The Watseka Wonder: The Double Life of Lurancy Venum


One family mourned the death of a daughter. Another family welcomed a new daughter. A few years later, Mary Lurancy Vennum "became" the deceased Mary Roth! Was it a case of multiple personality, reincarnation, a haunting, or just wishful thinking?

Mary Roff had died in July 1865 at the age of 18, having suffered from fits throughout her life. It now seemed to Roff that his daughter had returned from the grave and taken over Lurancy’s body. Indeed, Lurancy was giving every sign of being Mary Roff and was constantly pleading to be allowed to go home to her parents.

On February 11 “Mary Roff” moved to the Roff household. For three months she behave exactly as if she were the dead daughter of the Roffs’ immediately recognizing friends, relatives, clothes, and belongings. She also remembered scores of events from her past, many of which had occurred up to 25 years before. When the Vennums visited, “Mary Roff” behaved as if Lurancy reemerged.

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by MrGhaz.

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I have to say this article doesn't do the subject matter any justice and is why so many people are skeptical. There's much better info on this incident, suggest a good online search, and it may in fact be real - google the 'Shanti Devi' incident as well, and read the book 'Transformed by the Light' by Melvin Morse M.D. with Paul Perry, and pay close attention to Chapter 6 as it provides much more scientific based evidence that strongly suggests that at least some of these encounters (if you will) are real, but the phenomena as yet is still very much an unexplored mystery.
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Sounds to me like Stevens sort of encouraged Lurancy's behavior. Sounds like the girl had a weird experience, the Roffs recommended Stevens, and he probably helped introduce the ideas of the paranormal and of Mary Roff and the already disturbed/impressionable Lurancy started to genuinely believe she was possessed. The Roffs fell for it because they missed their daughter and wanted it to be true. The Venums fell for it because their daughter believed it so fully herself.
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