a calm and regular 31-year-old man when he decided to rip his wife, Christine, to shreds. They shared five children and had a near enough idyllic family life.
Over the months leading up to the murder, Michael had been suffering from depression due to a back injury stopping him from finding work (unemployment was a big problem in the 70’s).
One of his friends thought she had the answer to his problem – Barbara Wardman suggested joining her in the local prayer group at The Christian Fellowship Church, as a way of tackling the depression he felt.
Eventually Michael caved in and agreed to go with her.
During the first group sitting, the prayer leader, a young woman of 22 named Mary Robinson, began to shake and tremble during her reading. Apparently this was normal enough – it happened when the holy spirit entered her body!
Anyway, this Mary was convinced that when the spirit entered her – she become a prophet of sorts…and was able to heal people.
She knew about Michael’s back problem, so she asked him to come up and be healed.
As Michael got up and began walking to the front of the room, a woman named Mavis Smith, began to weep uncontrollably. Mary went straight to her – and began to speak in religious tongues in order to help the woman.
Michael crouched down beside Mary…and also started speaking in religious tongues.
Before this prayer group – Michael had never had any interest in religion whatsoever…how was he able to recite these ancient religious lines?
Over the next few weeks Michael Taylor became obsessed with Mary Robinson, much to the consternation of his wife Christine. It even got to the point where Michael was staying up all night with Robinson – going through strange religious ceremonies.
Christine finally cracked – she confronted both Michael and Mary at the congregation of The Christian Fellowship Church. In front of everyone, she accused the pair of having a sordid affair.
Without warning, Michael seemed to take action on his wife’s words…and attacked Mary where she stood. As he battered her he was crying out in strange religious tongues.
He was eventually pulled from the shaking Mary, and thrown out of the Church meeting, along with his wife.
Michael returned the following day to apologize for his actions. Surprisingly, he received absolution and forgiveness from the members.
But, the local vicar had seen enough – he believed that Michael’s soul was possessed by a demon…and arranged an exorcism with his superiors.
The Michael Taylor Possession
The exorcism was eventually arranged for midnight on Saturday 5th of October, 1974, at St. Thames Church Yorkshire. Father Peter Vincent, an Anglican Priest and Reverend Raymond Smith, a Methodist Minister were put in charge.
It lasted a full seven hours and 40 demons were identified as inhabiting Taylor’s soul. When daybreak came, the exorcism had only been partially successful. The priests informed Michael that three demons were left inside his body – insanity, anger and murder.
But everyone was completely exhausted, so Michael was allowed to go home for the time being, before the exorcism was completed on another day.
Within two hours of arriving home, Michael had ripped apart his wife and her dog.
Michael went through an extremely messy trial with the whole country watching – his lawyers blamed the priests for the death of his wife, and the religion they believed in.
Eventually Michel Taylor was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity. Christine Taylor’s death was recorded as misadventure rather than murder.
He was sentenced to spend four years at a secure psychiatric ward before he was allowed back into society.
To date, he has tried to commit suicide on several occasions since his release.
It’s also worth noting that he ended up in court again in 2005…for inappropriate conduct with a child.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the case of the Michael Taylor exorcism, please leave them in the comment section below.