Built in 1827, the "Little Red House" was Jerseyville's first frame structure. The two-story building served as a stagecoach station, a Pony Express stop, the town's first tavern, the first school and the first bank. A slave cell in the basement was a stop on the Underground Railroad, connected via an underground tunnel to a log house that once sat across the street. In 1843, it became the home of Dr. Edward A. D'Arcy, whose daughter, Catherine, would marry Prentiss Dana Cheney. And it was Cheney who built the modern-day Cheney Mansion around the Little Red House.
Currently part of the Jersey County Historical Society, it's a beautifully preserved home and our guide was Carol Senger.
For further information about ghost tours and other events contact the owners.
Located at 601 N. State Street, Jerseyville, Illinois 62052, 618-498-3514
Numerous reports of ghosts include the apparition of Miss Dorothy, a former nursemaid who roams the hallways and the bedroom bearing her name. Reports of people hearing talking upstairs, like women holding a conversation. Sounds of dining room chairs moving, like somebody's pulling out the chairs getting ready to sit down, people moving about and radio stations that switch by themselves. Previous investigations by other paranormal groups such as Paranormal Researchers of Southern Illinois run by Brian Lavigne have encountered strange sounds and numerous EVPs while investigating the site. A little girl has been heard singing, frequent phantom footsteps, smells of perfume, vomit and animal odors and the basement seems to be very aggressive against female investigators.
The Ghost Research Society most recently investigated the Cheney House October 10, 2009 and the team members included: Jim Graczyk, Stan Suho, Joe Tito, Joey Tito, Nicole Tito, Jerry Lutz, Andy Rhodes, Lisa Krick and Dale Kaczmarek. We were also joined by Brian Lavigne and some of members of his group.
Investigative findings: Video clips indicated a number of very unusual sounds including female sighs, voices, breaths and unexplained noises. These were disembodied noises as they were audibly captured by the camcorder microphone and would have been audible to anyone standing or sitting quietly in the room at the time of the event.
Breath in PDs room is a disembodied breath with no one around at the time.
Cheney 1 in the children's room after the conclusion of an EVP session. A clear female sigh can be heard within the room.
Cheney 2 in Dorothy's room after the conclusion of an EVP session. A clear female whispering sentence is heard within the room.
Cheney 3 in Dorothy's room at quiet time when a snap like a video cable being dropped is heard within the room.
Cheney House Bang in the piano room is a bang somewhere nearby.
Cheney House Breath in the piano room is a disembodied breath near the camcorder microphone with no one around.
Cheney House Loud Bang in the piano room is a version of the loud bang heard by all.
Female Groan in PDs room is a female groan.
Loud Bang in PDs room is a version of the loud bang heard by all in its loudest volume and probably somewhere close by.
Unexplained Bang in PDs room an unexplained bang is heard probably just outside of the room.
Unexplained Nearby noise in PDs room is an unexplained noise somewhere nearby and inside of the room at quiet time.
Cheney Mansion Report 10/10/09 from Nicole Tito
Team Partner: Lisa Krick
When Lisa, Sharon, and I were in the basement in the middle of our investigation, I kept getting strange sensations to the left of me when Lisa and Sharon were across the room. At one point, the metal folding chair to the left of me made a clicking note like someone was sitting on it or moving it.
Shortly after returning upstairs from the basement, I was in the kitchen eating some candy for a snack and grabbing a pop. At this moment, I hear a loud metal noise from upstairs like someone was dragging a chair. I ran to the stairs on the 1st floor with Andy behind me shouting out, "Is anybody up there?" No one responded at which point, we both ran up the stairs to investigate where the noise was and if there was a real person up there. We didn't find anyone and were unsure if any furniture was moved from the original spot. Later in the investigation, we listened to Stanís audio recording of the event and noticed that it sounded like something metal had moved.
While conducting an EVP session in Dorothy's bedroom, the K-II and Tri-Field meter started reacting when we asked a question what was behind the wall in the closet as Sharon stated that past teams had electrical activity in that area. When Lisa and I asked about important documents, the meters went crazy and Stan's automatic camera took 1 shot followed by two more consecutive shots shortly thereafter.
While conducting an EVP session for the 2nd time in PDs bedroom, Lisa, Sharon, and I kept hearing footsteps outside the door at which point Lisa opened the door several times to make sure that there was no other investigators. The footsteps would stop immediately after the door opened. Later on during that same EVP session, we hear footsteps above PDs bed, which Sharon stated was the attic. It sounded like boots walking across a wooden floor. To our knowledge, no one was up there because she had deemed it unsafe. Also, during this session, all of us heard what we thought was someone's stomach growling in real time, which I thought was a dying cat sound emerging from the closet.
All audio recordings were taken from PDs bedroom. The first clip, one can hear the footsteps above Sharon, Lisa, and me in the upstairs attic.
In the second clip, one can hear the cat noise in the room and our reaction to it.
