If you have watched The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, then you already know the story of David Glatzel and Arne Johnson. It’s a case that starts with a new home and turns into possession, exorcism, repossession and ends in murder. If you want to get more in-depth into the possibly supernaturally driven court case that caught the attention of the entire nation, then the Travel Channel’s newest documentary covering the case will be right up your alley. This is the upcoming SHOCK DOCS: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT documentary coming on June 11th to discovery+.
If you haven’t seen the new film or aren’t already familiar with the case, this documentary follows the story of the Glatzel family. Judy, David, Alan and Debbie Glatzel along with Debbie’s boyfriend Arne Johnson all move into a new home in Connecticut. Debbie and Arne will be moving into a rental home, but live with Judy and her brothers for the time being. After moving in, the youngest, David, begins exhibiting strange behavior and hearing voices. As his behavior escalates, “demonologists” Ed and Lorraine Warren are called in to examine his behavior and determine if he is being tormented supernaturally.
It is determined that David is possessed and must be exorcised. During the exorcism, Arne implores the “demon” to leave David and take him instead since David was just an 11-year-old boy. The “demon” obliges and enters Arne. Five months later, Arne is in an altercation with his landlord in which he stabs and kills him. Afterward, he claims to have no memory or knowledge of anything that happened. After his arrest, the Warrens began a campaign for the court to recognize that Arne was not in control of his actions but he was, in fact, possessed. It was the first time in legal history that someone pled not guilty by reason of demon possession (unless you count those pesky Salem Witch Trials). Was Arne possessed? Did he kill the landlord or was his hand led by some unholy influence.
I have to say, it is very hard to type with my eyes rolling every few seconds. Had this case been investigated by literally any other paranormal investigators, I may hesitate in my opinion but anytime the Warrens are involved, it’s gotta be “demons.” As someone that has read extensively on the Enfield Haunting and their “role” in that investigation as well as their influence on Amityville, I have to take any investigation they are involved in with a grain of salt. Hell, bring in the entire salt mine, because these two were swindlers of the highest caliber. But I digress, this documentary isn’t about the validity or lack thereof of the Warrens, this is about Arne Johnson and his case.
SHOCK DOCS: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT used interview footage of Arne and Debbie to tell their side of the story and give a more in-depth look at what David experienced instead of just focusing on Arne. They also used interview footage of Lorraine Warren before she passed. Like many Travel Channel paranormal documentaries, this one is VERY dramatic and the reenactments are almost TOO much but that’s what calls all ghost lovers to the yard, I suppose.
I recognize that my skepticism and opinion of the Warrens gives me a strong bias to this documentary and I tried to look at this as just another paranormal show that I would watch on any given day and even so, I just wasn’t a fan. It was hokey and just silly. I would give this documentary a hard pass but that isn’t to say that discovery+ doesn’t have really good paranormal programming. If you want to see a show that is filled with great investigation practices that are engaging and intelligent, I would highly recommend watching Kindred Spirits, the whole series of which is on Discovery+. I give my humble opinion to run and not walk away from anything portraying the Warrens as serious investigators when there are a lot of other options out there.
- [Documentary Review] SHOCK DOCS: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT - June 10, 2021
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