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 investigated the
Cheney House June 24, 2017 and the team members included: Stan Suho,
Kathie Para, Mike Rosario and
Dale Kaczmarek, with help from Dean Thompson and Clint Gaither from El Quatro
Equipment setup: Cameras were deployed upstairs and in the basement
with the Command Center being set up in the entrance room. In other rooms,
Melmeters with proximity probes were used along with laser grids, K-II meters
and REM Epods.
Experiments performed: EVP, Ghost Box and Mini-Portal sessions were
held in the basement, Dorothy’s room, PD’s room, nursery, drunk room and the
Kathie Para: GRS
investigated Cheney Mansion on June 24, 2017. GRS members present were Dale
Kaczmarek, Stan Suho, Mike Rosario and me. We were joined by Dean Thompson and
Cliff Gaither from El Quatro Paranormal of Alton, IL.
This is a beautifully maintained building rich in history. We spent time
on all three floors in several areas of the building. I personally didn’t
catch any EVPs upon reviewing my evidence. The basement seemed quiet during the
time I spent there.
The first floor doctor’s office was interesting in that we got some
relevant responses from the Portal and also two figures that appeared to be
fighting on the X-Cam SLS. I also got lightheaded after being in that room for
an extended period.
We did EVP sessions in all of the second floor rooms. There was nothing
significant in Dorothy’s room or the Children’s room.
In Petey’s room we got EMF meter responses, a figure appearing on the
X-Cam SLS, Ovilus and Ghost Box responses.
The “Drunk” room felt very heavy to me, even before I crossed the
threshold into the room. I felt off balance and smelled a slight odor of urine.
This is a location I would definitely like to return to.
Mike Rosario: This was
my first trip to the Historic Cheney Mansion, and, I must say, was an
exhilarating one! Working with the GRS team for the very first time as a new
member, I was happy to assist them throughout the investigation. I learned how
to use some new equipment, like the extraordinary X-Cam SLS (Structured Light
Sensor), which can detect possible entities or figures that the visible naked
eye cannot detect. This evidence is then shown on a monitor for easy viewing. I
also saw the Radio Specter in action, which is a device that can eliminate the
scanning/sweeping noise so that it is easier to hear regular and clear audible
sounds without all the racket of channel searching. Another device used was the
DTD-Device or the Direct Text Display Device, which can be connected to an
Ovilus, and shows the words of what is being said through via the Ovilus. Last,
a Full-Spectrum Camera, which captures images or stills in total darkness with
its IR/UV sensors.
The first part of the investigation (7:00pm) was held in the basement of the
Cheney Mansion. I started sweeping the area with my K-II to get a base EMF
reading, which was registering about 1.5-1.9mG. I then set up my Sony HandyCam
HDR-XR160 AVCHD 42xEZ on my tri-pod, and started recording audio/video.
While roaming the basement, through another paranormal investigator’s
equipment called ‘The Portal,’ we heard “Stop!” at exactly 04:49 on my
video camera, whilst reviewing evidence. Perhaps when I was nearing an entity,
it was possible that I was too close to/nearing it or so.
In Nurse Dorothy’s room, I heard a cat meowing. It sounded like a long,
droned out cat’s meow somewhere inside the room at exactly 00:33 on my video
camera. And at 02:10, on the same device, I heard, again, another cat’s meow
with the same droning tone.
In PD’s room, at exactly 01:02 on my camcorder, I heard some laughing. I
then heard another laugh at 05:30. This time it was a slightly softer laugh.
Later we were in the downstairs parlor near the safe/Doctor’s room doing
an EVP session with several other investigators and myself. I was using a Green
Laser Grid, and shining it inside the safe room where, I believe, a little boy
is said to haunt. Unfortunately, I got nothing using that technique, but through
‘The Portal,’ we did get some intelligent communication, as well as some
interesting activity with Dale’s X-Cam, where he saw two figures rustling
about in the doctor’s hallway!
End of Investigation: Appx: 02:00 am.
Conclusion: It was such an honor and privilege to visit such a very
beautiful place! For my first investigation with the group, it truly was an
exciting one! I learned many new things, equipment, and methods used by GRS when
conducting investigations. This house seems to have some activity; however, I
would love the opportunity to come back and investigate another time with GRS,
and perhaps capture more evidence of the many claimed events that have been
Overall: An excellent investigation by everyone!