In the final clip, I am trying to take a picture in the bedroom and you will hear me say, "Oh, you don't want me to take a picture of you?" Before that, you can hear a whisper, but at this time, I am unable to determine what the noise says
Still Photos: Nothing.
Joey Tito: While investigating the Cheney House I did not come across
anything out of the ordinary when it came to the initial walk through. I did
some free hand camera work throughout the night, but did not catch anything
paranormal in doing so. I ran a static camera in one of the bedrooms for the
duration of the investigation. I do not recall the name of the room, but it was
the room with the cigarette burns on the floor next to the bed. I still have
most of that footage to review. If anything out of the ordinary pops up in that
footage I will let you know right away.
Other than that, I witnessed the sounds of a crash and drag across a floor in one of the rooms while Lisa and Nicole were doing EVP work. This is something we all experienced while investigating the house. I thought it was a great place that is full of history. I would definitely like another chance to investigate the Cheney House in the future.
Stan Suho: We arrived a bit early to make a walk around the house and take pictures. Once inside I set up G.E.I.S.T. in the upstairs bedroom next to the closet where things were reported happening. I set up the Ion Detector, the Geiger Counter and the Ghost Camera. In the hall at the top of the stairs I set up the Ghost Microphone. The Tri-Field had a problem and was not set up.
After setup I made a walk through all the rooms with the Digital Voice Recorder. Also spent some time in the Basement recording there. I also took several pictures with the 35mm Camera as well as the Digital Camera.
About two thirds through the investigation a very loud bang was heard by all present. It came from the 2nd floor real close to the Microphone. Several people went upstairs to check and there was no one there. The people reported hearing noises upstairs several times in the past. This noise was recorded on Real to Real Tape and listened to several times by all present. A WAV file was made and sent to Dale for the archives.
A review of my camera photos and recordings showed nothing unusual.
Dale Kaczmarek: I did not feel anything out of the ordinary in the house and EMF readings were within normal limits. However unexplained metallic crashes were witnessed and heard by all in the command center on several occasions as though metal chairs were being flung around a room very close to the microphone in the hallway. Later, all the spots on the floor were marked with black electrical tape where the chairs sat and motion sensors were placed to indicate any movement of these chairs. Unfortunately no more sounds were heard the rest of the night. Provocation experiments were conducted in the basement with the Darklight with Joey Tito and Jim Graczyk which did not yield any results. Infrared digital trap camera pictures taken throughout the house were unremarkable with no images or sudden temperature drops and nothing was seen in the digital pictures I took that evening as well.
While Nicole and Lisa were in Dorothy's room conducting an EVP session, they mentioned something about the closet, unfound documents, secret walls, etc. and they then noticed that the room got extremely cold, the EMF meter spiked inexplicably at the same time and the GhostCam snapped off about 4-5 pictures in a row even though it was not manually activated from the Command Center and no device in the room had triggered it.
Nothing out of the ordinary was turned up in the Doctor's Office or Safe Area during the investigation.
PDs Room 2nd Session Attic
Nicole Tito, Lisa Krick, Sharon (owner)
Sitting in room asking various questions
All heard noise coming from above us which sounded like someone was walking in the attic with boots on. However, no one was allowed up there during the investigation.
PDs Room 2nd Session Weird Animal Noise
Nicole Tito, Lisa Krick, Sharon (owner)
Sitting in room asking various questions
All heard a weird animal noise, which sounded like a cat crying out. At first, we thought it was someone's stomach, but everyone claimed that it wasn't theirs.
PDs Room Whisper EVP
Nicole Tito, Lisa Krick
I was trying to take a picture of the room and asked whatever was present to show up in my picture. However, I couldn't get the camera to work properly and you will hear a whisper then me saying "Oh, you don't want me to take a picture of you, do you?" I cannot tell what the whisper is saying
Dorothy's room family history ... Nicole and I are in Dorothy's room and this EVP is right after the cameras went off and we screamed and then laughed ... I ask, "can we talk about these family documents again?" ... the K-II meter lights up and Nicole sees it and asks, "yes?" ... then you hear something say, "yessss" ...
Cat in PDs room ... Nicole, carol and I are in PDs room and we were whispering. at seconds 7-10 you hear a cat yowl and then carol asks, "what was that?" ...
PDs room attic footsteps ... Nicole, carol and I are in PDs room (same session as when we captured the cat noise). We are whispering again, because we've heard footsteps that appear to be coming from the attic above us that no one has access to ... seconds 17 and 42 are the loudest steps...
Stan Suho: Though it was not technically an EVP, the noise was recorded in the Dining Room of the house on the R-R tape recorder
Using the Ghost Microphone located in the upstairs hallway. Almost everyone was present including the owners. It sounded like something moved across the floor or was dropped next to the Microphone. People quickly went upstairs and, no one was there. It remains unexplained.
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