26 December 2013 4:30 AM, PST | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

"The Exorcist," released 40 years ago this week (on December 26, 1973), is widely regarded as the scariest movie ever made, but after four decades, two sequels, two prequels, and countless spoofs, is there anything about the tale of demon-possessed Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair) and the priests who try to save her (Max von Sydow and Jason Miller) left to jolt and shock us?

Maybe there is. "Exorcist" director William Friedkin's 2013 memoir, "The Friedkin Connection," has three chapters full of dish on the making of the film, including which characters were based on famous people, how some of the famous special effects were accomplished, how he came to slap a Jesuit priest, and whether or not the production was cursed. Here are 25 things you may not know about "The Exorcist," many of them from Friedkin's recent book.

1. The real case that inspired William Peter Blatty's novel and screenplay was the 1949 exorcism of a 14-year-old boy, »

- Gary Susman

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