Saturday, November 18, 2017
Monday, October 23, 2017
One Illinois family that had seen such tragedy was that of James John Eldred. The house he built and lived in rests among the trees and tall grass of western Illinois north of St. Louis. Built in 1861 for his wife and four children, Eldred built the limestone house in the Greek Revival style with touches of the Italianate style. Eldred made his money farming his land and raising livestock, and was well known for the social parties he often hosted in his elegant home.
The years the Eldred family spent at the house were often filled with hardship and tragedy. The agricultural life was unpredictable, difficult, and constantly left his finances strained. The onset of the Civil War made things even worse for the family. Their three daughters started to get ill from tuberculosis and eventually died; Alma died at age 4 in 1861, Alice died at 17 of in 1870, and Eva died at 17 in 1876. Eldred’s son Ward survived and continued to help with the farm. James J. Eldred and his wife stayed in the home till his death in 1911.
Over the years the house changed ownership and was eventually purchased by a local famer and used for storage. The house currently is owned by the Illinois Valley Cultural Heritage Association and is used for living history events and ghost hunts. The profits are used to help restore the house.
Visitors to the house often report bizarre experiences, from the sounds of mysterious footsteps to strange rappings on the doors to faint conversations between a man and a woman when the house seems quiet; also poltergeist activity of rocks being tossed within the house has been experienced. Dark shadows have been seen darting throughout the house, giggles of a little girl have been heard and apparitions have been spotted in and on the grounds of the old house. Visitors have even been touched by ghostly hands, leaving a cold clammy feeling at the place of contact. The sighting of a ghost of a traveling salesmen that died on the property as been seen, but finding verification of the death has been elusive. Excavations around the house revealed bones from the grave of a Native American that was buried long before the house was built. Once the burial ground was disturbed a phantom of a Native American has been seen wandering among the trees of the property.
With the expansion of America towards the west, migrating settlers often infringed on the ancient lands of the natives that have been occupying those places for centuries. The natives lived, worked and died in those lands and the oral history that they shared with each other was the only record of the places where their ancestors where buried. It’s not surprising when these lost graves are disturbed, that those who were buried there become restless and demonstrate to the living their loathing of the careless infringement.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Monday, March 10, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
Growing up with cats and dogs, I got used to the sounds of scratching at my door while I slept. Now that I live alone, it is much more unsettling.
In all of the time that I've lived alone in this house, I swear to God I've closed more doors than I've opened.
A girl heard her mom yell her name from downstairs, so she got up and started to head down. As she got to the stairs, her mom pulled her into her room and said "I heard that, too."
Friday, February 14, 2014
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Monday, July 22, 2013
It’s wonderful to know in a few days I will be on my way to let my dark side run rampant and photograph some more haunted places. The state I chose was Iowa. It has some wonderful mansions and cemeteries and I’m also looking forward to catching up with some friends while I’m down there. I will be spending four days traveling to as many different locations as I can. The weather should be in my favor with high 70s-low 80s. Maybe a storm or two!
This will be the first major trip I’ve taken for this project in a few years. I’m looking forward to visiting these places with a renewed sense love and determination. Allowing very little distractions and leaving the stress behind me I want to concentrate on my subjects with the camera and allow myself to be immersed in the atmosphere of the place. Taking in the sights, sounds, feel and smell of each place.
During my journey which begins this Wednesday (July 24th) I will blog as often as I can posting photos and and info as I go. Thanks for the visit.
To be continued…