EVPs from a private investigation on 03/20/2013

During a private investigation on 03/20/2013, Derek and Chreey Bradburn led an investigation of the Roff  Home, accompanied by two other people. They reported personal experiences, and they have sent back to the Roff Home the following EVPs:

  • EVP “Choking… Yes!”: The (male) investigator had felt a pressure on his throat, and he says, “I feel like, I feel like someone’s choking me.” A female voice in the background can be heard to enthusiastically whisper “Yes!”
  • EVP, “Hey you!”: Here’s a raspy “Hey you!”
  • EVP “Music… No! No!”: A female investigator suggested that “You could listen to music on that.” Two separate voices are heard to reply, “No!”
  • EVP, “Fucking bitch!”: As a female investigator was walking downstairs into the basement, a raspy voice appears to say “fucking bitch!” or “fucking witch!”

What do you think? Leave your comments here or on Facebook!

2012 Paranormal Bookings Strong through Fall

Paranormal investigators from Illinois, Indiana and even Ohio have kept the Roff Home busy this spring with several ghost hunts from February through April. Groups are reporting evidence and experiences at the home reminiscent of the bizarre occurrences of 2010. Evidence has included strong and frequent EVPs, feelings of being watched, feelings of foreboding, feeling touched or getting scratched in the basement, and hearing voices during investigations.

This summer and fall is shaping up to be busy at the home, so if you are thinking of booking a night at the Roff Home for you and your group, please call or email info@roffhome.com early to get your choice of dates.

Watseka Wonder Roff Home Reopens with Focus on Healing

After closing for cleansing in November 2010, the Roff Home reopened on Feb.10, 2011, with a focus on the spiritual and emotional healing that is at the heart of the Watseka Wonder story.

As paranormal investigations took place at the Roff Home from 2007–2010, the amount of activity increased and the types of evidence that paranormal groups captured became more robust. While increased activity and a broader spectrum of evidence made for an intense investigation, it made it nearly impossible to live in the home, especially with the negativity that emerged.

In Nov. 2010, the Roff Home closed to the public to undergo a series of cleansings. At the same time, the owner began a process of questioning under what conditions the home could be reopened and truly what were the benefits and consequences of having so many paranormal investigations take place in a home. The outgrowth of this period of reflection is the decision to reopen the home, but with a better search for balance between the positive and negative that we all know exists in the world. Read more.

Roff Home and Watseka Wonder to be featured on Travel Channel’s ‘Most Terrifying Places in America’ starting Oct. 1

The Travel Channel is helping America usher in October and Halloween with a retelling of the Watseka Wonder story on the program “The Most Terrifying Places in America.”

The episode will include reenactments of séances, scenes of a possessed Lurancy Vennum, an interview with the owner of the Roff Home, and impressions from mediums Rick Hayes and Sue Durkin. The segment was filmed at the Roff Home in Watseka, Ill.

The episode will air:

  • Fri., Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific)
  • Sat., Oct. 2 at 2 a.m. E/P
  • Sun., Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. E/P
  • Tues., Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. E/P
  • Fri., Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. E/P
  • Fri.,. Oct. 15 at 4 p.m. E/P

The episode will continue airing throughout October and beyond. Check local listings for local stations and to confirm air times for your time zone. Additional air times will be posted on the Roff Home and Travel Channel Web sites as they become available.

The Watseka Wonder story is a bizarre case in1878 that came to be known as “America’s first documented case of possession.” For 100 days in 1878, the 13-year-old girl Lurancy Vennum claimed to be possessed by the spirit of Mary Roff, a young woman who had died 12 years earlier. Lurancy then moved into the Roff Home with Mary’s parents, where both friends and family became convinced that she indeed had become this family’s dead daughter. Dr. E. W. Stevens, a Spiritualist doctor, wrote an eyewitness account of the case that remains in print to this day.

People can read more about the Roff Home and the Watseka Wonder story on the Web site for the house at http://www.roffhome.com.

Ghost Hunting 101: An udpate on the first night of training sessions

We’re all pumped up from the Illiana Paranormal Society’s first night of Ghost Hunting 101 training sessions here at the Roff Home. We had people attend from Illinois, Indiana, and even Texas! And the sessions at 10 pm and midnight were at capacity!

The group started off each two-hour session with an overview of instruments and how they use them in an investigation. They then divided into three smaller groups to explore and investigate three areas of the home: part of the yard that mediums keep telling us disturbing stories about, the upstairs bedrooms of Asa  and Dorothy Roff (the parents of Mary Roff), the bedroom of Lurancy Vennum, of course, the freaky basement, which has yielded for other investigators some frightening recordings and disturbing personal experiences.

The basement continues to express its personality…
Last night, one guy participating in a training session at midnight was investigating the basement when he felt a warm sensation on his skin. He lifted up his shirt to find that he’d been scratched. To us, that was pretty much par for the course for the basement. It’s really best not to go poking and prodding around down there.

Props to WIVR 101.7!
WIVR 101.7 did a live broadcast from the Roff Home from 7:30-8:30 pm last night. So major props to Milner Broadcasting, the team at WIVR, and the sponsors of the broadcast for helping us spread the word!

A few more tickets for Sat., Sept. 25
We want these sessions to be an intimate experience for each individual that comes through the home. That’s why we divide up into three small groups for each training investigation. On Friday, we limited sessions to 15 people total, which meant the small groups investigating the home were limited to five people each. However, we can still maintain the uniqueness and intimacy of the experience with six people in each small group, so we’re increasing the total number of tickets per session tonight to 18.

So if you’re still looking for tickets for Sept. 25, you’ll see a few more available for 8 pm, 10 pm — and even midnight!

