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Holy Rollers' Commitment PapersOregon Insane Asylum

Many of the Holy Rollers were committed to the Oregon Insane Asylum in 1904. They may or may not have been crazy, but they were driving their families crazy, and it didn’t take much to have someone committed. Some of the reasons given on documents related to their commitments seem laughable today, “go upon the streets bare-headed,” and “she goes about with her … hair streaming down her back as all of the women of this sect do.

Below are reasons listed in commitment papers for why seven of the Holy Rollers were committed to the Oregon Insane Asylum.

Frank and Mollie Hurt Committed April 30, 1904: Lie upon their faces upon the floor and pray day and night, claiming to receive messages directly from God; go upon the streets bare-headed, in the thinnest of raiment; destroy clothing and valuable and useful property belonging to themselves, injuring their mind and health by continuation of these practices which they claim are the commands of God. Not destructive except as above stated, not violent and have not been restrained.

Maud Hurt-Creffield Committed May 3, 1904: Religious fanatic--believes in not wearing any covering for the head and the destruction of all the unnecessary articles of apparel.

Sophie Hartley Committed May 3, 1904: Religious fanatic--does not believe there is a Christian in any of the other churches--is identified with the notorious Holy Rollers and claims that she is called to be an apostle and performing [illegible] for same.”

Rose Seeley Committed May 6, 1904: Would not shake hands with others than her sect, because with others it is only a form. Would not sit on a chair, because it is not the natural way, but on the ground or floor. She remained standing during examination. Her church is the only church. Still believes Creffield a child of God.

Attie Bray Committed May 6, 1904: She was stubborn about answering questions. She believes in the restoration of all things and as an indication of some of her beliefs, regarding dress, she goes about with her head uncovered and hair streaming down her back as all of the women of this sect do.

Sarah M Hurt Committed June 27, 1904: Claims her husband is not related to her, and that God is her husband. Goes barefooted, sits or lies on floor, continually and engages in prayer.


Attie Bray's Commitment & Asylum Records

Sophie Hartley's Commitment & Asylum Records

Frank Hurt's Commitment & Asylum Records

Maud Hurt's Commitment & Asylum Records

Mollie Hurt's Commitment & Asylum Records

Sarah Hurt's Commitment & Asylum Records

Rose Seeley's Commitment & Asylum Records


County Court of the State of Oregon for Linn County. In The Matter of the Examination and Commitment of:
Mollie Hurt.  Complaint Filed 30 April 1904.
Frank Hurt. Complaint Filed 30 April 1904.

County Court of the State of Oregon for Benton County. The Matter of the Examination and Commitment of Atta (sic) Bray. Filed 6 May 1903.
Rose Seely (sic). Complaint. Filed 6 May 1904.
Sarah M. Hurt. Filed 27 June1904.

Personal History, Females, Volumes 4B Oregon Insane Asylum, Oregon State Hospital, p. 277.

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Holy Rollers is a story that has everything a good read should have: sex, religious fervor, mass insanity, the downfall of prominent families, murder and sensational court trials.

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Sample Chapters from Holy Rollers:
Murder and Madness in Oregon's Love Cult


The Cast of Characters
Photos and Bios of the Holy Rollers


Holy Rollers' Asylum Commitment Papers


Info for Book Groups

Book Reviews


1903 to 1907 Newspaper Articles About the Holy Rollers

1906 Editorial Calling for Gun Control
After Multiple Murders Involving the Holy Rollers

Stewart Holbrook Holy Rollers Article

Advertisements from 1893 to 1913


Oregon Insane Asylum
Where the Holy Rollers Were Committed

Creffield, Brainwashing & Thought Reform

Early Cases of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

1906 Autopsies Of Holy Rollers
Forensics Before CSI

Holy Roller Bizarre Divorce Decree
Hartley describes trying to kill his wife's lover


Comedians on Edmund Creffield

The Shadow Testament
A Play About The Holy Rollers

How the Fire Fell
A Movie About The Holy Rollers


Life in Corvallis in the early 1900s

Life in Waldport, OR in early 1900s

Heaven's Gate

Facts & Stats about 1906
And How The Holy Rollers Measured Up

Oregon State Penitentiary
Where Creffield Was Incarcerated


Info about Cults

Could you ever be lured into joining a cult?

Share your thoughts about, and experiences with, cults


Creffield's Preachings

Creffield Vs. Crefeld

The Salvation Army Opening Fire in 1886

Holy Roller Theology

Reverend Knapp's Bible Songs of Salvation & Victory
Songs Sung by the Holy Rollers


About the Authors

Theresa (T-) McCracken

Robert B. Blodgett

In addition to writing, McCracken is a cartoonist.

To see some of her 'toons, go to the Home of McHumor Cartoons mchumor.com

McCracken's Blog

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Theresa (T-) McCracken
890 North Bayview Loop
Waldport, Oregon 97394

(541) 563-3112


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Theresa (T-) McCracken