On Friday, "The Exorcist Steps" were recognized as a D.C. landmark and an official tourist attraction.
In 1971, Georgetown University alum William Peter Blatty penned The Exorcist, a novel about a twelve-year-old girl named Regan MacNeil who becomes possessed by a demon. Her mother, a famous actress, calls on the services of a priest to exorcise the demon. Soon after his novel was published, Warner Bros. optioned it for a film. Blatty adapted his book into a screenplay and William Friedkin directed it. The Exorcist was released in 1973 and is considered one of the scariest films of all-time.
At the end of the film, Father Karras (actor Jason Miller) loses his cool when he sees that Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) has died during his battle with Regan's demon. Karras wrestles the possessed girl to the ground, beats the snot out of her and then demands the demon leap into his body. It obliges and at that moment he chooses to defeat the evil entity by tossing himself out Regan's bedroom window and plummeting down seventy-five steps to his death.
Those steep steps left a lasting impression on film fans. People from across the globe have been visiting the Georgetown location for decades just to walk up and down them. On Friday, a ceremony was held that made "The Exorcist Steps" a landmark and official tourist attraction. William Friedkin, William Peter Blatty, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, and organizer Andrew Huff of the D.C. Office of Motion Picture & Television Development were all on hand for the event.
The Exorcist (1973) - A 12 year old girl (Linda Blair) becomes obsessed by a presence created by a Ouija board. Possessed by the devil she turns into a monster. Father Karras (Jason Miller) is asked to supervise an exorcism performed by Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) who is killed. Now there is only Father Karras who can help.