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‘The Exorcist’ Writer William Peter Blatty Passed Away Last Night

We lost yet another horror legend last night.

William Peter Blatty, who wrote the 1971 “The Exorcist” novel and 1973 feature, passed away last night.

This devastating news was shared by William Friedkin, who directed the feature adaptation of The Exorcist, widely considered the scariest movie ever made.

Blatty may be best known for The Exorcist, but his contributions are much greater. He’s also the director behind the 1980 cult classic The Ninth Configuration, starring Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson, and The Exorcist‘s Jason Miller.

He would work with Miller once again in the 1990 The Exorcist III, which would finally see a director’s cut release last year through Scream Factory under the original title, Legion.

His novels include “Which Way to Mecca, Jack?” (1959), “John Goldfarb, Please Come Home” (1963), “I, Billy Shakespeare! 1965, Twinkle, Twinkle, ), “Killer), ” Kane” (1966), “The Exorcist” (1971), “The Ninth Configuration” (1978), “Legion” (1983), “Demons Five, Exorcists Nothing: A Fable” (1996), and “Dimiter” (2010).

The writer-director would celebrate his 89th birthday this past January 7th. The cause of death is unknown at this time.



  • Ars Skeptica

    I can find no source for this other than your site. Update: since the Tweet appears to be legit, I believe you broke the story.

    RIP, Mr. Blatty.

  • The Drucifer

    Great writer, great director, wonderful speaker…

  • thegunshow

    RIP, Mr. Blatty. You shaped my nightmares.

  • oh_riginal

    Wow, wasn’t aware that he was still alive. Rest in Peace William Peter Blatty. Will need to watch The Exorcist very soon.

  • sliceanddice

    a heavy edit of exorcist three coulee – i believe – be one of the best horror films of all time. take out that shit heaven dream scene, the exorcism at the end and a few other moments and you have a shit-ton of glory,

    • Creepshow

      I can give or take that dream scene. I liked the dialog with the priest about the exorcism, and how it had the murdered boy in it. But the rest of the other trippy shit, I could have probably done without. It kinda took the seriousness out of the moment.

      • J Jett

        you know how much i love THE EXORCIST III but seeing Fabio (as an angel!) in the heaven train station dream sequence is not a good thing. lol.

        • Creepshow

          Oh shit, that’s right. Hahaha! You still don’t remember the ice cube scene?

          • Simon Allen

            He was in it ????

          • Creepshow

            Oh it’s true. It was like a 1 second Vidal Sassoon commercial.

        • Simon Allen

          Some of that scene didn’t work … the old ladies in the band on meth…but seeing the dead kid with his injuries is pretty chilling .

  • Randy Moses

    RIP 🙁

  • Sean Richardson

    If that wasn’t enough to call a career, the man also co-wrote A SHOT IN THE DARK, quite possibly the single funniest English language film of the 1960’s.

  • Saturn

    It looks like 2017 is shaping up to be another 2016.

  • J Jett

    we keep losing our icons/heroes. what a sad day.

  • mary wise

    a sad sad day for all horror fans.he will be greatly greatly missed.he gave us the scariest horror movie of all time

  • umaneo

    Sad, sad day.

  • RIP, and thanks for the nightmares… <-)

  • RIP—Thank you for the childhood memories and appreciation in my adult years. Rest well. A sad day; you will be difficult to forget. Thank you.

  • Otterlee

    I am on my third copy of Legion, which is my favorite book. You gave me many hours of escape, thank you.

  • Russ Anderson

    So so fucking sad

  • Kris

    Part 3 came out when I was 13, I didn’t like it for whatever reason but after seeing this preview I will give it a second chance. The only thing I cared for in part two was how hot Regan looked. RIP to the creator of one of the best horror movies ever.

  • Simon Allen

    RIP Genius .

  • Meisha’s Taint

    I heard he jumped out a window

  • Michael Blatty

    Thanks to all above for your heartfelt words about my dad. Michael Blatty.

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