T+E’s Bathsheba: Search for Evil serves up a history lesson with its scares

Anyone who visits this site already knows I love paranormal programming. I’m especially fond of the series that delves into the true tales behind the spookiness, marrying fact with what some regard as myth.

T+E has knocked out out of the park with scary series before, but the two-part documentary Bathsheba: Search for Evil, debuting Monday on the specialty channel, has reached another level.

Airing as part of its “Creep Week,” event programming, Bathsheba explores the true story behind The Conjuring. The 2013 feature film, starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as demonologists Lorraine and Ed Warren, was a box office smash. Now, Bathsheba pulls back the curtain on the Perron family—and the house—at the centre of the story. The entire Perron family was terrorized by an evil paranormal presence, a 19th-century ghost believed by many to be a witch named Bathsheba Sherman, who allegedly haunted generations of families that had taken residence within her remote grounds. Anchored by first-hand accounts from the living Perron family members and paranormal investigator Erin Goodpipe (APTN’s The Other Side), Bathsheba separates fact from fiction, with disturbing results.

“The original camera operator had nightmares for several days and quit the project,” series producer and director Sunny Grewal says. “They had done the first batch of interviews and were supposed to visit and film on-site, and they basically said, ‘Sorry, not sorry.'” The interviews are pretty intense stuff. Regardless of whether you personally believe in ghosts, hauntings and the paranormal, something happened to the Perron family in what was named the Old Arnold Estate.

Investigator Erin Goodpipe

The odd stuff isn’t contained to behind-the-scenes either. In Monday’s premiere, something happens behind Goodpipe that is, luckily, captured on camera. There was, Grewal says, no explanation for the occurrence.

Aside from intimate interviews with members of the Perron family—sisters Cindy, Christine, Andrea, Nancy and father Roger all participate— and current homeowners Cory and Jennifer Heinzen, Bathsheba gets to the heart of the woman the documentary is named after.

Bathsheba Sherman, born in 1812, was a farm wife, but rumours swirled. Myths claimed she was malicious. Townspeople hated her, believing she killed a baby with a sewing needle and sacrificed it to the devil in exchange for eternal youth and beauty. Bathsheba attempts to get the facts right, and credit goes to Grewal and her team for being respectful in their storytelling of the living and the dead.

“One of the things I am most happy about is, it’s essentially a very female story, between [the late] Carolyn [Perron] and the sisters and then Bathsheba herself,” Grewal says. “Bathsheba was a real person, who has been collateral damage in some respects.”

Bathsheba: Search for Evil airs Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on T+E.

Images courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

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