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According to legend, one of the strangest possessions in American history occurred in the small Illinois town of Watseka in 1878, creating a mystery that endures to this day. But what really happened in this enigmatic case and how much of the mysterious story that has been told over the years --- about the spirit of one dead girl invading the body of a living one - is truth and how much is fiction? Author Troy Taylor, one of the leading researchers into the supernatural in the country, has spent years delving ...
According to legend, one of the strangest possessions in American history occurred in the small Illinois town of Watseka in 1878, creating a mystery that endures to this day. But what really happened in this enigmatic case and how much of the mysterious story that has been told over the years --- about the spirit of one dead girl invading the body of a living one - is truth and how much is fiction? Author Troy Taylor, one of the leading researchers into the supernatural in the country, has spent years delving into the facts behind this chilling story - searching through dusty records, wandering through old graveyards and visiting the sites associated with the case. This book, which is the first full-length, non-fiction title to be written about the case since 1879, unveils the true facts behind what occurred in Watseka in the 1870s and allows the reader to judge for himself whether Lurancy Vennum was truly possessed by the spirit of Mary Roff. This eye-opening, and sometimes terrifying book, is a must-have title for anyone with an interest in the mysterious and a taste for the unknown!
Posted June 15, 2013
The Possessed by Troy Taylor is based off a true story that took place in the late 1800’s. The story takes place in a small farm town of Watseka, IL located 80 miles south of Chicago and just a few miles from the Indiana border. Watseka was just an ordinary town until July of 1877, when it became known to many as the “Watseka Wonder” (Taylor 2007).
In his book The Possessed, Troy describes the small town of Watseka, the people and the actions of the characters in such great detail; it’s almost as if you traveled in time to actually witness the events unfold. There were many books written about the Watseka Wonder, but in this book the time line seems to be more intact compared to the other books. The down fall about this book is in the first few chapters the author [Troy] describes spiritualism and what many thought was possession by the devil, or evil beings, and goes on to prove the facts. Once you get past the first few chapters the story beings to unfold.
A young girl named Lurancy Vennum began to have abnormal behavior, going in and out of trances, and not remembering anything that she had said or done. Most of the doctors that she was brought to had come to the conclusion that she was mentally ill. With no other option being available, the Vennum’s were going to have to commit Lurancy to an insane asylum. There was one more visitor before she was to be taken away, Asa Roff. This man had come to them telling them that they were making a huge mistake by sending their daughter away for these reasons. He explained to them that his daughter, Mary, had the same trances and spells, but hers were much more severe. He had made the mistake of sending his daughter to an insane asylum, where it was like torture for her. She later died while admitted there at around the age of 18. He explained to the Vennum’s that he did believe that it was possible to communicate with the deceased, and that he thought Mary was trying to do that through their daughter Lurancy. The Vennum’s decided against sending their daughter away, and for a short time, it was as though Mary was present in the lives of her family, and Lurancy disappeared. One day, it was as if nothing had ever happened, and Lurancy was back to her old self. She did not remember ever doing anything with the Roff family, or who they even were. For many in the town of Watseka, this encounter made many believe that communicating with the deceased was definitely possible, and not always a negative encounter.
Troy Taylor has written many books and series including; Dead Men Do Tell Tales, History & Haunting, Hell Hath No Fury, Haunted Field Guide, Ghosts by Gaslight E-Books, Haunted Illinois and Stackpole Books. These books are based on his perspective of the events that others encountered. Troy Taylor does a phenomenal job researching the events and coming up with an accurate time line.
Posted October 9, 2009
I have lived in Watseka and have known of the story of The Watseka Wonder for about 30 years. The book offers a good basic story of the Watseka Wonder. However, the story of the Waseka Wonder doesn't start until page 52. The first part of the book deals with other cases and spiritualism and a few other realted topics. I only wish that the main part of the book dealing with the possession that took place in Watseka offered more information. I really didn't learn anything new that I hadn't already been aware of from my past knowledge of the story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 6, 2013
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