The case begins in a small market town near the city of Wakefield called Ossett in the UK. Its a quiet and friendly town and what was to surface in 1974 rocked the nation, let alone the residents of the town.
Michael Taylor and his wife Christine, their 5 children and dog all lived within the district of Ossett. Michael was described by many of the family’s friends as being a well mannered, well respected and a truly loving and devoted husband and father and apart from having a few numerous episodes of depression due to a back injury he encountered a few years previous, he was described as a happy and contented individual who loved his family and nothing seemed to appear to those closest that anything ususual was going off in the Tylor household.
During the periods that Michael depression seem to be taking over, a friend of Michael, Barbara Wardman, took it upon herself to introduce Michael to a church group called the Christian fellowship group. Michael nor any of other family members of the Taylor household up to this point had never really shown any devotion to the church and would regularly miss church services that was held to near where they lived.
At this point it is believed by friends that Michaels depression somehow eased with spiritual intervention. During this time he became very good friends with the pastor of the group Marie Robinson.
Michael started to spend a lot of time with Marie by attending more and more meetings and gatherings together and then joining in on congregations where they both would ‘use the power of god’ to excorise people of their sins and quite often speak in a different tongue to do so.
It’s also believed that during this time Michael and Marie would participant in rituals together by staying up all night during a full moon making the sign of a cross to each other to warn off evil intentions that a full moon may bring. At one point, Marie even spent the night with Michael in the Taylor home to help remedy his fear of the moon.
As Michael and Marie became closer, it isn’t surprising that thing in Michaels home life and his attitude towards his family started to change. While at home he would drum up arguements and was described as appearing very irritable at times and sullen. This was a complete change in how he previously behaved prior joining the group.
Michaels wife Christine, had her suspicions during this time that something more had just a friendship between Michael and Marie may be going off, she decided to publicly accused Michael and Marie of having a sexual relationship. Marie however managed to ease Christine’s concerns.
At this point, Michaels erratic behaviour was made known to a local vicar and his wife and Michael at this point had admitted he felt something evil within him. The couple, Peter and Sally Vincent, invited the Taylors to their home to assess Michael’s condition. After Michael shattered some dinnerware and threw a cat out of the window, the Vincent’s decided that Michael was in immediate need of an exorcism. The Vincent’s assembled several acquaintances to form an exorcism dream team, and on the night of October 5th, 1974 they conducted a 7 hour exorcism on Michael Taylor in a church in Barnsley.
Over the course of the night, the exorcists burned Michael’s own crucifix, shoved wooden crosses into his mouth, and continually doused him with holy water. By 7am all parties involved were exhausted. The exorcists claimed to have successfully exorcized 40 demons from Michael and were apparently quite proud of this accomplishment. There were however, the exorcists claimed, 43 demons residing inside of Michael Taylor. The 3 demons that the group failed to remove during the proceeding were the demons of insanity, violence, and murder. Presumably, for the purposes of extraction, demons do not allow themselves to be ordered in terms of priority. The participants in this exorcism agreed amongst themselves that, before attempting to cast out these remaining 3 demons, a break was in order. They had intended to each return to their homes, rest for a bit, and return to their task shortly thereafter. They would not get the opportunity to do so.
About an hour after the Taylors returned to their home, the Ossett police began receiving calls concerning a naked man who was wandering the streets covered in red paint. Upon arrival the police quickly found that Michael was not covered in paint, but in blood. As the officers were attempting to formulate in their minds what scenario might have lead this man to be wandering about naked and blood-covered, Michael Taylor was softly repeating the phrase, “It is the blood of Satan.”
At his trial in March, Michael was acquitted on the grounds of insanity. He was sent to Broadmoor Hospital for two years, then spent another two years in a secure ward in Bradford before being released. The bizarre nature of the case attracted significant publicity.
In July 2005, Michael re-entered the news after being found guilty of indecently touching a teenage girl. A week into his prison sentence for the crime, Taylor – who in the years since the trial had attempted suicide on four separate occasions – began exhibiting the sort of strange behaviour that had preceded his wife’s murder in 1974. When brought back before the court, they once again ordered him into psychiatric treatment.
Charlene Lowe Kemp