The Exorcism of Michael Taylor

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The Exorcism of Michael Taylor

In 1974, West Yorkshire witnessed a dramatic, yet failed exorcism on Michael Taylor, leading to a horrific murder. RICK HALE looks at the disturbing case.

** Warning this article contains graphic content **

Human behaviour is a very funny thing. I know this may be a very simplistic statement, but that doesn’t change the depth of it.

I think we have all known someone who’s character took an unexpected turn for the worse.

One moment they may seem perfectly normal, not displaying any hint of anti-social behaviour.

And the next, they seem to just undergo a transformation that goes against their very nature.

What would cause such a radical shift in personality? Some cases may be the result of emerging mental illness, stress, or substance abuse. 

But what about, demonic possession? I know that this may be ancient fear based superstition,  but this belief persists today.

Can a foreign, spiritual intelligence bent on destroying a person’s life truly exist? 

Consider the tragic story of Michael Taylor, a West Yorkshire man who seemed to change overnight. 

He went from being a good man who suddenly became a murderous,  bloodthirsty monster. Brutally slaying someone near and dear to him.

Michael Taylor Finds Religion. Sort of

When I was a little kid I remember my grandmother saying, “Everyone needs a little religion in their lives.”

And when you think about it, she’s right. There’s nothing wrong with belief. Apparently Michael Taylor felt the same way.

In 1974, Michael Taylor was in many ways your typical Yorkshireman. He worked hard as a local butcher, loved his wife, and was active in his community.

But to Taylor something was missing, and it would seem religion was it.

Michael began attending church services at a local Christian Fellowship in Gawber, because after all we could all use a little religion in our lives.

While there singing praises to God and listening to rousing biblical messages that are supposed to bring you closer to the Lord, Michael Taylor began to feel something else.

He became infatuated with Christine Robinson, a lay preacher who really stirred Michael’s spirit, so to speak.

Robinson was all Taylor could think about and it got to a point where his wife of many years began to suspect that something untoward was going on.

Mrs. Taylor contacted her husband’s church and told them it was her belief that Christine and her husband were carrying on a carnal relationship. 

Taylor Shows Signs Of Possession 

The following day, Christine confronted her parishioner about his feelings and explained that such a thing was wholly inappropriate. 

Rather than admitting his feelings, Michael Taylor went a whole different route.

He explained that an outside force had invaded his soul and was making him think and do things that could only be described as evil.

A tense exchange ensued and Michael verbally assaulted the female lay preacher. And stormed out. 

However at the next meeting, Michael received an absolution and was repentant of his behaviour. 

Unfortunately,  it wasn’t enough as Michael Taylor began to change. His behaviour became erratic.

He fought with his wife and neighbours and would lock himself away in his room for hours, oftentimes talking with someone only he could see.

The Exorcism 

Exorcisms are not something the modern church takes lightly. Certain criteria needs to be met.

Physical as well as psychiatric examinations must be completed to determine if the afflicted is dealing with a real world issue and not a demonic force.

Things were a bit different in 1974.

When the vicar learned of Taylor’s troubling and bizarre behaviour, he immediately knew what he had to do.

He gathered together a number of his colleagues and prepared himself to do battle with that wicked snake of old, Satan.

The Exorcism was set and occurred over a two day marathon of deliverance on 5 and 6 October. 

The Vicar determined that Michael Taylor had over 40 demons residing in him. They managed to cast out 40, but then decided on something unusual.

Although they believed three demons, insanity, murder and violence remained, a vicious cocktail of demonic entities, they decided to take a break.

They allowed Michael Taylor to return home to his wife for a rest. That’s when things went from bad to dear God.

Murder Most Horrid

When Taylor arrived home he did the unimaginable.  Taylor attacked his wife and ripped out her tongue, gouged out her eyes, and practically tore off her face all with his bare hands.

He then turned his murderous gaze to the family dog and strangled it to death. Michael Taylor was later found wandering the street covered with blood.

The Trial

The vicious murder and the alleged demonic possession caused a significant amount of equal parts horror and fascination throughout Britain.

After his trial, Michael Taylor was  found To be completely mad and was acquitted on the grounds of insanity.

With a nation shocked, Taylor was sent to Broadmoor Hospital and released 4 years later. Apparently cured of whatever caused him to commit such a heinous act.

What are we supposed to make of this? Was Michael infested with demonic entities?

Or, was he a man with very serious mental problems that caused him to become dangerously obsessed, and murderous when confronted? 

To be honest, I’m leaning towards the latter. But, you never really know for sure.

Tell us your thoughts on this article in the comments section below!

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