"I often wonder what the other side of the picture of haunting is in Ghost Land? Is it the dead alone that can disturb the living, or can the living similarly disturb the dead?" Nandor Fodor (Introduction to True Ghost Stories - Marchioness Townsend & Maude Ffoulkes 1936)
There is a slight breeze in the air…one that seems a bit unsettling. You look around, and find that you are alone. In the distance, you see a large structure. While this building seems to be inviting, your mind tells you to turn away. However, your curiosity has overwhelmed you – you have to get a closer look.
There is an energy drawing you both towards and away from the structure at once. As you get closer, you notice that the building has been abandoned. The bricks are chipped, the windows are broke, and there is an unsettling sense of sadness and doom in the air. It seems that you can literally hear voices pulling you in, and pushing you away at once.
You try to awake from this intense and vivid dream only to find that you are awake, and you are in the presence of the Ashmore Estates in Ashmore, Illinois….
While the beginning of this article may seem like an enchanting, creative form of writing, it is more than that. It is a representation of how the visitors to the Ashmore Estates feel upon their arrival to this particular haunted house. While drawn by the elaborate stories of hauntings and other paranormal experiences, many often feel the urge to turn from the home and never return. However, their curiosity pushes them forward….or, is it the spirits pulling them in?
We may never have the answer to that question….
As we take a glance into the history of the Ashmore Estates, we will quickly find that it is just as mysterious as the ominous glow that seems to surround this haunted house. It has been recorded that, literally, hundreds of people have passed from this life to the next in this particular structure. From about 1916 to approximately 1956, this home played host as an “Almshouse”. This is when the greatest number of people passed away. Once this housing unit shut down, a new development occurred – it was turned into an area where those who were mentally impaired could live and attempt to recover.
Throughout all of these years, many have had personal ghost accounts in the Ashmore Estates. Most of these experiences were quite frightening. Eventually, in or around the year of 1987, the government ceased all of the funding activity for the home, and shut it down to the public. Once the shut down occurred, the stories of all the paranormal experiences and even rumors of other stories started to circulate. This immediately drew the attention of the public eye – particularly paranormal experts and the curious public. Research on the home has established:
• Ominous black mists
• Tall shadows
• Lingering smells
• Sounds that cannot be explained
• Thermal images
• Recordings on video and audio equipment
Ashmore Estates 22645 E CR 1050 N Ashmore, Illinois