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Did you ever notice the PIGS in Karras’ death?

Matt Brumley wrote:

I have a question regarding the ending of the original film.

After Damien hurls himself through the window, Kinderman looks out the window to observe Karras’ body. On the left side of the screen appears the word “PIG” in red graffiti ink. Does the insertion of this word “PIG” refer to the new testament story about the possessed man whose demons were cast into a herd of swine?

I would also emphasize that this scene is also reminiscent of the horrific photograph taken of Roman Polanski, the morning after the Sharon Tate murder, where the word PIGS were clearly written in his late wife’s blood.

Horrible imagery indeed.

I have often reflected that the film’s power to shock and challenge its audience is derived from the fact that the real horror depicted in the film (the death of a parent, the illnes of a child, the shame and fear associated with a loss of faith) is juxtaposed with supernatural horror, and each is treated with the same degree of seriousness.

I thank you for your attention. I greatly admire your website. It is an excellent source of information about the most thought provoking film ever made.


Let me start by saying I completely agree with your closing statement. I also agree with your comment about The Exorcist‘s ˜power to shock and challenge its audiences’. Over 30 years old and this film is still as thought provoking and engaging as ever; a true testament to it still being regarded as the highest grossing horror film of all time. The Exorcist doesn’t give you cheap scares; it invites you to think and become engaged with the story. The documentary style employed by Friedkin still smacks of honesty and realism.

As for your connection to the death of Father Karras to the Sharon Tate Murder with the appearance of the word PIG, I’ve never heard anything official along these lines in any Exorcist writing I have come across. However, that doesn’t stop this being a very acute observation.

If looking for a connection, your original suggestion – that the word ˜PIG’ refers to the new testament story about the possessed man whose demons were cast into a herd of swine – is likely closer to any possibility, yet doubtful.

Further to this observation is the fact that, in Blatty‘s novel, Pazuzu refers to Regan as his ˜filthy little piglet’ several times. This dialogue never appears in the film.

I personally don’t think the word ˜PIG’ was inserted by the filmmakers at all. It was likely just actual graffiti that went un-noticed or was not worth removing. Again, I have seen no writing or interview responses to suggest otherwise so this is likely the case. However, one has to wonder if the filmmakers have ever been presented with such an observation? You just never know what answers Blatty or Friedkin might give.


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