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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 37 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 explainable 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.



A couple of weeks ago I went on a private event with Gregg and Dana Newkirks and all the "weirdo's" that are members of  The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal  & Occult.  John Tenney was also there to have a séance with us.

Well, first let me tell you about Ashmore Estates and then I will tell you about MY experience there.
From 1857 until 1869, the Coles County Poor Farm was located in Charleston Township near the small town of Loxa, Illinois. In 1870, the county purchased 260 acres from A. N. Graham in Section 35 of Ashmore Township for a new farm, which sat astride the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad. This small timber and brick building, constructed by H. B. Truman, was the first to sit on that property. It was 38x58 feet and two stories tall, with an attached kitchen.

Many residents, or "inmates" as they were called, died at the farm, and the county maintained a small cemetery somewhere north of the grounds. In 1879, Joshua Ricketts, superintendent of the county farm at the time, had recorded 32 deaths out of the roughly 250 inmates who had stayed at the farm between 1870 and 1879. Another pauper cemetery, established a few years later, still exists south of Route 16 and now contains the graves of between sixty to one hundred persons.

The Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities visited the poor farm in 1902. As for the condition of the mentally ill at the farm, they wrote: "There is no special provision for the insane ... None are locked up or in restraint." By 1911, the Auxiliary Committee of the State Board of Charities condemned the almshouse for its "vermin infected walls," "rough floors," "small windows," and improper ventilation. It was reported that "flies swarmed everywhere" and "were especially noticeable on the poor food prepared for dinner." In January 1915, the Almshouse Committee received bids for the construction of a new "fireproof" building at the location.
The building contract for the new almshouse was granted to J.W. Montgomery in March for $20,389, and the cornerstone was ceremoniously laid on May 17, 1916. A full time caretaker and his family took turns living in the almshouse and a white farmhouse that formerly sat on the property.

Coles County sold the almshouse to Ashmore Estates, Inc. in February 1959. That corporation opened the building as a private psychiatric hospital by the same name. In October 1964, after only five years in operation, the psychiatric hospital closed down because of debt. The institution reopened in 1965, but changed its focus from a private facility to one that accepted patients from state mental institutions. By 1968, the shelter care facility housed forty-nine residents, including ten afflicted with epilepsy.

Paul Swinford and Galen Martinie purchased the institution in July 1976. Swinford and Martinie invested over $200,000 in the construction of a modern addition onto the old building. Construction began in 1977, but was not finished until the 1980s. Once the addition to Ashmore Estates had been completed and the rest of the building was brought up to code, the institution's future appeared brighter.

In February 1986, Paul Swinford entered into a limited partnership with a Peoria-based company known as Convalescent Management Associates, Inc. to help manage the institution's finances. The departments of Public Aid and Public Health dragged their feet over the issuance of proper licenses and certificates for nearly a year, leading Swinford to file for permission from the Illinois Health Facility Planning Board to close the facility. At that time, Ashmore Estates' financial losses exceeded $1.5 million. By the end of April, all of the residents had been transferred to area homes, and Ashmore Estates closed its doors.
1987 to the present
In 1998, a resident of Sullivan named Arthur Colclasure paid $12,500 for the property and announced that he planned to renovate the building and turn it into his home. However, continuous vandalism prevented him from ever realizing his plans.

In August 2006, Scott Kelley purchased Ashmore Estates from Arthur Colclasure and began renovating. To finance the project, the Kelleys offered flashlight tours of the interior. To discourage trespassers, they erected signs and moved onto the property. Their haunted house opened on October 13, 2006. In the off-season, Scott offered overnight stays in the building.

