Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Alton, Illinois is an old historic town "[l]ocated 25 miles north of St. Louis, Missouri...Founded in 1837, Alton was the site of the final debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. Robert Wadlow, the world's tallest man, was born and raised in Alton. Legendary jazz musician Miles Davis was born in Alton. Alton is also considered one of the most haunted cities in America" (http://www.alton-il.com).
Within the boundaries of Alton lie the infamous McPike Mansion. "[B]uilt in 1869 by architect Lucas Pfeiffenberger", the home was originally owned by Henry Guest McPike. McPike, a horticulturalist, lived in this country home until 1936. During this time he perfected the McPike grape (http://www.mcpikemansion.com/history.html). As a side note for wine enthusiasts, this grape is recognized by the "[b]unch very large, compact, black with blue bloom berries mammoth size, usually three inches or more circumference, fine quality. Has now been well tested in nearly all grape-growing sections; as easily grown as Concord or Worden." (http://chestofbooks.com/gardening-horticulture/Thomas-Joseph-Dwyer/Guide-To-Hardy-Fruits-And-Ornamentals/Black-Varieties-of-Grapes.html#.UsLd-fRDsxE)
"McPike Mansion today is owned by Sharyn and George Luedke who have been trying to nurture this great house back to its regal state. It is readily known today for its hauntings in paranormal circles. The grounds are often visited by ghost hunters and haunted tour groups in the area. It is not uncommon to find in photos of the mansion, orbs, balls of light, even figures appearing in the windows that were not seen by the human eye when the photo was taken" (mcpikemansion.com).
Five years ago my wife and I took an Alton tour which was guided by a wonderful woman who I believe now has retired and her daughter heads the said tours. It was an amazing experience as we were able to experience activity in one of the homes we were taken into whereby a little girl was able to move a pendulum in response to questions. The schoolhouse was filled with shadow play and strange lights. During a session in the gym the motion detector light kept going on and off when there was no one physically even close to it. The highlight of the tour was the McPike Mansion. While walking around the perimeter we could hear leaves and sticks rustling. It sounded like there were several children running and following us as we were able to pick up voices of younger children at points. Inside the mansion we were able to get glimpses not only of the amazing architectural structures but also of brief shadow play. The truly remarkable experience happened in the wine cellar. A group of us were led into a limestone room with no windows. The heavy iron door was closed behind us and the lights went out. At first we were able to experience blue and green lights quickly appearing and then disappearing. As our eyes adjusted we were able to see wavy gray shadows moving in front of our eyes. We were informed that these were spirits manifesting themselves in a form conducive to the surrounding limestone energy. The climax of our experience was when a child walked up to my wife, a shoe kicked into hers, and then the child proceeded to pull her pant leg. I as well feel the tug of something on my pants and was able to sense the presence of someone of a shorter stature. When the lights came back on, my wife's pant leg was still sticking out from when it was pulled. Truly amazing!
We cannot wait to be able to return to Alton to do another tour. I encourage everyone to visit and experience all that it has to offer. The Civil War Cemetery was also an incredible experience in that we were able to use dowsing rods to follow and entity through the grounds and were also able to capture an amazing mist using our camera batteries to manifest itself. A perfect place to start your inquiries is at mcpikemansion.com. It is from this sight that I pull a lot of information and pictures. Also on this sight there is the recording of an EVP of Henry McPike's voice. Check it out!!