Illinois October 07, 2017
This Unbelievably Terrifying Story From Illinois Is Absolutely True
While many do not believe that this mystifying tale is completely accurate, the details of what went down make it difficult to deny. This true scary story hails from our incredibly creepy state, and it may make you even more weirded out about living here.
Take a peek at this historical and horrifying tale that will really make you think. Keep scrolling for all the absolutely true details… if you dare.
Our tale, known as the Watseka Wonder, begins in the middle of the 19th century with a girl named Mary Roff who suffered from seizures and violent fits. Doctors believed she was insane and had her placed in a mental hospital at the age of 19, where she passed away in 1865.
Wateska is a small town in the northwest part of the state near Indiana.
This true story now shifts to another young girl, Lurancy Vennum, who was born one year prior to Mary's death. She, too, began having seizures and spells that would last up to eight hours at a time.
She spoke of things she saw in heaven and hell, such as the spirit of a deceased brother. She was able to recall parts of the world she'd never been to and began talking in different voices and languages during her trances.
Strangely, Lurancy never remembered what had happened after she came out of a trance.
Doctors had no explanation and suggested the girl be placed in a mental institution. With few resources for adequate treatment, mental institutions were more like a prison in those days. It was at this time that Asa Roff, the father of Mary, urged them not to.
Roff had been following the Vennum family's story and told them he believed their daughter was suffering from the same spiritual problem as his own daughter. He urged them not to lock Lurancy up, as he had made that mistake years prior.
Instead, Dr. E. Winchester Stevens was brought in to evaluate the girl. The doctor determined it was spiritual possession. Though many spirits seemed to be able to access Lurancy, she was asked to focus on one. The spirit was that of Mary Roff.
The spirit, who everyone thought was Mary, knew everything about the Roff family. She recognized neighbors and other relatives but did not recognize any of Lurancy's family members. She lived as Mary with the Roff family for several months, in a sense, giving them back their daughter... for a while.
The community was very displeased with these happenings. Many believed it was a hoax and laughed behind their backs. The girl returned home in May of the next year as Lurancy, and she never experienced symptoms again. There are still many who believe she was not actually possessed and that she was either faking it or legitimately mentally ill.
If that were the case, how could she know languages, people, and things she'd never seen or heard before while growing up in the fields of Illinois?
If you’d rather experience something frightening rather than read about it, don’t miss the
best haunted attraction in all of Illinois.
Had you ever heard this true scary story before? Share your thoughts on its validity in the comments below!