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Behind Every Cloud is a Kindred Spirit (BECKS)I lost my grandfather when I was 17. I had a VERY difficult time getting over it. How could I still communicate with him? I loved him so much I didn't think I could live without him. I read everything I could get my hands on to do with the "afterlife" and that started it all...the love of Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal. I have been researching the paranormal for over 30 years!! It is my way of staying in touch with my grandfather. Being a Ghost Hunter is not always as exciting as it seems on TV. Many nights I have sat in the dark and not a thing happened. BUT it is those times you DO get that one voice, that one unexplainable picture or have an experience that sends chills down your back that makes it sooo worth it all!!! My purpose of this blog is not to make people believe in ghosts but maybe to open their minds just a little bit... I LOVE this crazy thing called Ghost Hunting. It is as much a part of me as breathing. I am just a girl that refuses to accept we can't still contact our loved ones after they die. My grandfather won't let me.



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Have you ever heard about bodies being buried on a beach???? I know!!!!!  Me neither!!!!  But guess what Key West have one.  We were on this little trolley that was taking us out to the Museum where Robert the Doll was and along the way we pasted this beautiful beach and the tour guide kinda said in a nonchalant way... and over there on that beach underneath the sand is several graves!!!!  WAIT!!!!!!!!! WAIT WHAT????????????? I'm like STOP this trolley!!!!!!!!!!   I have to check this out!!!!!!!!!  But as you can see from the pictures all we did was drive by.

Anyway, here is what I found out about this beach.  Also, here is a link that gives much more detail of  the cemetery and how it came to be and how it is today.


There's nothing but sand there today, but 140 years ago, nearly 300 Africans were buried on what is now Higgs Beach, victims of slavery, the "cruel trade in human misery."
It was 1858, and U.S. warships had been ordered to enforce the anti-slave trade laws.

Five ships patrolled the Florida Straits, where slave merchants for the tobacco and sugar fields of Cuba and Puerto Rico maintained a vigorous commerce for human cargo with several African coastal states and principalities, including the king of the African state of Dahomey.
At least 3,119 African men, women and children headed for Cuban ports were intercepted by Navy ships in 1860 alone. Most were eventually returned to Liberia, a country peopled largely by recaptured Africans, said Tom Hambright, historian at the Monroe County Library.
But not all were returned to Africa.
In 1860, three slavers, as the ships were called, were captured with 1,400 Africans, who sang, cheered and clapped their hands when the Navy freed them and brought them to Key West.
While most would sail back to Africa 80 days later, 294 of them would not, never realizing that Key West, their new land of liberation, would be the last place they would ever see.
They all would die of typhoid fever and dysentery and lie buried, unnamed, in an unnamed cemetery that became a public beach.
The few historical references to the old burial ground have been gleaned by Gail Swanson, a 20-year resident of Grassy Key.
She gave a brief talk on the buried slaves Saturday as part of the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum and Key West Maritime Historical Society's first Florida Keys Maritime History Conference.
Her research as a writer of historical wrecks is what first sparked her interest into the wreck and capture of slave ships off the Keys.
She plans to ask the county, which owns Higgs Beach, to remember the sacrifice of the 294 buried Africans with an eight-foot polished black stone in the shape of Africa, shaded by a garden of African flowering trees.
The Wildfire was one of the clippers running slaves that ended up in Key West waters. Built in Philadelphia in 1855, it sailed from New York on Dec. 16, 1859, with an American crew, made a run to St. Thomas, then sailed for the Congo River, said a Boston Post article on May 15, 1860.
The captain of the USS Mohawk wrote a letter June 8, 1860, after capturing the Wildfire, and described what he saw:
"The Negroes are packed below in as dense a mass as it is possible for human beings to be crowded; the space allotted them being in general about four feet high between decks with little ventilation.
"These unfortunate people...pass their days, nights amidst the most horribly offensive odors of which the mind can conceive under the scorching heat of the tropical sun, without room enough for sleep; with scarcely space to die in. The passage to the West Indies varies from 40 to 60 day...and their sufferings are incredible."
As to what the people faced when they arrived in the Key West of 1860, a town of 3,000, Swanson provided a quote from the Congressional Globe:
"Both on account of a deficiency of water and provisions, and its exposure to the yellow fever, Key West is one of the worst spots for an African Negro depot, which could be found on the coast of the U.S."
A more stark realization of the ultimate ending for the 294 was discovered by Swanson at the Islamorada library.
A copy of a receipt dated Key West, Sept. 11, 1860 bears mute testimony.
The receipt was "for making coffins and burying 294 deceased African Negroes from the cargoes of the barques, Wildfire, William and Name Unknown by order of F.J. Moreno, U.S. marshal, at $5.50 each, for a total of $1,617 and signed by Daniel Davis."
George Born, archeological historian for the Historic Florida Keys Foundation, confirmed that the Higgs Beach site was also the original Key West Cemetery.
But after the 1846 hurricane washed it away (some bodies were found in trees), what did not get destroyed was moved to the present city cemetery.
Further confirmation of the location came from writer John Viele, of Cudjoe Key, who found a map of Key West, dated 1861, which shows a site labeled "African Cemetery" near where Higgs Beach is now.



