The movie of William Peter Blatty’s masterpiece turned heads and forced priests to flee picture houses when it was released in 1973.
Fans of the movie know of course that the action is set in Georgetown.
And that the stairs where Fr Damien Karras, possessed by Regan and the Devil, hurls himself out of the window, has become a movie buff’s must-visit.
And one site alas I didn’t get to on my ramble around the nation’s capital…
Probably still spooked by the revolving Regan.
Georgetown, of course, well worthy of your time in DC.
You’ll probably be deadbeat but try to save some energy.
For the 75 steps between M Street and Prospect Street
And while in the neighbourhood check out the oldest house in the district.
Built in 1765, the Old Stone House is the oldest standing building in DC.
A simple, 18th century structure, the outside of the house was made with local blue granite.
And it is reputed to have been used as George Washington’s engineering headquarters.
While those who are still interested in exploring American and modern world history (me, every time) then Dumbarton Oaks will be on your list.
It was here that the historic meeting of world leaders took place in 1944.
When they gathered to draw up the United Nations charter.
This being Washington the dead vie with the living for pride of place.
With, of course, Arlington Cemetery on every visitors’ itinerary.
Which, of course, the Mount Zion Cemetery, overlooking Rock Creek Park in Georgetown, should be.
This historic cemetery dates back to 1808.
And is one of the city’s oldest all-black burial sites – once reserved for the burial of free blacks.
While just a few blocks away Oak Hill Cemetery should also be on your list.
Abraham Lincoln’s son, Willie, was originally buried here until being re-interred with his father in Illinois.
While other luminaries here included Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s secretary of war, Dean Acheson and Harry S Truman’s secretary of state.
And Philip and Katherine Graham, publishers of the Washington Post.
The real Regan
For you though the sight of Fr Karras’s demise on the Exorcist Steps may be the memorial you most want to visit.
The story of Regan MacNeil owes its origins to the real-life story of Robbie or Roland Doe from 1949.
Thought to be Ronald Hunkeler, who died only three years ago.
In his home town of Marriottsville in Maryland.
The appeal of The Exorcist endures to this day and a 50th anniversary sequel of the movie is coming out in October.
And it will be the first of three follow-ups in the franchise.
The father of a possessed child, desperate for help goes in search of someone who has had similar experiences.
And that’ll be Chris MacNeil, played again by Ellen Burstyn.
So that’s three generations of The Exorcist in Maryland covered.
Just be careful on those steps in Georgetown.