David Glatzel and Arne Cheyenne Johnson

One of the most notable cases of possession in American history took place in 1980 in Connecticut, when the defense, representing Arne Cheyenne Johnson, tried to use demonic possession as a means of acquittal. The story behind it involves the possession of an 11-year-old boy named David Glatzel, who was living with Arne Cheyenne Johnson. David began displaying signs of demonic possession, such as hearing voices, strange marks appearing on his body, and seeing visions of a strange creature in their house. Deep scratches began appearing on the front door of the family’s home to coincide with David’s visions.

Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (accompanied by a priest) were brought in to exorcise the boy’s demon. This was only the beginning of the family’s horrors, as the exorcised demon then began possessing Arne. On February 16th of 1981, Arne, possessed by the entity, attacked the family’s landlord, stabbing him numerous times with a pocket knife while growling like an animal. During his trial, his lawyer claimed that Arne couldn’t be held responsible for the actions he committed while being possessed, a defense which did not hold in court.