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"Within a couple of weeks of returning home it started with my kitten suddenly dying, my bank account being fraudulently used twice, losing a substantial amount of money, having my bird die, my son falling and fracturing his skull, the hotel we stayed at on vacation set on fire, lost my job and now on the verge of being laid off of my new job, being forced out of my home, and my husband and I have separated".(Letter sent to museum)

"There was constant noise coming from the room.  Sometimes, it was like little kids laughing and other times like someone rummaging around.  When it first started happening we would go upstairs to check it out, but always found nothing.  It was only after a half dozen times that we realized that the doll had moved.  At first we blamed each other and laughed it off as a practical joke.  Sometimes the doll's head would be looking in a different direction, other time's its arms were propped up around the chair, and once its legs were even crossed.  It started happening with greater frequency and we realized this was no joke." (previous renter of The Artist House)

Standing 40.25 inches, wearing a faded white sailor jacket with light blue and bright red markings, black eyes like endless black tunnels, and an almost expressionless face.  His blonde and brown hair barely visible from underneath the little sailor hat that Robert wears so proudly.  His face is like no other I have ever seen.  His face made of tattered cloth that hides SOMETHING......SOMETHING.......... VERY AWARE that you're there!!!!

Seemly innocent, Robert sits quietly on a rocking chair with the most unlikely friend......a small stuffed lion that sits on Robert's lap watching your every move.....as if to warn........."NOT TO CLOSE"!!!!!!!

Robert sits quietly in a room alone with nothing but an old hearse to look at directly in front of him.  Encased by walls of very thick glass, with dim spotlights shinning down on him causing reflections of himself  from every angle.  The walls are lined with letters from visitors that are BEGGING for Robert's forgiveness and ask that he PLEASE lift any curse or negative energy he may have bestowed on them.

Can this doll they call Robert REALLY have such power?  Can he really place curses on visitors for simply not asking permission to take his photo???  Do you tempt fate???  Take his picture without asking and not saying "thank you"?????  BEFORE you say this isn't real.....and you'll do whatever you like...............take a moment...........read the letters on the wall that surround this mysterious, one-of-a-kind doll.  If not, I may be reading your letter..... NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So how does such an innocent, unseemly doll get to be known as one of the MOST HAUNTED DOLLS IN THE WORLD????

Lets start from the beginning.

There are a couple stories as to how Robert came to belong to Robert Gene Otto.  First, let me just clear this up, Robert Gene Otto GAVE the doll his first name...Robert and then he started going by his middle name Gene. 

Story 1- One of the Otto's Bahamian servant's that practiced black magic and voodoo felt that they were being mistreated by the family and gave a "cursed doll" to young Robert to get even with them.

Story 2-Which probably is closest to the truth, was that Robert's grandfather gave the doll to him as a birthday gift after a trip to Germany.  Now both stories seem to have some "truth" and facts that seem to support both, but I think probably Story 2 has the most historical records to back up this claim.

Growing up Gene would talk to Robert as if he were a real person.  Often, when Gene would get in trouble, he would say "I didn't do it, Robert did it!".  His sister recalls Gene waking up several times in the middle of the night, screaming in fear...and when Gene's parents would enter the room...it would be torn apart....like furniture turned upside down and the doll would be on top of Gene and Gene would be screaming "he's choking me...he's choking me"!!!!!!!!!!!!  Many of Gene's friends would describe Gene and Robert's relationship...at best "an unhealthy relationship."

