NETFLIX fans have been left scared to be alone and unable to trust anyone after watching the horror true crime documentary The Devil on Trial.
The Devil on Trial premiered earlier this week and has already left viewers terrified.
Inspired by true events, Netflix's true crime doc chronicles the first and only time “demonic possession” was used as a legal defence in a U.S. murder trial.
The case dates back to the 1980s and was widely referred to as “The Devil Made Me Do It” case. The story gained a lot of media attention and has remained fascinating in the years since — it is even the subject of the 2021 film The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.
It centres around then-19-year-old Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who made the claim he was possessed by Lucifer himself after killing his friend and landlord Alan Bono at a party. While eyewitnesses confirmed his actions, he said he has no memory of doing it.
Arne explained that he’d been a victim of second-hand possession after his girlfriend’s little brother, David Glatzel, was possessed.
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After a series of strange and unexplained outbursts, David’s parents hired self-professed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren to perform an exorcism. During the event, Arne claims he challenged the devil to possess his body instead of David’s.
Months later, after killing Alan at a party, he said that’s exactly what happened.
However, Arne’s defence didn’t hold up in court and he was later found guilty of manslaughter, but only ended up serving five years in prison despite receiving a 10 to 20-year sentence.
Nevertheless, Arne still maintains the devil made him do it and is telling his own story for the first time in the Netflix doc.
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Director Chris Holt explained on the podcast You Can’t Make This Up that much of the archival footage has never been shown before. The tapes and photos “have been lying in a drawer for 20 to 30-odd years.”
The director also said that he’s convinced the story is true. “I sat down with David and Arne for hours on end and their stories never changed.
“I think they were telling me the truth — but it’s their interpretations of the truth rather than it being a hardened fact. But they believed — and I believed — what they were saying is truthful.”
But the truth of the matter is the doc was enough to scare fans, who’ve been left terrified after watching it.
“The Devil on Trial has me spooked,” one Netflix fan said.
“Made the poor choice to watch The Devil on Trial at midnight and now I’m scared,” commented another.
“After watching The Devil on Trial, I don’t know who to trust anymore,” a third viewer added.
A fourth commented: “I watched The Devil on Trial and now I can’t be alone.”
However, some viewers also said they didn’t believe Arne’s famous defence.
One viewer said: “Watching the Devil on Trial on Netflix, and as one who believes in the paranormal, I have a hard time taking this seriously.”
Another questioned what happened to the devil after the murder: “Did it leave his body during incarceration? Something isn’t adding up.”
A third agreed: “So Arne was ‘possessed’ when he killed, but then after that he just wasn’t possessed anymore?”
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Ultimately, the documentary leaves it for viewers to make their own minds up. Did the devil make him do it?
The Devil on Trial is available to stream on Netflix.
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