Photo by Janet Donovan

Heads turned at the Exorcist Steps Commemoration Ceremony when novelist William Peter Blatty and director William Friedkin showed up at the famous stairs; but Linda Blair’s wasn’t one of them. Blair is best known for her role as the possessed child Regan in the film The Exorcist, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe.

We figured she might be in PTSD hell after that, but turns out (no pun intended) not to be so, according to Blair: “While we were making this film no one had any idea the impact it would have on our lives or the world.They say that if you make one good movie in your lifetime that people remember, that is a gift. I am very proud of my involvement with this masterpiece, and thankful that it gave me a platform for which I use to make the world a better place.”

The Exorcist steps are located in Georgetown at the corner of Prospect St NW and 36th St NW leading down to M Street, Washington, D.C. “They were padded with 1/2″-thick rubber to film the death of the character Father Karras. Because the house from which Karras falls was set back slightly from the steps, the film crew constructed an extension with a false front to the house in order to film the scene,” according to the Exorcist site. “The stuntman tumbled down the stairs twice. Georgetown University students charged people around $5 each to watch the stunt from the rooftops.”

2 Comments For This Article

carole lewis anderson

It was a wonderful event. And an unexpected learning experience for those waiting in lines who were informed by Friends of McMillan Park about the destructive plan that the District Government is partnering in. McMillan Park is on the Registry of Historic Places: yet the DC Council and the Mayor are trying -- willy nilly -- to get the caverns destroyed in order to accommodate the building of standard high-rise buildings on the majority of this beautiful high open site. Read more on


Bravo to the organizers. Thank you to the Save Macmillan Park people for their funny important leaflet telling us to exorcise the demons out of our DC politics. Nice addition to the evening and respectfully done.