Gene went on to become a well known artist in Key West and eventually married a delightful woman who would not be "to fond" of Robert.  When she and Gene returned home to Key West after traveling on behalf of both of their careers, she and Gene would settle in the family home that had been handed down to Gene.......one little problem...... she learned that Gene had a special room built JUST FOR ROBERT in the attic complete with children's furniture for Robert.  He had saved several of his childhood cloths just for Robert.  This was a problem for his wife but she just accepted as part of "Gene's past".

Otto died in 1974 and the house was purchased by Myrtle Reuter which would become Robert's caretaker  for the next 20 years.  She claimed that Robert's face would change if someone came in the home and badmouthed Otto.  She said he would move around on his own.  She would constantly hear laughter and footsteps coming from the upstairs attic where Robert would stay.  After 20 years, she donated Robert to the East Martello Museum.  After Robert's arrival, of course, the museum started reporting unusual activity with Robert moving on his own.

The museum reports 3-4 letters a day to Robert asking for his forgiveness and to remove any curses he may have placed on them.  The museum states that if you are going to take a picture of Robert you must ask his permission first and say thank you when finished.

Now, I took tons of pictures of Robert and video to.  Do you think I asked permission?????

I can tell you this, I have heard about Robert the Doll for most of my adult life and have always wondered about him, but when we went on a cruise to Key West last month for my boyfriends birthday.....there was only ONE THING I WANTED TO DO......yep...you guessed it....SEE ROBERT!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, after seeing Robert here is my most honest opinion I can give. I am completely infatuated with him!  There is something soooo creepy about him.....but at the same time sooooo mesmerizing  that you can't help but stare and want to be a part of his world. So, I could NOT stand it any longer.....I HAD TO HAVE ROBERT.....I WANTED TO OWN HIM.................so that is EXACTLY WHAT I DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I bought Robert the Doll!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok...This is just a replica of Robert of course.
I didn't buy the REAL Robert the Doll, he is still in
his home in Key West.  But this was the next best thing. lol

Welcome to the family Robert.  Meet your sisters.
On the ride home.

This is a MUST SEE if you are ever in Key West and don't forget your manners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




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Image result for oldest bar in key west 

So we just got back from vacation and we went to the coooolest place!!!!! You know sometimes you just run across a place that "totally was made for you"!!!!  Well, guess what???  Captain's Tony's you can have a drink and walk around and see tombstones below your feet or have a seat under a "hanging tree"!!!  Man....now that's cooooollllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Image result for oldest bar in key west

Josie Russell opened Sloppy Joe’s on Greene Street in the 1930s, and in 1938 when the rent was raised by a dollar a week, the bar moved to its more famous location on Duvall. The building that was once Hemingway’s watering hole went through several incarnations before finally being purchased by Captain Tony Tarracino and Captain Tony’s saloon was born.

The building itself has a long and macabre history, stretching back to the 1850s. Visitors will notice that inside the bar is a large tree that the bar is built around. Now a delightful natural centerpiece, in the 1800s it was used as the town hanging tree. At least 75 people were hung here for piracy.
In its storied past, the building saw time as a morgue, a bordello, a telegraph office, a speakeasy and a cigar factory. During refurbishing work in the 1980s, the floor boards were taken up to reveal the bones of between 15-18 people. Among them, a gravestone for a young woman named Elvira Edmunds was discovered. Miss Edmunds left the world in 1822 at the tender age of 21, her tomb marker now sits beside the pool table for eternity, or at least presumably until the bar changes hands again.
Another gravestone in the bar underneath the old hanging tree belongs to Reba I. Sawyer, a Key West native who lived from 1900 to 1950. Upon her death, her husband found scandalous letters between his wife and another man. The letters detailed their trysts, and how they would arrange to meet at Captain Tony’s Saloon. The widowed husband dragged his cheating partner’s tombstone from the cemetery into the bar, placed it under the tree, and supposedly said “this is where she wanted to be, so this is where she will stay”.

 Can you find what I "left behind" in the
Picture above??????


 I LOVED Key West and can't wait to go back and stay like a week!!!  The whole town is vey haunted so a great place for people like us....ghost hunters to be!



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The Mineral Springs Hotel, Alton, Illinois

Well, I may have just visited the MOST HAUNTED HOTEL YET!!!!!!  I can't even begin to tell you how HAUNTED this place really is!!!!  It has everything....the "CREEP FACTOR", beauty, tons of rooms to investigate and of course, a very HAUNTED history.

I attended the annual Troy Taylor's Haunted America Conference again this year and for the first time the Mineral Springs Hotel was offered as one of the places you could investigate.  Man, am I glad I picked this!!!!

