The Roff Home in 1895 Watseka Wonder & Roff Home: America's First Documented Case of Spiritual Possession
The Watseka Wonder Mary Roff Lurancy Vennum Roff Home Your Visit: Tours, Ghost Hunts and Paranormal Investigations Press & Publications "The Possessed" on DVD Store Contact Us  
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Your Visit

» Ghosthunting & paranormal investigations
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» When to visit: Important dates
» FAQs

Roff Home on SyFy in "The Possessed,"


 

FAQs on Visiting Roff Home

About the Watseka Wonder story

Paranormal investigations and ghost hunts:
Planning and logistics

Evidence of paranormal activity

Paranormal investigations and ghost hunts: Rules

About the home

Proceeds

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About the Watseka Wonder story

What is the Watseka Wonder story?

In 1878, Lurancy Vennum claimed to be possessed by the spirit of Mary Roff, a girl who had died 13 years earlier. Lurancy moved into Roff Home with the Roff family, where she stayed for 100 days until she was cured of her possession. The case became known as "America's First Documented Case of Spiritual Possession." You can read more about the story on this website or you can download for FREE an eyewitness account of the case.

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Paranormal investigations and ghost hunts: Planning and logistics

I'm traveling with my group for an 8-hr investigation. Can we crash at Roff Home after our investigation?

Yes. Groups booking eight-hour investigations that cover nighttime hours may sleep at Roff Home after their investigation ends. Since the home is not set up as a hotel or bed and breakfast, your group members need to bring sleeping bags and/or air mattresses to sleep on.

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Will renovation work at Roff Home interfere with my investigation?

No. Currently, there is no renovation work going on at the home that will interfere with or impede your investigation. The Roff Home is undergoing renovation and restoration effort to bring out its original character, as Lurancy Vennum and the Roff family experienced it. The work is taking place in such a way as to not interfere with investigations. (You can read about renovation work on the Roff Home blog.)

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Will any other groups be in the home during my investigation?

No. Multiple groups are never booked in the home at the same time. When your group is here, the only other person who will be in the home is the owner. Whether you are a group of two or fifteen, you can rest assured that you will have exclusive access to the home during your booked time.

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How do groups divide up in the home?

For large groups, people usually split into two, three, or four smaller groups, with one group investigating the grounds; another, the basement; another; the first floor; and yet another, the second floor. When each group has completed its area, groups rotate to the next. This coordination has worked well for larger groups visiting the home. However, during your time in the home you can run your investigation as you wish.

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Can we also explore the grounds around the home?

Yes, of course. The home sits on five acres of land that still retains much of its original landscaping from the late 1800s. Some investigators have claimed to have found certain evidence in the stand of oak trees to the west of the home. These trees were originally planted by the Roff family when they built the home between 1865-1868.

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Can I go in the basement?

Yes. Investigators claim to find strange evidence there. Beyond that, the basement is just creepy. So feel free to satisfy your curiosity. It's all part of the experience.

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Is the Roff Home heated?

Yes. A new boiler was installed as part of the renovation, and the home has been sealed to keep the outside out and the inside in. The heat is on typically from mid-October to mid-April. Some of the radiators have been restored. Each winter, the steam heat radiators keep the Roff home toasty warm.

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Evidence of Paranormal Activity

Is the Roff Home haunted? Is there any paranormal activity?

The Roff Home makes no claims about the existence of any paranormal activity whatsoever at the home. However, multiple paranormal investigators have claimed to have found evidence during their time in the home. The nature of investigations can be very subjective, and we leave it for you to decide.

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What evidence have paranormal investigators found at the home?

After their investigations of the Roff Home, some paranormal investigators have forwarded their evidence to us. This has included audio and video recordings, photos and testimonials of their personal experiences while in the home.

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What rooms or areas are most active in the home?

Paranormal investigators repeatedly claim to find evidence in these rooms (hottest areas listed first): the infant's room, the mother's bedroom, the father's bedroom, the basement, and the servant's area at the top of the rear staircase. Other places where people have claimed to find evidence are the kitchen, the front and rear parlors, Lurancy's room, and the area outside among the oak trees --- basically, the whole house and grounds.

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Will my group find evidence while we are there?

The owner makes no claims about any paranormal activity in the home. However, most groups report back that they find something while they are here.

The best analogy is to compare the home to a train station. Sometimes groups get reams of evidence, as if the house were filled with people passing through a train station at rush hour. However, other times the station is pretty empty with just a couple of people keeping to themselves as they wait for their trains to arrive.

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Paranormal investigations and ghost hunts: Rules

Are there set times that we have to arrive or leave for our investigation?

Weekdays: Groups generally only book investigations on the weekends. However, if your group prefers a weekday, please inquire to see if a weekday option is possible.

Four-hour investigations: 8 pm to midnight.

8-hr investigations: 8 pm to 4 am

Sleeping at the Roff Home: Groups that book 8-hr investigations are welcome to sleep at the Roff Home after their investigation has ended.

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What is the minimum number of people required for a paranormal investigation?

Four people are requested as a minimum.

Smaller groups are welcome, but the minimum four-person fee would be charged.

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What is the maximum number of people allowed for an investigation?

Groups should be limited to 16 or fewer people. When there are more than 16 people, the house feels crowded and your ability to control chatter becomes more difficult. The upper limit on people is more of a recommendation than a steadfast rule.

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Will I have access to the entire home? Is anything off limits?

During your investigation, you will have access to more than 95% of the square footage of the home. Only one room is locked, which is a small room upstairs that is used as an office space. During your time in the home, the owner will cloister himself in the office space to leave you on your own in the home. Beyond the small office space, you will have access to all other rooms upstairs, as well as all rooms downstairs on the first floor and the entire basement.

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About the home

Is Roff Home a museum or private residence?

Roff Home is a private residence. Due to the popularity of the Watseka Wonder story and the interest it generates, the owner opens its doors for individuals and groups to experience the home where much of the Watseka Wonder story took place. Please contact him to book a time.

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I saw "The Possessed." The Roff Home looked like a wreck in that film. What renovation work has gone on since then?

Roff Home is getting a major facelift, with significant renovation and restoration work having been completed since the filming of "The Possessed." Most of the exterior woodwork of doors, windows, and eaves has been restored and repainted. Most of the interior walls of the home have been replastered. Some of the original hardwood floors have been sanded and refinished. Some interior painting has been completed in the original Victorian color scheme. More work will continue until the home is completely restored and renewed. (You can read about renovation work on the Roff Home blog.)

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Proceeds

Where does the money go from tours and investigations?

When the current owner purchased Roff Home, it was in desperate need of a gut renovation to save it. Indeed, the home was in such bad shape that it had been recommended to both the past owners and to the current owner that the home be demolished.

The current owner has been adamant that the home be saved. It is a local gem of Victorian Italianate architecture, the first brick residence in the town and perhaps the county, the home of one of the founders of the town, the home of various important people in the town's history, and the home where much of the Watseka Wonder story took place. Roff Home has captured people's imaginations for more than a century, and it has been well worth the effort to save it.

The money you pay to investigate the home goes directly back into the home to pay for renovation and restoration work. Your visit will help save this home.

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More on Your Visit to Roff Home

Contact Roff Home to book time in the home.

     

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