night at ashmore estates
ashmore, illinois (near charleston)
next available date: october 6, 2018
$80 PER PERSON
Join American Hauntings for a chilling ghost hunt at one of Illinois' most notorious haunted spots -- infamous Ashmore Estates, near Charleston! Spend the night looking for the ghosts of the old – and very haunted -- former poor farm and asylum with a limited number of ghost hunters during a private ghost hunt! You’ve read about it in Troy Taylor’s GHOSTS OF THE PRAIRIE, and you’ve seen it on TV, now experience it for yourself!
From 1857 to 1869, the Coles County Poor Farm was located near the small town of Loxa, but in 1870, the county purchased land in Ashmore Township for a new farm, placing it alongside the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad. The first almshouse building located on the property housed both the poor and insane and soon fell into deplorable condition. It was unsafe and unsanitary and in 1911, it was condemned by the State Board of Charities. Many of the residents died during the first almshouse's years of operations and were buried in a graveyard on the north side of the property.
A new almshouse was built in 1916 and operated for many years, bringing hope to the destitute and allowing many to work for their bed and board, farming and caring for the livestock on the county land. Ashmore Estates, as it was called, was finally sold by the county in 1959 and it was opened as a private psychiatric facility. 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. The hospital became overcrowded and there was a need for more space and a new wing but money would not be appropriated for construction until 1977. Work was not completed until the 1980s. By that time, it was too late. Due to money shortages and problems with licenses, the Illinois Health Facility Planning Board closed the facility. By April 1986, the inmates had been transferred to other hospitals and Ashmore Estates closed its doors.
Three years later, an attempt was made to open Ashmore Estates again as a mental health facility for teenage boys but the Ashmore Village Board denied the request due to fire safety issues and public opposition. In 1998, a Sullivan, Illinois man purchased the property to remodel into a home but continuous vandalism and break-ins forced him to abandon the plan. Finally, in 2006, the former asylum was purchased by a private owner but unfortunately, tornado damage and other setbacks forced the sale of the building to a new owner, who has also opened it up for paranormal investigations.
… AND THE HAUNTINGS
After it was first abandoned in 1987, Ashmore Estates became a local curiosity and a favorite place for area teenagers to break into and vandalize. Rumors spread that the building was haunted and many wandered inside in hopes of encountering a ghost. Some of the confusion about the ghost stories came from a fictional story that was written about the old building and the ghost of a girl who died in a fire at the almshouse. Unfortunately, many have come to believe the story is true. And while this was only a fictional ghost story... there are many who claimed that the old building really IS haunted!
There have been a variety of paranormal events reported at the former almshouse and asylum, from apparitions to phantom footsteps and unexplainable sounds. For this reason, visitors have come to believe that many of the former inmates of the place have never actually left.
Find out if Ashmore Estates is really as haunted as so many people claim and perhaps come face to face with one of the former residents of the almshouse!