I’m about 90% sure my room is haunted. This is the third time I’ve woken up with a bruise on me and have no explanation as to how it got there. My sister wants to perform an exorcism on me but I’m hoping it’s just a friendly ghost who is trying to tell me that I’m going to bed too late and need to sleep better hours.

It’s funny how ideas can get mixed up in popular culture.

I ran into a great example just the other day: you know how, in Austin Powers, at one point Dr. Evil’s chair goes haywire and he quips “I need a young priest and an old priest”?

This is, of course, a reference to the cast of The Exorcist - but a lot of folks didn’t catch it, having never seen the latter film. So they assumed he was desribing to a real (albeit obscure) exorcism ritual.

The description then got passed on to folks who’d never seen Austin Powers, either, and now there are a whole bunch of folks who think there really is a Roman Catholic exorcism ritual that specifically has to be performed by a young priest and an old priest. I’ve seen it turn up in ostensibly serious fiction.

All because of a one-liner joke that nobody got.