5 Haunting Homes Of Illinois

5 Haunting Homes Of Illinois

Make some time this month to visit a “real” haunted house close to you.
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Some people might be hesitant to admit that they believe in spirits or ghosts. But if you've ever heard a startling thump in the night, ghosts might not be such a leap of faith. In fact, a little more than a third of American adults believe in ghosts. Perhaps more surprising is that 25 percent of 100 adults polled said they'd personally seen or felt a ghost.

Halloween is upon us. Thousands of people pay to walk through commercial haunted houses and are lured to these scare factories in which costumed actors stand in for otherworldly spirits. Customers can get the adrenaline rush of scary monsters or bloody beings popping out at them without any risk of getting their souls stolen or becoming possessed. But real-life haunted houses are much different. There are many in the Midwest and a lot of paranormal enthusiasts stay at purported haunted houses, hotels and old buildings to hunt for ghosts. But what if ghosts suddenly found their way into your home? If the poll results are accurate, these uninvited guests may not be an uncommon occurrence.

These 5 haunted houses in the Midwest may be just the place to stay or visit this month to get your scare on.

5. Nellie Dunton Home: Belvidere, Illinois

A broken-hearted woman is said to haunt this home. Nellie Dunton grew up in Belvidere prior to the Civil War and fell in love with a much older gentleman, who promised to marry her after the war. When he failed to return, Nellie refused to fall in love again. She spent the rest of her life mourning in this house. Eventually, she wandered into the Kishwaukee River and drowned, some say while wearing her wedding gown. Her ghost has been seen by residents of this home, as well as by its neighbors.

4. J. Eldred Home: Eldred, Illinois

The James J. Eldred home is a grand, Greek-Revival ranch house that has stood abandoned since the 1930s. During the 1860s and ‘70s, James and his wife Emeline had a reputation for hosting grand parties at their “Bluff Dale Farm.” Life was difficult along the Illinois River. Their three daughters, Eva, Alma, Alice, all died at home of illness. Both Alice and Eva were 17. Alma was four years old. In 1999, the home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in recent years the Illinois Valley Cultural Heritage Association has made great strides in restoring it to its former glory. During restoration of the property, there were sounds of “phantom footsteps,” “knocking at the front door,” “giggles of a young ladies” and “small shadows moving around in the nursery”.

3. Willow Creek Farm: Shannon, Illinois

Willow Creek Farm dates back to 1838. Albert Kelchner, the farm’s owner, bought the property in 2006 and immediately sensed that he was sharing his house with some uninvited guests. He recorded his encounters and invited mediums and paranormal investigators to visit Willow Creek Farm in the hopes of corroborating his experiences. There have been seen seven identified ghosts and as many as a dozen others at the farm. This property has been called one of the most active haunted sites in Illinois.

2. Crenshaw House: Equality, Illinois

Owned by John Crenshaw, this house was also known as the Old Slave House. He was one of the wealthiest men in the entire state of Illinois and owned over 750 slaves. The Illinois constitution prohibited the slave trade, but permitted those residents already holding slaves to keep their property. Visitors to Crenshaw’s plantation included Abraham Lincoln. Slaves were kept in cramped up cages in the attic of the mansion. In 1865 a German family who operated the plantation, reported hearing strange sounds coming from the attic. After the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, tourists began to come and visit Illinois’ only plantation. They heard footsteps, voices, and singing of hymns. No one could spend the night in the attic. In the late 1920s, one “ghost hunter” is believed to have died after spending the night there. Today, the mansion is owned by the State of Illinois and closed to visitors due to the unsettling noises one hears when they visit the plantation.

1. McPike Mansion: Alton, Illinois

This mansion has been abandoned for over 100 years which attracted vandals and the curious. In the 1940s, boarders often heard children running up and down the stairs, but could find no one when they investigated the noise. After the mansion became completely abandoned, passersby reported seeing faces in the windows of children – some waving at passerby’s. There are two known entities here. The mansion’s new owners named one of them Sarah. She is thought to have been a hired hand in life, and teases visitors with a touch or hug. The other ghost has been spotted wandering the grounds.