Stan Suho: Back to the
Cheney house for my third time. Very small group this time, but we were joined
by some old friends, Dean and his friend. It was a standard investigation and I
set up two cameras. The first was on the second floor at the top of the stairs.
The first investigation we recorded a big crash boom bang in this area that we
never could account for. This camera was monitored downstairs with a monitor,
DVR, and an Audacity Laptop. The second camera was set up in the basement
while Dale was playing hide and seek with the mannequins on the second floor.
After showing Mikey our new trooper the setup I stood close to the command post.
Dale Kaczmarek: The place was very quiet during this visit with very few EVPs or other experiences throughout the evening. We started in the basement and moved from room to room upstairs including Dorothy’s and PD’s room, the nursery, drunk room and the doctor’s office and again it was eerily quiet!
Cheney1.MPG – while in the
entrance room and using the X-Cam SLS system, a stick figure suddenly appears on
the door frame leading into the dining room.
Cheney2.MPG – while still in
the entrance room and using the X-Cam SLS system, another stick figure appears
on the opposite side of the door frame leading into the dining room.
Cheney3.MPG – while in PD’s
room, a stick figure appears to be sitting in a rocking chair, immediately after
Kaczmarek invites whatever is in the room to sit down.
Cheney4.MPG – while conducting
a mini-portal session in the doctor’s office and while using the X-Cam SLS
system two stick figures appear near the door frame and they appear to be
Clint Dale cheney.MPG – while
conducting a Mini-Portal session in the doctor’s office the mini-portal yelled
out “Clint.” A question was then asked, “Can you call out my name? My name
is Dale?” Towards the end of the clip a faint female voice says, “Dale.”
Dale seek out SLS cheney.MPG –
while conducting an Ovilus X session in phonetic mode in Dorothy’s Room, the
Ovilus says what sounds like, and “Dale seek out SLS.” Just prior to this,
Kaczmarek had caught a stick figure with the X-Cam SLS device.
Drunk room asshole cheney.MPG
– while conducting an Ovilus X session in phonetic mode in the drunk room,
Dean commented, “I just came in here to pay my respects to you.” The Ovilus
responds with “Asshole.”
Get out1 cheney.MPG – while
conducting an Ovilus X session in phonetic mode in the drunk room, “Get out”
Get out2 cheney.MPG – while
conducting an Ovilus X session in phonetic mode in the drunk room, “Get out”
was clearly heard and recorded again.
Here cheney.MPG – while
conducting an Ovilus X session in phonetic mode in Dorothy’s Room, a question
was asked, “Are you here with us?” The Ovilus responds with, “Here.”
Yeah cheney.MPG – while
conducting an Ovilus X session in phonetic mode in the basement, a question was
asked, “You know you’re safe here, right?” The Ovilus responds with,
Yep stop it cheney.MPG – while
conducting a mini-portal session in the doctor’s room, a question was asked,
“Sounds like a male?” The portal responds with, “Yep.” Para decides to
take a picture and says, “Take a picture Clint? Flash.” The portal screams
out what sounds like, “Stop it.”
Words spoken by the Ovilus X in dictionary mode:
Basement: mother, reservation and here.
Dorothy’s Room: Indicate and while.
PD’s Room: Suit, soil and wood; while the Ghost Radar said,
upward, fifty, social and arrange.
Nursery: Products, inches, allow and attitude.
Drunk Room: Plant.
Conclusion: In a few of the rooms were EVP or Ovilus sessions were
conducted nothing occurred namely PD’s Room and the nursery. Probably the most
active room for EVPs was the doctor’s office and was in that room that pair of
stick figures was captured with the X-Cam SLS system and appeared to be engaged
in fighting one another.
Spirits seemed to be able to
react when I was employing the X-Cam SLS system because the Ovilus X mentioned
what sounded like “SLS” right when I captured a figure in Dorothy’s Room
and immediately after I invited them to sit down in a rocking chair in PD’s
Room; a figure was first seen standing next to the chair but then actually
captured sitting in it. Stick figures were also seen and recorded apparently
Someone was apparently very
agitated about us being in the drunk room due to many explicatives spoken on the
Ovilus X in phonetic mode and two very distinct “Get outs.” The mini-portal
was most active in the doctor’s office with direct calling of both Gaither and
Kaczmarek’s first names.
This place seems to be both hot and cold during visits by the GRS and we’re never really sure if we will come away with any meaningful communication or evidence however it’s always an interesting place to visit.
Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
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