While Jeremy and I were staying in Peoria briefly last year, we got the chance to go down to Alton, Illinois for the evening for a talk by one of my favorite paranormal authors. While we were down there I had hoped to have a chance to drive by today’s topic but unfortunately an accident caused us to run later than we were planning. Maybe when we go back to Illinois for our friends’ wedding we can stop by the McPike Mansion.
Henry McPike started construction on the mansion in 1869 with the house being done in 1871. The house had sixteen rooms with elaborate fireplaces and a stunning staircase. The McPike family would live in this house until 1936. Then it was used by Brown’s Business College. In the 1940’s it was used a boarding house under the care of Paul Laichinger. Paul would pass away in 1945 causing the mansion to fall into abandon. I’m sure the claims of paranormal activity from the former boarding house tenets also didn’t help keep the house from being abandoned. The current owners, Sharyn and George Luedke, bought the mansion in 1994 with the hopes to restore the home and turn it into a bed and breakfast. Unfortunatelty the total cost to restore the house is over $1,000,000. To raise the funds for the restoration, the Luedkes host historic and paranormal tours of the home.
There have been all sorts of paranormal activity reported in the house. Visitors claim to see orbs and balls of light often in the house, even when there was no electricity to the house. Shadow figures have been seen darting down hallways or around corners. There have even been full body apparitions seen. Eleanor McPike has been seen in various parts of the house. Sharyn said that while she was working in the garden one day, she looked towards one of the windows of the house because she felt like she was being watched. She was surprised to see a tall, gangly man in a suit smoking while he stared at her through the window. When she ran inside to see who was in her house, she couldn’t find anyone. Later on someone showed her a picture of Paul Laichinger who she recognized as the man in the window. Cigarette smoke has been smelled through out the house as well. The McPike children have been seen and heard playing in the house. A young servant girl named Sarah has been seen and felt a few times. Sharyn said that she felt Sarah hug her one time. They also associate the lilac perfume that is smelled on the third floor with Sarah. A woman with long hair and wearing a green dress has been seen descending the stairs but she fades away before reaching the bottom step. Other reported activity is hearing footsteps and laughter. Doors will also close by themselves. Objects move around the house by themselves.
The most haunted part of the house though is the wine cellar. The heavy metal door going to the wine cellar will slam shut by itself. Footsteps and voices can be heard when no one else is down there. A strange mist will form and pace around the room before dissipating. All in all, there is thought to be twelve different spirits that roam the hallways and cellar of the home. The house has been featured on shows like Ghost Adventures, Scariest Places On Earth, Fact Or Faked: Paranormal Files, and Ghost Lab.
This is definitely one place I regret not checking out while we lived in Illinois but I will hopefully be able to go check it out when we go back in the next year or so when Mathew and Kelsey get married. This won’t be the last time that Alton gets mentioned in this blog. Alton has a bunch of haunted locations. It is consider to be one of the most haunted towns in the United States.
Before I wrap this up, I just want to say thank you for listening to Paranormal Housewife Podcast. I just found out yesterday that its been downloaded 100 times so far! I’m overjoyed to see that y’all love listening about the paranormal as well as reading about it! Thank you all for all of the support y’all continue to give through this blog, my podcast, and my youtube channel. I truly appreciate y’all.