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The Exorcist Stairs

On M Street in the upscale Georgetown neighborhood of D.C., directly across the street from the Key Bridge, are what’s referred to as the “Exorcist Stairs” (MAP).  The base of the stairs is right next to the Exxon station across from the bridge.  Climb the 95 steps to the top and you’ll reach Prospect Street where you’ll find the red brick “Exorcist House” a few steps away at 3600 Prospect Street.

Made famous in “The Exorcist,” the 1973 classic horror movie about demonic possession written by Georgetown University alumnus William Peter Blatty, the dark, narrow stairs are a part of the movie’s climactic scene in which a Jesuit priest rids himself of the devil by hurling himself out the window of a house and down the steeply sloped stairs to his death.  The stone steps at the end of M Street, were padded with 1/2”-thick rubber to film the death of Father Karras. The stuntman tumbled down the stairs twice. And during filming, Georgetown University students charged people around $5 each to watch the stunt from the rooftops.

I rode to the spooky stairwell to see them for myself.  They’re not nearly as scary in the daylight as they are within the context of the movie.  But they’re worth a quick visit, if only to be able to say you’ve done it.

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[Click on the thumbnails above to view the full size photos]

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