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The Rogers Theater- 310 N. 4th Street-Wausau, Wisconsin



            The Rogers Theater is located in downtown Wausau, Wisconsin at 310 N. 4th Street near the Wausau Center Mall.  Recently the former Rogers Theater was sold to Daniel Miller and another partner.  The new owners plan to remodel the historic building and reopen it as a performing/night club.  It is unclear as to what year the building was originally built; however, it was first used as apartments with a small business located on the first floor by the name of Ammenthorp Tire Shop.  Although not verified, supposedly a woman was murdered in one of the upstairs rooms during the 1920’s.  Around 1926 the Helke Furniture Company which was then located across the street from the Rogers building, decided to open up a funeral business at this site.  It operated as such until 1939.  From 1940 to 1945 it is said that the building was used as a house of ill repute.  In 1945 it was converted to a movie theater and opened as the Hollywood Theater.  In 1960 the name changed to the New Wausau Theater and then to the Rogers Theater in 1979.  

            During October 2003, Susan Ramsett of Channel 7 Television contacted the WPRS. The WPRS was invited to investigate the Rogers Theater to try and find any evidence of paranormal activity.  The WPRS went to the Rogers on 10/23/03 to perform a preliminary investigation.  While on site Channel 7 television was there to document some of our findings for a two part series that was aired on 10/30/03 and 10/31/03.  Many former employees of the theater have reported to the WPRS that they have had several encounters with paranormal phenomena.  Those paranormal encounters are listed below.

            On November 4, 2005 we were again contacted by the current owners of the former Rogers Theater and asked if we would be interested in conducting a more comprehensive investigation of the site.  The WPRS accepted and returned to the site on the evening of December 3, 2005.


WPRS members Blaschka, Roll and Ludwig began the investigation on October 23, 2003 at approximately 6:15PM.  Several first hand accounts of some of the haunting activity had already been obtained by us through newspaper articles, email messages from former employees of the Rogers and other sources. Most of the activity listed below occurred while the theater was the Rogers.  Roll videotaped the walk through of the site to have a recording of our investigation. Some recent activity has been added to the list since the original investigation in 2003. 

1.   The staff refers to the spirit as “Bob”.

2.   One former employee claims that he seen a man walking in front of the downstairs theater movie screen while working in the projection room. No one else was in the building at the time.

3.   Several reports of the feeling of strong presence in the building, especially in the basement theater area.

4.   A former employee reported seeing a bluish-gray face stare back at him as he was loading film into the projection booth downstairs.  Again a search of the theater revealed that he was the only one present during the sighting.

5.   One evening while removing theater seats from the downstairs auditorium, two former employees of the Rogers reported    that they witnessed the theater seats rocking violently with no one around them. They also reported that all the seats rocked back and forth behind them as they ran out of the auditorium.

6.   Several times during matinees all the film projectors main shut off switches would turn off within seconds of each other. Electricians could find no cause for this anomaly. 

7.   Lights are turned on and off by unseen visitors.

8.   Reports of rapping noises that cannot be explained.

9.   One employee reported that on two occasions she was pushed out the front door by unseen hands as she left for the evening.

10. Unexplainable sounds have been heard in the upstairs auditoriums as well as captured on audio tape.

11. A roof vent was mysteriously removed from the roof area and found by the owner placed on the marques in undamaged condition.

12. Recently it has been reported that the sound of someone sitting down in one of the theater seats has been heard when no one else is present in the theater.

13. Several witnesses have recently reported that they have seen the marquee lights turn on and off at strange hours of the night with no one physically around to turn them on and off.



