The Possessed continues in Watseka

Filming continues for Watseka Wonder story

By CARLA WATERS\Managing Editor

Film crews were back in Watseka yesterday and last night filming more for the project "The Possessed".

That production will be about the Watseka Wonder story.

Christopher Saint Booth and brother Philip Booth have been researching and filming the story, called "The Watseka Wonder".

The story of Lurancy Vennum and Mary Roff is still talked about today, some 100 years later.

In July of 1877 that Lurancy Vennum began to experience periods during which she claimed to speak to spirits. One of those was Mary Roff, who had lived a few years before her.

Mary, too, had had those same kinds of episodes where she claimed to have spoken to those from beyond. She was committed to an asylum in Peoria, where she died in 1865.

There are people who believe the home is still haunted by both Mary Roff and Lurancy Vennum today.

Christopher Saint Booth said in October, the DVD of their project, "The Possessed" will be available online at www.spookedtv.com

He said they have a commitment from the Sci Fi Channel to broadcast the production. The air date has yet to be finalized, he said.

Yesterday, the crew was at the home on Sheridan Avenue owned by John Whitman. This house is one of two homes in Watseka connected to the story.

Not only was the crew on hand yesterday, but also present was Rick Hayes, a paranormal and life consultant from Jasper, Ind. Hayes was filmed as he walked around the home and said he was feeling a story of a person who lived in the home at one time.

Hayes said he had worked with ghosthunter Keith Age, but they could not get their schedules together. Hayes said he was told the group was working on this site, but that he was told nothing about the story itself.

"I said any time I can help, let me know," he said.

Booth said he and his brother had not told Hayes anything about the Watseka Wonder story beforehand. Hayes agreed. "I don't like to be told about it before," he said.

The group was using new equipment recently produced by Bill Chappelle. He has invented two pieces of equipment, the paranormal puck and the ovilus 1, both of which he said are to aid in paranormal research.

Both, he said, pick up energy in the environment and use it to make words. Sometimes the words are gibberish, he said, while other times it uses words that are in direct correlation to the environment.

The filming was going to continue today, Booth said, noting that he and the crew are "very pleased with the production."

They were able to meet with Joyce Westbrook, the last living relative of Lurancy Vennum who actually met her. "We wouldn't have been able to get that interview if we had done this last year," he said.

Booth said the production company will release the air date for the Sci Fi Channel once it is known. The DVD will be available at places like Target and also online in October, he said.



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