The Loudun Possessions took place in Loudon, France in 1634. The Ursuline Nuns were possessed by demons. They had convulsions and where shouting obscenities. It is one of the most widely heard of mass possessions in history.
In 1632 Sister Jean Agnes and 16 of the Ursuline nuns were found to be possessed. The priest who did the exorcism told the demons to inhabit his body. Father Jean Joseph Surin was the priest. After the exorcism he lost hid mental balance. He began inflicting injuries on himself and even tried committing suicide. He described it as if there were 2 souls in his body.
Urbain Grandier was later convicted of sorcery and witchcraft. The Ursuline Nuns accused him of causing their possession. He was eventually put to death for these crimes. Until the Aix-En-Provence possessions of 1611 the testimony of the nuns would not have been enough to convict Grandier.
There were 2 stories here. Grandier was disliked by seversl colleagues, who may have conspired with the nuns to pretend to be possessed. The other was that Sister Jean Agnes had sexual dreams about Grandier, and was loud in her sleep. She did her pennance, but the other nuns were having dreams like this as well. Either way Grandierd enemies saw it as a chance to remove him.
On December 7, 1633 Father Grandier was moved to Castle Angers. His body was shaved in search of the devils mark. The search was said to be successful. His torturer claimed it was a hoax and that they didnt find the devil’s mark. The Friars promised Father Grandier he would be able to speak his last words and would be hung before being burned. They doused him with holy water so he couldn’t speak. They also didn’t garrot the noose so he was burned alive.
The possessions didn’t end with Fathet Grandier’s death. In fact public exorcisms continued. Sister Jean Agnes was convinced that she needed to make a pilgramage to be rid of the devil. She was rumored to be the one to have stopped the public exorcisms. She considered herself a saint.
Some historians do not believe that there was a possession at all. They refer to it as a Witch Hunt. Despite their claims record state that the nuns showed all the classic signs of possession, including knowledge of the arcane. The contortions were described in great detail and seem way out of the norm. It is a very interesting story, which I have just touched on. I highly recomend you look it up and read the whole story.