      The investigation of the Rogers Theater located at 310 N. 4th Street in Wausau took place on October 23, 2003 from approximately 6:00PM to 7:30PM. Investigator Blaschka, Roll and Ludwig were present.  During the investigation five rolls of high-speed color film was shot in all areas of the building including the basement areas.  No unexplainable anomalies were captured on film. Several temperature readings were obtained and all seemed to be within normal range, 57 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the basement area and 59 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit in the upstairs areas.  The entire building was scanned with an EMF meter and no anomalous readings were obtained.  Most of the EMF readings averaged between 1.5mg to 3.0mg, which falls into a typical static field range.  Some areas had exceptions to the norm due to large amounts of man made electrified fields.  An 8mm Sony Nightshot camera was used to film all areas of the site.  Upon review of this film no anomalies could be noted. Also one personal observation was made through out the investigation.  Ludwig had the sensation of feeling light headed in one of the upstairs auditoriums.  No other team members had the same sensations. In conclusion the WPRS did not find any scientific evidence to support the reports of paranormal activity at the site.  It should be noted that we only spent a short period of time in the building. More time, observation, video monitoring and a more thorough scanning of the building would be needed to draw a more accurate conclusion of the site.  Further study of this site may be conducted in the future with the permission of the Marcus Corporation.

UPDATED 12/03/05


      The second investigation of the Rogers Theater took place on December 3, 2005 from approximately 6:00PM to 12:00AM. Investigator Blaschka, Roll, A. Geurink, Coscio, J. Geurink and Renel were present. During the investigation five rolls of high-speed color film was shot in all areas of the building.  A few anomalies were captured but we are unable to verify without a doubt that they are paranormal in nature.  Blaschka had one photograph that was taken in one of the upstairs auditoriums that has the image of a large orb.  The orb seems to have mass with a transparent quality to it.  Several members conducted EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) during the evening with unusual results.  One session captured a female voice singing the words “pray for you”.  This voice was not heard by anyone during the recording.  Just after that voice is heard on the tape, three members of our team witnessed a theater chair rocking on its own.  One member attempted to take a photograph of the chair and encountered a total loss of power to her camera.  Later examination of the batteries from the camera showed that they were completely drained of power.  Subsequently, the batteries that were in the camera were placed in the camera brand new prior to the investigation.  Several attempts were made by the entire group to try and replicate the bouncing chair anomaly with no result.  Also other EVP conducted by WPRS members in the basement and upstairs theater areas captured other unexplainable voices.  One session captured the words “Jesus Christ” very clearly.  Other EVP‘s captured could not be clearly understood.  Several temperature readings were obtained and all seemed to be within normal range considering that the heating was set very low as to conserve energy.  Temperatures were 33 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit in the basement areas and 36 to 42.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the upstairs areas. The entire building was scanned with an EMF meter in order to collect a base line reading of the environment.  EMF readings in the basement areas averaged between 0.2mg to 4.5mg.  EMF readings on the first floor ranged between 2.3mg and 7.0mg.  EMF readings on the second floor ranged between 0.5mg and 5.0mg.  All of these readings were static in nature and not paranormal.  Some areas had exceptions to the norm due to large amounts of man made electrified fields that often interfered with the equipment.  It should be noted that on several occasions in the second floor theater, hallway and projection booth areas the group encountered unexplainable spikes in the electromagnetic field.  These unexplainable spikes could not be replicated in any way and could possibly be paranormal in nature.  An 8mm Sony Night shot camera, EMF Natural meter, EMF field meter and a remote temperature device was placed in the smallest second floor auditorium.  The group focused the camera on the row of seats that the group witnessed moving of its own accord earlier in the evening.  Upon review of this film no anomalies could be noted. During the vigil the EMF field meter sporadically reacted to a changing magnetic field, the source of which could not be found by our members.  Also one personal observation was made during the investigation. Member Coscio, while present on the second floor heard what sounded like a male voice.  Two other members were present when this took place but did not hear what Coscio heard.  What may be coincidental was the fact that just prior to Coscio hearing the male voice a group member had asked a question while conducting EVP.  The group tried to replicate the voice to see if it was caused by stray noise but could find no explanation.  In conclusion the WPRS did experience some activity and capture some audible evidence during the evening that could not be explained reasonably.  Given the outcome of the investigation the WPRS feels that there is paranormal activity present at the site.  Further study of this site may be conducted in the future with the permission of the new owners.