Now, I am going to be posting about this place in two different posts.  This week I am posting a video with the AWESOME EVP's that I captured, believe it or not, the next day when the owners allowed me and my good friend Michele Pellegrino of White Dog Paranormal to go back in and do a private investigation.  Can I just say, the owners of this place are WONDERFUL!!!!  They have the coolest little shop in the front of the hotel called It's Raining Zen.  You guys go on-line and check out this store of stones, pendulums, sage and all kinds of fun stuff for the paranormal.

And just a little "tease" for next week's post.......one of the most paranormal experiences I have EVER HAD happened here!!!  That's right....but you'll find out more about that next week.

Now the EVP's you are about to listen to were taken down in the bottom of the hotel in a Slaughter Room that was used for killing pigs and storing the meat.  I can tell you that VERY FEW places have ever made me sick BUT this particular room was almost more than I could bare.  I sat down in the floor(which was a BAD mistake) and all I could feel was death not to mention the vision in my head of pigs hanging from the ceiling and blood dripping to the floor.......the floor in which I was sitting on.  After about 15 minutes, I started telling Michele that I was feeling sick.  And minute by minute I started to feel worse almost to the point of physically throwing-up.  I mean I was really getting sick to the point of when we started up the stairs I was so dizzy I almost feel back on the stairs. Michele was more than willing to pack up and get the heck out of there!!!  As soon as we did and I reached the top of the stairs...I was just fine!  CRAZY!!! 

Below was written by Troy Taylor.  See what he has to say about the Mineral Springs Hotel.  And you guys be sure and check back next week....you aren't going to want to miss what happened in this VERY HAUNTED HOTEL!!!!

The Mineral Springs Hotel opened in 1914 and it was a pretty spectacular place. Early advertising boasted that the hotel featured the "largest swimming pool in Illinois", mineral spring "cures", and the biggest table in the city of Alton, said to seat 26 people.
The hotel was constructed by August and Herman Luer, successful meat packers, who intended to open an ice storage plant on the property in 1909. As excavations began on the site of the new ice storage plant, a natural spring was discovered during the digging. A chemist tested the water and he declared that the water had medicinal qualities. He recommended that the brothers build a spa on the site instead of a building for storing ice.
Construction was started in October 1913 with the excavation of the basement swimming pool and the hotel opened the following June. The building was five stories high and done in a beige stucco in Italian Villa style. The ornate interiors contained terrazzo floors, marble staircases, decorated plaster cornices and designs and art glass throughout. It was elaborate and luxurious and an immediate success, especially after the mineral pool opened on the lower level.
This was the biggest draw for the hotel and was said to have caused "remarkable cures". It became a popular place for swimming lessons, water polo clubs and for those seeking the healing powers of the mineral waters. A man named "Doc" Furlong also organized hydrotherapy baths and while his methods may have been questionable, the guests and customers went away pleased.
Thanks to some savvy advertising, the water was soon being shipped to customers as far away as Memphis and New Orleans. In July 1914, the hotel was bottling and selling more than 100 bottles every day. Consumption of the water increased that year to 350 gallons weekly and the hotel boasted that its curative powers equaled those of water found in Hot Springs, Arkansas. People began pouring into Alton to partake of the healing waters and the hotel held its grand opening in September 1914. It was said that one point, the swimming pool attracted over 3,000 people in a season.
The hotel enjoyed its heyday throughout the late ‘teens and the early 1920’s. In 1918, Hollywood actress Marie Dressler spoke at the hotel on behalf of the Liberty Loan committee. A number of new rooms were added to the hotel in 1925, the same year that an orchestra was hired to play on Sunday afternoons and for the evening dining.
August Luer sold the hotel in 1926 but it continued to thrive for many years afterward, although it finally began to deteriorate in the 1950’s. In 1971, the Mineral Springs closed down for good, despite efforts to restore the place to its former popularity with the addition of a huge ballroom. In 1978, it was restored by Roger Schubert, who developed the building as a mall featuring shops and restaurants. Years later, it would see life again, thanks to further renovations by the Love family.
Once the hotel re-opened again, this time as an antique mall, stories started to be told about the place. Only these tales had nothing to do with "miracle cures" and the golden days of the hotel... these stories had to do with murder and ghosts.
You see, the Mineral Springs Hotel is a very haunted place.