Roff Home + Oct. 1 = Travel Channel’s ‘Most Terrifying Places in America’

Back in May 2010, the Travel Channel filmed here at the Roff Home for the third edition of “The Most Terrifying Places in America.” The filming was a hoot.

Today we learned the initial air date for our episode: Oct. 1, 2010.

Now we just need to figure out when to tune in. Unfortunately, the Travel Channel is being tight-lipped about the time.

So in the meantime, we’ll be content to google oursevles every day (Roff Home + Travel Channel + OMG + WHAT TIME??!!??!?!). I’m sure we’ll look like an obsessed narcissist to whoever’s watching web traffic behind the scenes. But c’mon, Google and Travel Channel, have you ever been to Watseka? There’s nothing to do here but google yourself. (In fact, I’m googling myself right now.)

We love you, Travel Channel. We love everything about you. And this is our plea to you.

You’re the people who’ve given us “Ghost Adventures,” with the dreamy ghost guy with the big ghost-seekin’ arms.

You’ve shocked us with the stomach-churning thrill ride that is Andrew Zimmerman’s “Bizarre Foods.” We cringe with horror every time we watch it. Seeing that guy eat his way through a fried rat stand at a Thai outdoor jungle market in steaming, no-refrigeration heat is scarier than anything you’ll ever experience here at the Roff Home.

And you’ve blessed us with “America’s Worst Driver.” Honestly, is there any other way to feel better about yourself than to spend some time watching the confused and distracted have a meltdown while trying to drive across town? I think not!

So, please, Travel Channel, just throw us a crumb. Let that small morsel fall off the table and into our welcoming hands. Just whisper that air time in our ears. We won’t tell a soul. It’ll be our little secret. I promise.

Travel Channel’s “Most Terrifying Places in America” at Roff Home

UPDATE 09/02/2010: We’ve learned that the episode of ”The Most Terrifying Places in America” featuring the Roff Home will air Sat., Oct. 2. Read more here.


A production team from the Travel Channel trekked out to Watseka, Ill., in May to film a segment for a fall 2010 edition of its popular series, “The Most Terrifying Places in America.” While they were here they filmed some background information on the Watseka Wonder story. I recounted a series of otherworldly nightmares I had after paranormal groups had come through the home. The medium Rick Hayes walked through the home — including the basement! — and related his impressions. The crew tied a young actress to a bed and told her to writh like a snake. And actors and mediums reenacted a Victorian-style séance in the bedroom that Lurancy stayed in back in 1878.

You know, basically, a normal day here at the Roff Home.

The show is set to air in September and October of this year. Once I hear of an air date, I’ll get it on the website and blog so everyone can tune in.

HALLOWEEN UPDATE: The medium Rick Hayes will be conducting two nights of events here at the Roff Home on Oct. 22-23. He’ll be doing a gallery reading session followed by optional ghosthunting here at the home. It looks to be two spirited evenings! Read more about upcoming events here.

Victorian floors in the front parlor: Unraveling the mystery of original use

The Victorian floors in the Roff Home have been a mystery, especially the front parlor’s baffling combination of plain plank flooring and ornate trim. My restoration of the flooring and my own use of the room helped the mystery be unraveled.

Others look at pictures of the flooring and have the same doubts I did. Here’s a comment I just received on my post about my decision-making dilemma of how to refinish the front parlor flooring in this Victorian home:

It sounds as though the border was not part of the original flooring and was added on later over top to enhance the existing floor, but believe whoever did this failed miserably. The border, although somewhat nice, doesn’t go with the original floor. I would consider getting rid of it altogether and just concentrate on restoring the plank floor to its original state.

→Read more

Rest in Peace, Justin

For Justin Kaiser, in memoriam: “Another World” by Antony and the Johnsons

Justin Kaiser, a long time friend of the owner of the Roff Home, passed away unexpectedly this weekend, following complications from a surgery that was to improve his life. He was too young to pass so soon, and this has been a shock to everyone who knew him.

Just before his surgery, he had posted a comment on the Roff Home blog. Privately, we communicated about doing some work together after he recovered from surgery.

Justin worked at WGFA, a regional radio station based in Watseka, Illinois. He was a joy to listen to on the air.

Among the many good things that Justin did throughout his life, he helped promote a local summer opera festival that I am involved with, called Sugar Creek Symphony & Song. He recorded voiceovers and invited us into the studio for on-air interviews. He was a pleasure to work with, and his enthusiasm and willingness to support our efforts to bring the arts to this area will always be appreciated.

When I would go out to the radio station to do the on-air interviews, it was so easy to just sit down and talk to him. Even when we were on the air, everything felt so easy-going. He would always greet me with a smile, and he was so easy to have a conversation with.

The tragedy of his death is that it is so unexpected and came far too soon in his life. It is so cliché to hear someone say that you have to live for today, or live like it is the last day of your life, but Justin’s tragedy makes these tired sayings real.

Rest in peace, Justin.

In memory of Justin Kaiser: “Another World” by Antony and the Johnsons.
I need another place. Will there be peace?
I need another world. This one’s nearly gone.
Still have too many dreams never seen the light.
I need another world, a place where I can go.
I’m gonna miss the sea. I’m gonna miss the snow.
I’m gonna miss the bees. I miss the things that grow.
I’m gonna miss the trees. I’m gonna miss the sun.
I miss the animals. I’m gonna miss you all.

Victorian front parlor: period carpet and wallpaper reproductions

Since redoing the plaster and floor in the front parlor of the Roff Home, a Victorian home built in 1868, I’ve wondered what shape the interior design of the room will take. I would love to keep the Victorian front parlor feel, and then segue into a more modern feel in the rest of the home.

Tonight I found a couple of websites that have some great reproductions of period Victorian carpeting and period wallpaper from the Victorian and Arts & Craft eras, complements of J. Burrows & Co.

What do you think? Any patterns catch your eye?