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Innovation of the Week: Freelance exorcisms

The 1973 horror film 'The Exorcist' based on William Peter Blatty's novel is being re-released September 22, 2000 with 11 minutes of never-before-seen footage and completely redesigned sound. Directed by William Friedkin, the movie stars Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller and Max Von Sydow, pictured in a scene from the movie. REUTERS/Warner Bros/Handout Published in NYT 02/22/04 - ARTS & LEISURE Section Published Caption: A scene from the original 1973 movie ''The Exorcist,'' rereleased in 2000. (Photo by Reuters) 25menfeature
REUTERS
“The Exorcist” (1973).

What is it? Freelance exorcisms

Innovators: French entrepreneurs

What were they thinking? If you’ve got ghosts in your apartment, or ghouls in your soul, you’re going to need an exorcism. Trouble is, if you live in France, it’s getting harder and harder to find a church-licensed exorcist priest. There are only about 100 left in the country, and many are not practicing. But have no fear. Or, rather, exorcise it: The BBC reports that a growing number of independent contractors are filling the void.

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Does it work? There’s a freelancer for every kind of spirit-chasing. One exorcises farms. Another helps small businesses plagued by black magic. It’s not clear if they’re actually casting out the demons, but they sure are busy. One tells The Economist he’s working as many as 15 hours per day and clearing about $14,000 per month before taxes.

David Scharfenberg can be reached at david.scharfenberg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dscharfGlobe