The Truth Behind The Exorcism Of Clara Germana Cele

Where to begin?

In 1906, a sixteen-year-old orphan named Clara Germana Cele confessed to having made a pact with the Devil, in her Catholic mission school uniform. How did that happen, exactly? The details are confusing. The story, as told by the scholars at Bloody Disgusting, goes that Clara had been entrusted to the Marianhill school in Umzinto, South Africa when she was four or five, following the deaths of her parents. Or maybe it was the Marian Hill school at the Saint-Michel mission, as reported in Ghosts and Demons: The Lost Things, or the St. Michael's Mission, as reported by the Occult Museum. In any case, Clara either confessed to having had congress with Satan himself, or provided a printed copy of her agreement with the Lord of Unholiness ... again, depending on who you ask.

One thing that everyone seems to agree on is that on August 20th, 1906, several weeks removed from her confession, Clara Germana Cele started causing a real ruckus.

Clara Germana Cele: The Devil wear nada

A series of bizarre outbursts followed. Accounts — or,  more accurately, accounts of accounts — tell of Clara's panoply of odd behaviors. Some say that she could suddenly speak fluently in languages previously unfamiliar to her. Some claim that the possessed girl tore off all of her clothes and made noises unlike any beast of the Earth, that she would regularly levitate, and that her skin boiled on contact with holy water. Occasionally, she is said to have tried to strangle priests. You know, #JustDemonStuff, right? 

A hasty exorcism was arranged, and in mid-September of the next month, Clara was cleared of all unholy influence ... at least, some people say that she was. Bloody Disgusting claims that she was possessed again a few months later, and the whole rigmarole went down again.

Do details of the story seem to shift from one retelling to the next? Yes. Do most writings on the subject come courtesy of occult blog posts from the last ten years? Yes, they do. Does a Google Ngram search show that the name "Clara Germana Cele" didn't show up in print until the mid-20th century, decades removed from the purported event? Now that you mention it, actually, it does. One last question: is Clara Germana Cele standing behind you right this minute? Only time will tell. Blog about it when you figure it out.