The legends of the place say that three very different ghosts haunt the corridors and rooms of the Mineral Springs. The first is said to be that of an itinerant artist who was unable to pay his hotel bill many years ago. His ghost apparently haunts the former hotel bar. This section of the building is an antique store today but the saloon that once existed here was decorated with fine woods and marble, ornate trim and gargoyle-like figures on the crossbeams. All traces of the bar have since vanished and all that remains behind is an unfinished mural of the city of Alton that has been pained on one wall. The stories say that the artist who lived here was allowed to paint the mural in exchange for his bill. Unfortunately, he died before he was able to finish it and his ghost has remained here ever since. Building tenants and visitors who have encountered him say that he is more of a benign presence than a frightening one. He is usually seen simply standing around, as though he has no idea of exactly where he is. Many have described him as looking slightly drunk and others, not realizing that he is a phantom, have recalled the faint smell of liquor around him.

If any of the ghosts in the old hotel are truly frightening, it might be the phantom that allegedly haunts the hotel swimming pool. It isn’t so much because of his tendency to scare the living but more because of his reason for lingering behind. That reason is a thirst for revenge.
During the early days of the business, the swimming pool was one of the big draws to the place. When it was built, it was called "the largest swimming pool in Illinois" and throughout the 1920’s, parties and receptions were often held in the pool area and guests used the pool on a daily basis. Today, the pool is located in a basement area of the building that is closed off to visitors.
The story of the ghost began in the 1920’s, during the heyday of the hotel. One evening, there was a large reception held at the Mineral Springs and people were gathered in the pool area for the party. One of the couples attending the event had an apparently volatile relationship, probably because the husband had quite an eye for the ladies. Throughout the evening, he flirted and danced with a number of young women until his wife could stand it no longer. In a fit of anger, she came over and started shouting accusations at him. Laughing, he attempted to just brush away her concerns but finally, she took off her shoe and smashed him in the face with the heel of it. Blood spurted out between the fingers of the hand that he pressed to his face and he stumbled over, colliding with one of the columns next to the pool. Stunned, he reeled and tumbled over into the water. Whether he was dazed by the blow to his face, or simply a bad swimmer, we’ll never know. Before anyone realized what was going on, the man had slipped beneath the water and had drowned. What became of his wife is unknown.
In the years after the tragic event, and after the hotel closed down, the man began to be seen standing near the side of the pool, or in other lower parts of the building. His ghost has been described as angry and brooding, but impeccably dressed in black tie and tails.
And he has is said to have a reason for staying behind here.... revenge. According to the legend, he is waiting here for the return of his wife’s spirit. It is believed that when he finds her, he intends to kill her by pushing her into the swimming pool and allowing her to drown. Will he ever find her? Perhaps someday he will and if that time ever comes, then maybe he will finally rest in peace. If not, well, then he may not be the ghost you would want to encounter on some dark night in the hotel basement!

Undoubtedly, the most famous ghost of the Mineral Springs is the legendary “Jasmine Lady”. The accounts say that she has haunted a particular part of the old hotel for years. This area is a staircase that is located a short distance from the former lobby. According to the hotel legend, this lady was once a guest at the hotel who had come here to take in the “healing waters” with her husband. While she was here, she became involved romantically with another guest and started an affair with him. One evening, while her husband was away, she took the other man up to her room, with disastrous results. Her husband returned unexpectedly and caught the adulterous couple “in the act”. Needless to say, he was enraged. In the course of the violent encounter, she ran away from him and started down the steps. What happened next remains a mystery....
The stories vary as to whether the woman may have tripped on the stairs or whether her angry spouse pushed her down the staircase. In the end, it didn’t matter, because somehow she fell and broke her neck and she was instantly killed. Her despondent husband then returned to their upstairs room and committed suicide.
In the years that have followed, staff members and visitors to the building have caught glimpses of this woman’s tragic flight down the stairs as her apparition replays the terrible event over and over again. Stranger still, they have also caught whiffs of her pungent perfume, a jasmine scent, near the staircase and in other nearby places in the building. Even people like Bob Love, the former owner and a man who is not a believer in ghosts, have puzzled over the coming and going of this strong odor.
I had contacted him back in 1998, when I first heard about the haunting of the former hotel. He admitted that he was unsure about the existence of ghosts but never could explain one odd happening that had taken place in the building. "I have to say I’m not a believer," Mr. Love had said, "but one morning I walked in the Alton Street entrance and I smelled a strong, almost putrid, jasmine scent. It was strange."
And employees of the place have not been the only ones to have unsettling encounters with the Jasmine Lady. One woman approached me about her own incident at the former hotel. She was shopping one day when she passed the staircase. "I had no idea the place was supposed to be haunted," she said, "I wouldn’t find out until later that everybody knew about the ghosts but me."
As she passed the bottom of the stairway, she caught a sickening, flowery scent but as mentioned, she had no idea that it usually signaled the presence of a ghost. What happened next though, shocked her. "Just after I smelled the perfume, I felt this cold chill, almost like a breeze blowing. It didn’t just hit me... it, well, I guess sort of brushed past me, but it was real cold, " she said. "Then, I looked up. See, there are these signs that hang out in front of some of the stores down the hallway.... and all of the ones close to me start swinging back and forth."
That was enough shopping for her that day. "I just left after that," she told me. "I have been back there since and nothing else has happened, but I’ll never forget that."


