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

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

  • I think they did a good job on the segment. It is a shame it wasn’t longer, but the word is out about the Roff house and the Watseka Wonder. That is what was needed.

    Thank you, John for allowing me to be a part of it.


  • Debbie

    I watched it Friday night and I’ve been posting about it on my fb page to remind my classmates to tune in.

  • Debbie

    I went to see Troy Taylor speak tonight at our local library. He was also selling some of his books, including “The Possessed.” And he told the story of the Watseka Wonder this evening. I don’t know if anyone in the audience left believing or not. I mentioned the Travel Channel show to him, as I know he has been on their programs before. I find it amazing, that after all these years, this story is getting lots of attention. The last time I recall, it was during the 1970s, when the guy from California came to town to write a book on the Watseka Wonder. Troy’s book is much better. Perhaps we will see even more about this on tv someday — “Ghosthunters maybe?

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