Alden High School Investigation

The building was constructed in 1896. An addition was added in 1917 and, from 1921 until 1948, a high school was located on the top floor. Grade school continued until it closed in 1967. After closing, the school was used as a village meeting place until it was sold and used as a business, home and now apartments. Remodeling has been done but many original features remain including the floors, a porcelain drinking fountain, and the stairways children used during the school’s 71 years. The former Principal’s office is now a restroom.







Located at 16401 IL Rt. 173, Alden, IL 60033

Hauntings: Faces have been observed in the basement with the feeling of people being rushed. The sound of children running around have been frequently encountered. Both front doors have opened and closed on their own. In the pantry area, people have reported being touched and have seen the head of a gentleman who many believe to be Karl, the former janitor of the building. A body of a girl has been seen in the hallway near the former Principal’s office. An apparition of a man in blue jeans and plaid shirt has been seen standing near the bird’s cages. He was very old.

Psychics who have visited the location in the past have commented that they often pick up an impression of a music teacher at the top of the stairs. In an upstairs bedroom the sound of footsteps and a voice has been captured in the past. The ghost of a little girl (Ariel), 10-years-old, has been encountered upstairs as well. In an upstairs bathroom, all the doors, cabinet and washer and dryer doors were allegedly opened by unseen forces. Sara Bowker had encountered this ghost about a week before visiting the location. Shadow figures and black masses are also seen in the area.

In the attic, Dean Thompson saw a red light from no apparent origin and a camera firmly mounted, tilted and rolled over, hitting the floor. In the basement, a door opened up by itself. The basement was once the gymnasium and allegedly a woman died downstairs sometime in the past.

Investigator Laura Redmond has also had her share of unexplained happenings. During a June ghost tour of the school, Laura saw a lid on a storage tub in the former Principal’s office flip into the air and land in the middle of the floor. That same night she and others heard a door in the basement unlatch and open unassisted. She has also seen an apparition of a man dressed in flannel.

Equipment setup: The full G.E.I.S.T. package was setup and the Command Center was in the foyer. Piscopo had an IR camcorder set up near the Principal’s Office while I had a full spectrum camera in the basement facing into one of the back rooms.  

The Ghost Research Society investigated the Alden High School on June 7, 2014. Team members included: Stan Suho, Michael Wright, Katherine Meagher, Jim Piscopo, Sandy Weber, Kathie Para and Dale Kaczmarek.








Personal experiences:

Kathie Para: Ghost Research Society investigated Alden school on June 7th, 2014. Members present were Dale Kaczmarek, Stan Suho, Jim Piscopo, Sandy Weber, Mike Wright, Kat Meagher and I.

This building has been renovated into a residence for the most part. We spent time in the second floor apartment, the basement, the attic and the main floor kitchen/living room area.

The most active area was the basement. I had been sitting on a chair facing towards the first room with my back to the rest of the basement. Within minutes I was hearing noises behind me from the other side of the basement and got so uncomfortable I got up and moved. Shortly after, the right side of my body became extremely cold. There was a shadow seen by one member and a disembodied voice heard as well. I got several EVPs here.

The attic also had a weird feeling. Both times I went up there I felt dizzy and off balance. There were also a few whispers and noises that may be questionable because it was raining pretty hard and that could be heard on the roof.

Both the attic and the basement had a few abrupt temperature changes (five to seven degrees.)

The rest of the building was not as active that night, although I did get some noises and a voice in the kitchen area. With the noise of the rain that night it’s hard to say for certain these were paranormal.

I would be anxious to return to Alden school for a more thorough investigation.

Katherine Meagher: June 7 2014,  the Alden High School, I,  Kat Meagher,  Joined Dale Kaczmarek and other members to the Alden High School in Alden IL for an investigation of the property. We were shown the residence by individuals that live and maintain the property. The stories told of personal experiences where numerous and compelling, I, with my trusted recorder and camera, proceeded with the investigation. While I felt or experienced nothing personally my recorder always says different. There was a little contamination because of cars off in the distance and rain. I still got whispers on my recorder. Unfortunately, spirit is sometimes too quiet for everyone to hear. I sent my best evidence to Dale and maybe some of the real quiet voices he will be able to bring out. I love the experiences with the group and I’m always looking forward to the next adventure. Digital Camera, Sony Cyber shot, Digital Tape recorder, Olympus VN-702pc

Jim Piscopo: We arrived at Alden school and were given a walk-through of the building. A short time later it starting raining and rained all through the night. I set up my IR camera facing the principal’s office and the left stairway leading downstairs where shadow people sometimes appear. I sat in on a few EVP sessions but felt nothing unusual while in the building.

Stan Suho: Well this didn't look like any High School I ever saw. It was an old square built building something like the grade school I started in '47. Four main rooms on the 1st floor and four main rooms on the second floor, with a stairway running up the middle of the building. Since people were living there we were somewhat cramped for setup space. We chose a small table at the top of the stairs to do a minimal setup. After a first class tour by the residents, we got busy.

Because of the aforementioned space considerations, I chose not to set up G.E.I.S.T. I set up the Ghost Camera in the corner of one of the large rooms which was on the second floor and reported active. This was being monitored and recorded back at the command post. Jim set up his camera in the room below me and was also monitored. The EVP folks got busy and
covered the house top to bottom. I got busy with my Sony IR camera trying to capture one of those elusive phantasms. I also followed the EVP team around taking pictures of them doing their duties. Because of the long trip home we knocked off a bit early.