While these three spirits may be the most famous haunts of the Mineral Springs Hotel, they may not be alone here. Hotels are notorious for the ghosts the living leave behind. Imagine, if you will, just how many people pass through a hotel in a single year. Then, recall how many guests an old hotel might boast after decades in operation. It isn’t a reach to think there might be a ghost, or two, around. If you factor in the deaths, murders and suicides that sometimes take place in hotels.... well, then you may be talking about a regular infestation! And it is unlikely that the Mineral Springs is an exception to this rule.
Besides encounters with the notorious trio of spirits, the building boasts other strange encounters as well. Michael Love, the son of the building’s owner, once had an apartment in the building and he collected his own strange reports, including unexplained cold chills that have been reported by customers, items that have been seen to move about, voices and laughter than come from nowhere and more. He also heard distinct footsteps on the back stairs when he was home alone one evening. When he checked to see who had come to visit, he found no one there.
Do guests from the past still walk in the Mineral Springs Hotel? You’ll have to be the judge of that. I invite you to go down and do a little shopping some afternoon.... you just might find more than you bargained for!



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What another great year at the Haunted America's Conference!!!  I met so many  wonderful people and had such a great time!!!  The speakers where great, many of which I have had as guest on my show, Bridging the Paranormal.  We investigated two places...McPike Mansion which is one of my favorites and also a new place this year....The Mineral Springs Hotel.  I just got back home last night and will be going over the evidence from both locations. 

I know that most of you have read previous posts on the McPike Mansion but thought I would post some of the pictures I took this year.  We didn't have a lot of activity and I haven't had time to go over the EVP's yet but in the past I have gotten some amazing EVP's from the cellar, so hopefully I will again this year that I will share with you guys later.

But take a look at this one particular photo from the McPike Mansion.  What do you see????  I circled what appears to me as a mist and possibly an apparition...Mr. Pike...maybe standing in the door....as it looks like a three piece suit with three buttons in the front....kinda like a vest.
Without any circles or arrows. 

Here is a little history about the house.  Sharyn and George Luedke are great about letting you take your time and take all the pictures and EVP's or whatever you like.

I will be posting some really cool stuff about New Orleans, the conference and the haunted locations.  I can tell you that we had one of the MOST AMAZING experiences at the Mineral Springs Hotel and I can't wait to put it all together and share it with you!!!

The house was built in 1869 by architect Lucas Pfeiffenberger.  Original owner of the Mansion was Henry Guest McPike.  The McPike family owned 15 acres of land, then known as Mount Lookout Park.  Here McPike, a horticulturist, perfected his McPike Grape.  The family lived in this, their country home, until 1936.

The house has changed hands several times since its original owner Henry McPike.  The building has been home to Browns Business College and was later owned by Paul Laichinger, who rented rooms in the house to other occupants.

The house has not been occupied since the 1950's.  Before weather and vandals brought extensive damage to the structure, it was a regal addition to the Illinois town of Alton.

The mansion featured 11 marble fireplaces and beautifully carved stairway banisters, all of which have been stolen during its abandonment. Intricate carved trim still border the ceiling in one of the front rooms.

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.

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 1936.

The Cellar has been a focal point of many energies felt in the mansion.

Looking in the front door.

This is in the backyard at the McPike Mansion. 
They really don't know who is buried here.

Me and Michele

The last to leave.  Nice to meet you ladies
and Sharyn thanks again for letting up stay after everyone else had gone!