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9. “Smallpox” Island

The results of the Estes Method can be stunning because only one person can hear what is coming through the box. If what they speak aloud matches the questions asked by the other investigators, it offers chilling proof of the paranormal. We will be offering four sessions on Saturday, with only 13 guests in each experiment session.

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Tobias and Emily Wayland look forward to recording your anomalous experiences in an attempt to better understand the experiential and often spontaneous nature of the unexplained. Be sure to stop by and see them in the Conference Vendor Room and share your stories of the strange, the haunted, the unexplained, and bizarre! Returning to the conference! Hawkins gets plenty of practice, as he resides in one of the most haunted places in America: Alton, Illinois. He also puts his time to use giving folks tours of Alton, which is roughly 25 miles north of downtown St.

Part of this city of 30,plus residents has lined the shores of the Mississippi River since Knowing that Alton is purported to be one of the most haunted places in America, my mind was unrealistically set up to see ghosts at every turn.


It is said that limestone, which is used in many Alton dwellings because of its local supply, holds psychic energy. The fact that the Illini Indians once dominated this place, along with the nearby convergence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, which brought to Alton many different personalities over the centuries, mixes the perfect brew for being a ghostly paradise. The air has a bit of a calm but macabre thickness to it. One of the real watermark periods of Alton was during the Civil War. A prison to retain Confederate soldiers was established here during the war and its chilling legacy lives on through the countless ghost sightings.

Haunted Alton

A smallpox epidemic raged through the prison in and continued into the next year. It killed six to 10 victims a day, including Union soldiers, according to Hawkins. By the time it was over, more than 1, perished, with possibly thousands more undocumented, but Hawkins says these men can still be heard crying for food when homes north of the prison are hosting barbecues. Only a small fraction of the prison remains, being a section of the wall that leads to a paved parking lot. It still offers a grand view of the Mississippi River.

I get out of the touring vehicle to see the view, and immediately hear shrieks. To my dismay, I am only being haunted by two large dogs from next door. Here are some legends from our leg of the trip. A reconstructed fort in Metropolis this is NOT on Route 66 but near it on the banks of the Ohio River, now part of the National Park Service, is reportedly haunted by people killed in brutal Indian attacks.

They say park employees report doors opening and closing and items moving by themselves. This hotel, built in to take advantage of the mineral springs below it, is now houses a mall of eclectic shops and the Historic Museum of Torture Devices, which was closed when we went. Legend says the hotel is haunted by the ghost of the Jasmine Lady, who fell down the marble steps and died, and the ghost of little girl who drowned in the hotel pool in the s.

In its heyday, the hotel was known for the swimming pool, which was located in the basement. The hotel claimed it was the largest in the state.

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A portion of the stone walls remain from Illinois' first prison, built in and closed in In , the federal government used the facility to house Confederate prisoners of war. According to an article on AltonWeb. Today, the site is reportedly haunted by spirits of some of those souls. These figures had the chilling habit of vanishing without a trace when approached or confronted. They would be there one moment and then be gone the next and turning the old prison yard into a parking lot seemed to have little effect on them. Built in for Henry Guest McPike, this mansion features 11 fireplaces and is a frequent stop on the town's haunted tours.

A website for the house says: "This Grand Ole House is thought to still house many of the spirits that once lived here.


Many psychics and mediums have felt the presence of what they believe to be McPike family, servants, as well as some of those who resided in and owned the house since The cellar has been a focal point of many energies felt in the mansion. This unique bridge was saved from demolition after Route 66 was bypassed and it is now a destination for walkers, bikers and photographers.

It crosses the Mississippi River from Illinois into St. Louis, Mo. It got its name from a row of rocks that spans its width, creating a small line of whitewater.

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These days, the rocks can be seen only when the water is low, as it was on our visit. Another unique feature of the bridge is the view of two incredibly beautiful water-intake towers. Built in when the St.

Louis waterworks was founded, officials decided to build architecturally significant towers rather than placing ugly utilitarian towers in the river. I was behind a gate that can be locked to close the bridge, if necessary.

In the decades the bridge was abandoned after the closing of Route 66, it began to deteriorate and, being dark and isolated, became a site for criminal activity. In , sisters Julie Kerry and Robin Kerry were murdered on the bridge. This era led to legends of the bridge's haunting.