So make some time this month to visit a “real” haunted house close to you. If you're lucky you may encounter some strange sightings.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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10 Things You Know To Be True If You Live in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

"Take the B", they said.
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For anyone that is currently living in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and or has lived there, you know it's an *interesting* experience. From the various food joints, to the movie theater, everyone's love/hate relationship with Crazy George, Emmons Avenue, the B/Q trains, the new apartment complex that some people love and others completely despise, and everything in-between, there's no other neighborhood that's just like Sheepshead. You know you're from Sheepshead when:

1. You've either spotted Crazy George somewhere out on the streets or in a random location (usually in Dunkin' Donuts).


Don't get me wrong — it's not funny that he appears to have problems, but it's also not ideal that he goes into various stores harassing the workers. He's a one of a kind human being and I do wish the best for him and/or that he does get some help.

2. When it comes to Brennan and Carr and Roll n Roaster, you either love one of them much more than the other.

As much as I love Brennan and Carr's Gargiulo burger, I'm more of a Roll n Roaster person. Their personal pizza is nice and their fries are to die for -- and yes, I want cheese on that, please.

3. You either love or hate that new apartment complex that's in the works.

You know, this one at 1501 Voorhies Ave.

4. You've become used to the B and Q trains either being delayed, messed up, crowded, and or nonexistent.

"Take the B they said. It's express they said." If I told you how many times the B has gone local, out of service, and or on fire in Brooklyn, then maybe you'd hate it just as much as I do at times. Don't even get me started about how crowded it is - especially during rush hour.

"What about the Q train?" The Q's not much better. It has its times where it goes express in Brooklyn as opposed to local, which doesn't help if you're getting on/off at Neck Road or Avenue U.

5. You either go to UA Sheepshead, another movie theater or don't even bother with movie theaters.

Although going to UA Sheepshead is convenient, their prices are very special for just an average movie theater.

6. You either stick to shopping and dining along Sheepshead Bay Road and or Emmons Avenue or go elsewhere either in the neighborhood, other neighborhoods, or to the city.

While they're both convenient parts of Sheepshead Bay, there are other parts of the neighborhood to go to, such as Nostrand Ave. Sometimes, it's easier to flock to other parts of Brooklyn, but there are times where going to the city is worth the commute.

7. You either shop at Cherry Hill or avoid it completely.

While there are other supermarkets in the neighborhood, Cherry Hill is the only one on Emmons that is open 24/7. Their prices might be high for the neighborhood, but their prices could be much worse.

8. You remember when Sheepshead Bay High School was one school...

...and not an educational complex.

9. You're still low-key bothered about how the neighborhood recovered after Sandy.

I'm not going to say that it was the same after the hurricane. Although it didn't take the longest time to recover, that doesn't mean that damage wasn't done.

10. But regardless of how you may feel, by the end of the day, you're probably still super in love with the neighborhood.

It's an incredibly unique neighborhood. You can take someone out of Sheepshead but you can't take the Sheepshead out of someone.

Cover Image Credit: Curbed NY

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25 Things You Know All Too Well If You're From The South

Are you really southern if you don't like BBQ?

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You may think that southern people only care about football. That could possibly be true, but you can't say that unless you've experienced living in the south first hand. There are many other things that make up a "southerner" rather than SEC football and sweet tea. If you've never been to one of the southern states, then you need to plan a trip.

1. You get the death stare if you don't say "yes ma'am or no sir"

2. SEC>NFL

3. You pull over on the highway when you see a funeral procession

4. Unsweet tea is for the Northern Folk

5. You can tell when someone "ain't from around here"

6. Shunnarah

7. There are only 2 seasons: Summer and Football

8. Krispy Kreme and BBQ are a delicacy 

9. You respect your elders.... well, you respect everybody or mama will whoop you

10. Pine trees are everywhere

11. Mosquitoes 

12. Snow shuts down the whole state. Even if its one inch

13. You go to church every Sunday

14. Everything is better with a monogram

15. Tornado warnings mean go outside and look for a funnel cloud. (but really. get to shelter)

16. Weddings are scheduled around football

17. Waffle House

18. Shorts and flip flops are the go to summer outfit (sometimes you can wear them in December!)

19. You say "thank you" when someone holds the door for you

20. And if you don't say "thank you", we will holler out "you're welcome"

21. Calling someone during a bowl game (Iron Bowl) is a sin

22. If you don't say "excuse me" we will holler "well excuse you"

23. Cornbread is a part of every meal

24. There is some sort of farm animal in your yard if they figure out how to escape

25. Almost every food is fried

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