I've long been fascinated with possessions and all things paranormal so when the guys over at Spooked TV sent me a copy of this new documentary to check out, I immediately popped it into the player. Gotta say a big thank you to them for sending it to me, but I didn't really enjoy it all that much. It's a well made documentary with some very interesting aspects, but the story of The Watseka Wonder is probably more captivating to just read about online. I had never actually even known about this story until I checked this doc out tonight, so i'm definetly thankful for it bringing the tale to my attention as it's highly interesting.
The Watseka Wonder is the name given to the joined stories of Mary Roff and Lurancy Vennum, two teens from the Illinois area in the 1800's. In a nutshell, the story goes that Mary Roff was plagued by a demonic spirit until her death at an insane asylum in 1865. Lurancy Vennum, who knew nothing of Roff, became possessed by a similar spirit several years later and while under one of her spells said that the spirit inside her was that of a young girl by the name of, you guessed it, Mary Roff. It gets a lot more interesting and creepy than that and you can read all about it HERE. The Possessed, which I believe aired on SciFi a while back and just came to DVD a couple months ago, tells this story along with the stories of several other people who claim to have had run ins with possession.
I think the main problem with the documentary is that it kinda jumps all over the place. One minute they're talking about Roff & Vennum, the next they're interviewing what seems to be dirtbag teens with cutting problems who claim to be possessed, and the next the crew is off ghost hunting and EVP'ing. Surely The Watseka Wonder story alone is intriguing enough to fill up at least an hour and halfs time and I wish they had stuck to that story and only that story. I don't really care to hear about some goth teen who cuts, but maybe that's just me. Like I said though, there are some interesting aspects. The real life Emily Rose, Anneliese Michel, is delved into a bit with audio recordings of her actual exorcism being played. The most interesting part of the whole thing for me however was the looks inside the insane asylums of days past, along with the tools that were used on patients back then. Back in these times no one knew of the relatively harmless ailments that many of us suffer from nowadays so they would just toss people in mental hospitals for things like ADD and Epilepsy and perform horrific experiments and tests on them, such as drilling huge holes in their heads to "let the evil spirits out". People complain about the medications that are handed out for things like ADD these days and the side effects that come along with them, but I guess it beats a drill to the skull!
I found the ghost hunting parts of the documentary, which comprise a large portion of it, to be fairly boring being that i've seen all that type of stuff a million times before. It's funny because the more I see about ghosts and ghost hunting, the less I actually tend to believe in ghosts. There's NEVER concrete proof and all these documentaries and shows seem to do is play these EVP recordings and show these images and tell you what you should be hearing and what you should be seeing, meanwhile all it is is a garbled unintelligible mess of audio or a shadow on the wall. Now I do believe in ghosts, or at least i'd like to say I do, but none of this type of shit convinces me. Bottom line is, all these ghost hunting shows/docs are no longer interesting to me because i've come to the realization that they're all the same and nothing concrete or conclusive will ever be shown or heard on them. Unless I see it for myself, I will remain a hopeful skeptic. And once I do see it for myself, i'll probaby wish I didn't!
My advice is, if you're interested in this story, just read about it on the net. Thanks again Spooked TV for sending me a copy of this film and I hope I haven't turned any would be buyers off to it, but I gotta be honest with my opinions. I'll be handing the disc over to a paranormal fanatic buddy of mine to check out, so one can't say i'm not doing my part in helping to get the flick out there in the world!
If you want to check out The Possessed for yourself, you can pick it up at SpookedTV.com.