Look who's turning 40!
In 1971, a novel set off a frenzy that soon inspired a film — and then a firestorm.
In The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty told the spine-chilling story of a little girl named Regan MacNeil, the daughter of a Hollywood star shooting a film in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Funny things start happening in the MacNeils' rented house: They hear noises in the wall, and Regan starts speaking in a growl, levitating, turning her head 360 degrees and spitting up green slime. Then, Regan's bedroom gets as chilly as a frozen foods case and her bed starts flying around.
Readers were drawn to the novel's profane subject matter, making it a best-seller. When the book's film adaptation came out two years later, fans waited in lines that stretched around city blocks to catch the first screenings; some even tried using battering rams to force their way into theaters.
Forty years later, Blatty has revised and polished his landmark novel, even adding a whole new character. The result is a 40th-anniversary edition that's just as terrifying as the original.