SHARECOMMENTMORE

By Pat McGonigle

St. Louis County, Mo(KSDK) -- Jean Kustura says she doesn't mind living next door to a house that's world-famous for some pretty spooky reasons.

"It doesn't bother me at all," she laughs.

Kustura lives next to the home where Jesuit priests performed an exorcism on a 13-year-old boy in 1949. The case was the inspiration for the book and movie "The Exorcist."

"We get visitors every year coming to ask about the house," says another neighbor, Jessica Bacchus. "They drive past it, some have even gotten out and walked around the house just to come and get a peak at a day in the life of the house."

The Jesuits from Saint Louis University continued the exorcism at the rectory behind the College Church at SLU and it ultimately ended at Alexian Brothers Hospital in South St. Louis. Both the old rectory at SLU and the wing where the exorcism ended at Alexian Brothers were demolished years ago.

But the house in north St. Louis County where it all started still stands, much as it did in 1949.

The current owner of the property declined an interview. Out of respect for the owner and other neighbors,NewsChannel 5 isnot revealing the specific address. The thin veil of secrecy hasn't stopped a steady stream of visitors from all over the world from coming here.

So much so, Jessica Bacchus occasionally wonders if there is something a bit supernatural on her street.

"Once in a while you might hear voices, but if you grew up with it all of the time it's normal," she smiles.

"Voices?" NewsChannel 5's Pat McGonigle asks.

"Voices," she laughs. "Like you might think you hear things and you may or you may not but I've been living here all of my life so I guess that's a norm for me."

For Jean Kustura, her connection to this chapter in St. Louis history goes all the way back to 1949. Kustura was a student at Visitation Academy when the exorcism happened.

"The nuns, when I was in school, the nuns had us pray because we knew about the possible exorcism," Kustura recalls. "And I knew Father Bowdern and Father Halloran and a few of the other Jesuits involved in all of this and it didn't really make us feel uncomfortable at all."

"Of course," she adds with a laugh. "I do have holy water right next to my bed, just in case."

Many ask Kustura if she pushed for a lower sale price on her home after she realized the history that lives next door.

"We never thought about it," she says.

Both Kustura and Bacchus insist there's nothing creepy about their street. And to be sure, it is a beautiful tree-lined street with well kept homes and wide sidewalks. Even so, they both believe the devil once came to town.

"I definitely do," says Kustura, a devout Catholic. "There's so many things to substantiate it and I just remember way back when there was a lot of speculation about the young man and I'm sure that it did happen. And I'm sure he was exorcised."

But nothing odd since then?

"There was a couple (in the house) once," Kustura reflects. "She had a new baby, and she always said that one bedroom was cold, but then there was a door in that bedroom and also a window."

Father Raymond J. Bishop, S.J. kept a day-by-day account of the exorcism. Click here to read the diary.

Pat McGonigle's stories about the SLU exorcism:

SLU expert talks about exorcism on campus

What became of the boy in the exorcism?

Do exorcisms still happen today?

SHARECOMMENTMORE