So once again the Phantasms remained elusive and I have nothing to report on audio or video or photos. This is an interesting location, but I think we covered it fairly well.


Michael Wright: The original school house was converted into residential units a few years ago; it was broken into 3 separate living areas.

We did several EVP sessions in the Basement there was a whisper in the main area that sounded like it was saying Kat approximately 9 minutes into the session.

There were temperature fluctuations in both areas of the basement. I experimented with dowsing rods which seemed to be vague. In the other room Kat was picking up EVP answers to the questions that were being asked of the rods, my recorder which was next to me did not pick up anything.
When we were in the Attic it was raining outside and the recorder picked up the rain noises, the Ovilus kept saying Book and Air which later sounded like it said Yearbook. Felt slightly disoriented upon entering the space the feeling remained during the time we were up there.

In the EVP session in the living room there were several loud bangs that sounded like they were close to my recorder which was on the counter.

I did not pick up anything in the EVP session we conducted in Mike’s room.


Dale Kaczmarek: This was an interesting location but from the inside, barely recognizable as a school however the outside façade definitely gave it away as once being an institute of learning. I clearly heard a disembodied whisper that sounded like it called Kathie’s name in the basement. It was very clear and audible. The basement was the creepiest place for me between picking up whispers, strange sounds and other noises on the full spectrum camera. Battery drains were again a problem here with freshly charged batteries going dead in a few minutes. Did not feel anything out of the ordinary in any of the other rooms in the building.

Evidence collected:

Albert r u here.MPG – during an EVP session, a question was asked, “Albert, are you here?” A whispered response is heard at the end of the recording.

Alden1.MPG – during an EVP session in Mike’s Room a question was asked, “Can you tell us the name of this high school? What they used to call it?” In between the two questions, a whispery voice says, “Alden.”

Alden2.MPG – during a Ghost Box session in Mike’s Room, a question was asked, “What’s the name of this school?” The Ghost Box responds with, “Alden?”

Anybody want to speak.MPG – during an EVP session in the attic, a question was asked, “Is there anyone up here that wishes to communicate with us tonight?” A whispered voice sounds like is says, “No.”

Door slam alden.MPG – Piscopo’s static IR camcorder facing the foyer picks up the front door slamming shut.

Footsteps alden.MPG – Piscopo’s static IR camcorder near the Principal’s Office picks up the sounds of footsteps when nobody was around at the time.

Gretchen right.MPG – during an EVP session the words, “Gretchen right” were uttered by a whispery voice.

I don’t know.MPG – during an EVP session in the basement, a question was asked, “Do you live down here?” A whispered voice is heard to say what sounds like, “I don’t know.”  

I’m in alden.MPG – during a Ghost Box session in the basement, a question was asked, “Are you there?” The Ghost Box responds with, “I’m in.”

Kitchen noise1.MPG – during an EVP session in the living room, a loud noise was heard and captured coming from the kitchen area.

No alden.MPG – during an EVP session, a question was asked, “Try touching that.” A whispered response seems to say, “No.”

Recorder moved in kitchen.MPG – a static digital recorder placed in the kitchen apparently was moved or manipulated when nobody was around.

Ring bell.MPG – during an EVP session in the attic, a question was asked, “Is there anybody up here that can ring that bell? I would like to hear it.” A whispered response says, “No.”

Show me a yes.MPG – during a dowsing rod session, Mike asks, “Can you show me a yes?” A whispered voice says, “Yes.”

Show me a no.MPG – during a dowsing rod session, Mike asks, “Can you show me a no?” A whispered voice says, “No.”

Strange sound alden.MPG – Piscopo’s static IR camcorder near the Principal’s Office picks up a strange sound on the audio track.

Weird sound.MPG – a static full spectrum camera set up in the basement captures a weird sound.

Whisper1 alden.MPG – during an EVP session in the basement, a question was asked, “How many people are here with us?” A disembodied whisper was heard by Dale and recorded and seems to say, “Kath.”

Conclusions: This location was interesting especially with all the strange sounds and whispery voices that we collected during our investigation. Some evidence had to be thrown out because we weren’t able to determine conclusively if the sounds or whispers were actually paranormal or naturally caused by researchers in the area. The ones provided in the current report satisfy the criteria for paranormal phenomena in my opinion because nobody was either in those locations or nearby when the sounds were either heard and/or recorded making it a sure sign that something unusual was indeed happening. Some other evidence was contaminated due to the torrential downfall of rain that evening. The alleged evidence could not be sufficiently separated from the meteorological event that evening to be deemed paranormal. Other “alleged evidence” was at the beginning of an EVP session when people were still in the process of “settling down” and therefore could have inadvertently caused the sounds or voices themselves. That was also discarded.

Normally when a building is structurally altered, paranormal activity does seem to increase due to the theory that resident ghosts become either angry or confused because how they remembered the location has changed, altering their movements through the building as they would have initially traversed the place when alive. Perhaps this is one of the reasons this location is haunted today. Other possible reasons include lasting place memories of students, faculty, janitorial staff and others who greatly loved the building and just refuse to let go. This location could inhabit ghosts for a very long time to come in my opinion!

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