The 1970s were a popular time for demons. It would seem that all the demons and poltergeists chose the decade to make appearances. Janet Hodgson was presumed possessed by a poltergeist. The Amityville horror made global headlines before it was exposed as a hoax. The Exorcist was released. And, in 1976, The Omen was released as well.
The Omen was received well by audiences. It was the fifth highest grossing film in 1976, grossing over $4 million on its opening weekend. Who doesn’t like a good demon story?
Was The Omen a True Story?
As far as we know, there have never been real-life accounts of babies switched at birth who grow up to be Satan himself. The Omen was not based on a true story, and there have never been claims as such.
Just for fun, though, let’s look at how likely the story of Damien really is. Did you know that, every year, around 28,000 babies are accidentally switched at birth? That means that out of every 1,000 hospital births, one baby is almost sent home with the wrong parents.
Of course, a majority of these mistakes are caught before the family leaves the hospital. But it’s still quite a shocking statistic. For every two days a baby stays at a hospital, babies are, on average, switched about six times.
Now we have electronic bracelets which keep Mom and Baby safe from those unfortunate incidents. But back in the 1970s, a baby switched at birth wasn’t an unlikely scenario.
While there are no accounts of babies switched at birth who later exhibit demonic qualities, there have been some true stories like The Omen. There are certainly evil kids out there, and we don’t just mean the kind who scream in the grocery store. Take a look at these stories of kids who, if you believe in that kind of thing, could very well pass for the Devil himself.
Joshua Phillips was an evil child. The boy was 14 in 1998 when his neighbor Maddie disappeared. The police were called on November 3, and a search for the eight year old girl was begun.
Efforts to find the young girl were fruitless, and the search was called off. However, the community continued the hunt, and soon the FBI became involved.
Just a week after little Maddie was reported missing, Joshua Phillips’s mother noticed that the boy’s waterbed was leaking. Investigating the bed, Phillips’s mother found the body of Maddie Clifton hidden in the base of the waterbed, naked from the waist down.
Maddie and Joshua had been playing baseball, when the ball struck the girl in the eye. She began to bleed, and Joshua Phillips panicked. He later claimed that the was nervous about the reaction of his abusive and alcoholic father. He proceeded to strangle the girl with a telephone cord for 15 minutes. Then, he struck her again with a baseball bat.
Joshua’s father came home, and the boy left his bedroom to speak with him. Upon returning to his room, he discovered that Maddie still lived, and was moaning from under the bed where he’d hidden her. Joshua then stabbed Maddie eleven times, killing her.
Jon Venables and Robert Thompson
The boys were just 10 years old at the time, but they committed a crime so atrocious, it very well could be one of the true stories like The Omen.
In 1993, preadolescent boys Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were walking in a shopping center in Bootle. James Bulger, a two year old boy, was also shopping with his mother.
The boys led Bulger away from his mother while she was distracted. In the hours that followed, security footage showed the boys leading the toddler throughout the mall. They then left the building.
There were thirty eight witnesses to the boys walk from the mall to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Of course, no one reported sighting them, as there was little unusual about three boys taking a walk. The toddler was crying, and did have a bump on his forehead. But there was no other sign of distress.
The toddler was tortured. Venables and Thompson threw paint into his eyes, and he was beaten with bricks and stones. They placed batteries in Bulger’s mouth, and finally dropped a 22 pound iron bar onto the boy. In all, little Bulger sustained 42 injuries, and it was unclear in an autopsy what killed him.
Venables and Thompson placed the boy on the railroad tracks, and weighed down his head with stones. When his body was found on February 14, 1993, it had been sliced in half by a train. Forensics determined that the boy was dead prior to the train’s strike.
True stories like The Omen are nothing new. Kids have been evil since the beginning of time. One notorious case which happened in the 19th century was that of Jesse Pomeroy.
In 1874, Jesse Pomeroy was arrested in Boston for the murder of a 4 year old boy. Between the years of 1871 and 1872, reports were filed by the parents of several young boys. They’d been lured to remote locations, then attacked with belts, fists and even a knife. The suspect was described as a “slightly older boy.”
It wasn’t until April of 1874 that the badly mutilated body of four year old Horace Millen was discovered on Dorchester Bay. Police, knowing of Pomeroy’s history, immediately sought out the boy. Upon investigation, police found the body of ten year old Katie Curran was found in Pomeroy’s mother’s dress shop.
Pomeroy was arrested for the crimes, and became the youngest person in Massachusetts history to be convicted of first degree murder. Originally sentenced to execution, his sentence was commuted to life in solitary confinement without possibility of parole.
Jesse Pomeroy lived to be 72 years old. He died in the Bridgewater Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
While there are no real true stories like The Omen, there’s certainly evidence that kids have the potential to do some pretty evil things. These are just a few examples of kids who could be mistaken, like Damien, for the devil himself.