Iconic Horror Author of “The Exorcist,” William Peter Blatty, Dies at age 89

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Written by Shannon McGrew

2017 has taken an iconic figure today in the world of horror.  Author and filmmaker William Peter Blatty, best known for his 1971 novel “The Exorcist” passed away yesterday at the age of 89.

For me, and I’m sure a slew of other horror fans, the effect that “The Exorcist” had within the horror genre has been unprecedented. The book, which was released in 1971, and is one of the most chilling novels I have ever read, stayed on the bestseller list for 57 straight weeks.

“The Exorcist” told the story of a child named Regan (played by Linda Blair) who becomes possessed by a demon. Both the book and the movie proved to be a huge success with audiences and Blatty even went on to win an Oscar for his screenplay of the film, based off of his book, in 1973.

William Peter Blatty's famous novel

“The Exorcist” was released in 1971 (Too Much Horror Fiction)

Though “The Exorcist” proved to be a legacy in which Blatty was most known for, he went on to write quite a few novels while also producing and directing films within the horror genre.  Since his passing, celebrities and fans have taken to Twitter to express their condolences for the beloved author and filmmaker, including William Friendkin (director of “The Exorcist”) who broke the news this morning.   

On a personal note, “The Exorcist”, both the book and the film, were life-changing for me.  The film, to this day, is my all-time favorite horror film and one that holds a special place in my heart.  Blatty was a talent and an incredible writer and he will be sorely missed.  William Peter Blatty is survived by his wife.

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