In January 2013, Ashmore Estates was hit by a fierce storm, with wind speeds reaching 80 to 100 mph. Ashmore Estates suffered heavy damage; its roof was blown off and the support gables were destroyed. Shortly thereafter, new owners took over the property and made plans to restore the building to its former glory.
On May 3rd of 2014, Ashmore Estates came under new ownership and is now owned by Robbin & Norma Terry.  During their first few weeks of ownership there were huge strides made to cleanup and restore Ashmore Estates.  After less than two years of owning the property some HUGE improvements have been made.  The building has gone from people saying they would never go back to booking each year and in some cases coming back more than once in the same year.  If you have not experienced Ashmore Estates under the new ownership you owe it to yourself to do that. 

So, with all that said, here is what I thought about Ashmore.  First, when you are driving up to it, it sits up on small hill all by itself.  As you pull in the driveway, you can't help but feel that THIS PLACE HAS A STORY TO TELL!!!!  Such a cool place!!!

We all gathered outside on one end of the building waiting to go in.  There were 30 of us and we were all sooooo excited to get inside and see what was in store for us!!!  It was just starting to get dark and in we go....

Now, for those of you who don't know who Greg and Dana Newkirk.... they are the world renown owners of The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult that is home to TONS of HAUNTED OBJECTS!!!  And especially everyone's favorite Billy the Idol.  
John Tenney and everyone.
So the way Gregg and Dana arranged everything was the Past was on the first floor, the Present was on the second and the third floor was the Future.  We started out with John Tenney on the first floor and started doing an EVP Session.  We all sat around a table and John would start out by asking a very simple question like "Do you have a message for us"?  Then we would go around in a circle and each one of us would ask the same question...."Do you have a message for us"?  We would wait a minute or two then the next person would go.  Then we would stop the recorder and listen for an EVP.  

We received several EVP's but one of my favorites was we were going around the table one by one asking a question like "Would you like to talk to me"? As we all asked the same question, it was easy to figure out which voice belonged to which person at the table.  So upon playback you could hear each one of us asking "Would you like to talk to me"? and then the next person would go and all of the sudden........WAIT FOR IT............WAIT FOR IT........(LOL)........we heard a unknown voice ask "Would you like to talk to me"!!!!!!!!!!  That's right!!!!! The spirit was doing just what we were doing!!!!!!!!!!  I guess he figured he should just do the same thing!!!! LOL  We thought this was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!  BTW  I thought John was sooooo nice and enjoyed visiting with him very much.  If you get a chance to do something with John, you should.
First Floor
 Next, we went to the second floor for our experiment of the Present.  Now, forgive me, I forgot who the two guys were that were doing an experiment.  They were trying to communicate with the spirits but each of them were using some kind of different equipment that picked up different frequencies. I have to be honest here, I was really lost on this one.  They both were talking at the exact same time but I'm not sure what they were suppose to prove.  hhhhuuuummmm
Second Floor experiment

Second Floor

Second Floor

Second Floor

And on to the third floor....the Present.  This was one of my favorite parts of the night.  Gregg and Dana had their new reveal of the Traveling Museums Tent and also they had an experiment set up where they picked someone that would put on this crazy looking head gear that had wires hanging out of it everywhere. Now, they said it would take the person into their state of mind that would be very relaxed and they would be very open to communicating with the spirits there.  We were able to watch her brain waves on a big screen to see what would happen when she was communicating with a spirit.  This was pretty cool.
Just plain CREEPY!!!!
Experiment on the third floor.

Billy the Idol(middle) and "friends".

Yep.  Just what everyone needs...a haunted chicken foot!

 Now, I had an amazing time at Ashmore Estates and I can tell you I will be going back to do an investigation with just my team.  There wasn't a lot of free time at this event.  But how do I feel about Ashmore??????  It diffidently has the CREEP FACTOR and for some reason I feel like the "children" that once called this place home still would like very much to come out and PLAY!!!!!!!

 Below are just some of the photos I took of Ashmore.  Be sure to check out the one that I have circled in green.

The boiler room.

What is this?????

The very next shot and there is nothing above Ashmore.

The above photo just blown up.

Let's go!!!!

Out back of Ashmore.

Two of the nicest people ever!

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