UPDATED 07/07/06 


      Our third investigation of the Rogers Theatre took place on July 7, 2006 from approximately 7:00PM to 11:15PM.  Investigators Renel, Blaschka and Knight were present.  During this investigation we decided to start by conducting a walk through of the theatre to obtain base line readings and determine if any areas had more activity than others.  Our initial survey with EMF meters and temperature probes found no areas that possessed any unexplainable phenomena.  Personal observations by all present indicated that a strong feeling of presence was felt in the basement auditorium.  Once our walk through was complete we decided to focus our attention on the basement auditorium and upstairs in auditorium #3 where on an earlier visit we had experienced paranormal activity.  It should be noted that during the early parts of the investigation probationary investigator Knight became so fearful in the basement auditorium that he was not able to continue with the investigation.  Several photographs were taken through out the theatre.  No anomalies were captured on any of the photographs.  EVP sessions were conducted in the basement auditorium as well as in auditorium #3 by both Blaschka and Renel.  Review of these recordings revealed two anomalies one recorded by Blaschka and one by Renel both in the basement auditorium.  A low whispered male voice is heard saying, “That’d be cool Shawn get out” or possibly "Let me go Shawn get out".  What is meant by that statement is unclear with the exception of “get out”.  The other voice is that of a very low, gruff male voice and he says only one word but it is unintelligible.  The voices were not heard by the investigators that were present during the recordings.    While conducting EVP in the basement auditorium area an EMF meter reacted directly to a question asked by Blaschka.  This may have been a coincidence but no other stray spikes were obtained in that area during the evening.  During the beginning of the vigil in the upstairs auditorium a static EMF readings was detected.  Half way through that vigil the reading had dissipated completely and could not be recreated.  The cause of that anomaly is still unknown.  In conclusion our investigation obtained some interesting data that I can only articulate as being paranormal in nature.  Further investigation of the site is probable with the owners consent.

UPDATED 11/4/06


      Our fourth investigation took place on November 4th, 2006 from approximately 7:00PM to 11:15PM.  Present at this vigil was investigators Blaschka, Coscio, Lowe and Duginski.  During this investigation we tried to focus on obtaining more EVP recordings as this had been successful in past investigations.  We started the evening by making a walk through of the entire building and drawing upon any personal observations each one of us may have experienced.  After the walk through we shared our observations with each other.  Blaschka noted that he felt as if he were being watched when he first entered the lobby area.  He also felt the same way in theater #1.  Coscio noted that he felt a presence near the top of the steps leading to theater #3.  Also seen was slight movement out of the corner of his eye.  Coscio described it as a shadowy spiral movement.  Blaschka, Lowe and Coscio all felt a presence of some sort in the basement auditorium.  None of the above noted observations have any solid scientific basis to them but are worthy of documenting.  Lowe performed a few sessions of dousing in various areas of the theater with minimal results.  Electromagnetic field readings were obtained in various areas of the building.  Several anomalous static readings were obtained in theater #4 while Lowe and Blaschka conducted a session of EVP.  Perhaps coincidence, the meter seemed to react at times to questions that were asked.  Upon review of the tape no anomalous voices are heard.  Temperature readings were obtained and all were within a normal range.  Several photographs were taken in all areas of the building with standard 35mm cameras and also with a digital camera as a control.  No anomalous images were captured.  Several photographs had orbs in them but were more than likely dust particles in the air.  EVP was also conducted in the basement auditorium.  No disembodied voices could be heard during that vigil.  Most everyone felt a presence in the basement area.  Further study of this site may be conducted in the future with the consent of its owner.  


*Any use or reproduction of this documentation is prohibited without the sole permission of Shawn Blaschka and the WPRS. 


Original 2003 investigation case file