Location: 201 N. 3rd St., Oregon, Illinois 61061
in the early 1890s and originally housed a piano factory. Additions have
continued on the building for decades. The Schaeffer Piano Company is said to
have built the original building which is currently the south wing of this
establishment. This was later bought by Schiller. A number of piano brands were
manufactured here including; Schiller, Conover and Cable. The Columbian
Exposition in Chicago in 1893 featured a piano built at this very facility!
the 1970s a great amount of this large 120,000 square foot building was
converted into a shopping village. In 1975 it was converted into the Conover
Square Shopping Mall.
the attic, an apparition of an angry man has often been encountered. The sounds
of someone laboring at a workbench; hammering and sawing sounds, the sounds
objects falling over and bouncing have been reported. People feel as though they
have been touched and numerous EVPs have been collected in the attic. A male
presence has been both sensed and seen as a shadow figure. Some have said that a
man was killed when he fell down the elevator shaft and that a young girl
drowned in a nearby river.
sound of a young girl has been heard giggling in the hallways and museum. Loud
crashes emanate from the unoccupied third floor. Many have been touched in the
presence of a man and his laughter is sometimes encountered south hallway.
The Ghost Research Society investigated Conover Square on October 30, 2015. Team members included: Stan Suho, Marge Sucha, Kathie Para, Michael Wright, Katherine Meagher and Dale Kaczmarek
setup: This was a public event sponsored
by Kathi Kresol and Haunted Rockford
Tours with help from Conover Square Tours.
of the GRS team members used hand-held equipment; however the station with Suho
and Meagher had a small Command Center and demonstrated their equipment during
the sessions throughout the evening.
performed: Each team conducted
EVP sessions in their respective stations. Kathie and I conducted EVP, Ovilus X
and Ghost Box sessions in the attic, Suho and Meagher manned a long hallway and
the surrounding area and Wright and Sucha were on the main floor.
Suho: This was another public
demonstration type event, where we were invited to do a mini setup and have a Q
& A session with the guest. The 2 story building was quite large and had
been converted into a museum. The GRS was divided into three groups and each was
given a different active location to set up a demo. Kat and I were assigned a
small hall way leading to the washrooms, where a little girl was reported to have
been seen wandering around.
Since we had no lead time a regular setup was not possible. For my mini setup, I chose to have a camera focused down the hall way, with the cables running across the room to a table/command post. A monitor was set up with an Audacity Laptop and several hand held devices. The public came through in small groups and spent about 20 minutes in each section. I would give a short lecture on the IR Cameras, monitors, and Hand Held equipment, after which Kat would do an EVP demo followed by a Divining Rod demonstration which the group participated in. This led to several group discussions about the various equipment and techniques. At Kathy's command the group rotated to the next station.
Since this wasn't a real investigation nothing was recorded. Monitoring the screens turned up no little girl apparition. The participants did ask some good questions and a good time was had by all. The building could be a good candidate for a future investigation.
Meagher: I was working with
Stan on the main floor in this public event. We were in the process of setting
up before the first group came through when all the meters started going off. It
was like Christmas for about 1 min. then everything stopped. I mean it went
completely dead for the rest of the night. Stan is a great instructor when it
comes to his electronics. He puts out a lot of information to enlighten the
public. He also is really funny. I believe the groups were very informed when
they got there and even more so when they left.
had 5 groups come through our site. Unfortunately we could not get any activity
with all of our gadgets put together but, people attending this event brought
spirit with them. In every group somebody had someone attached to them, Aunts,
Uncles, friends, Mothers, and Grandparents. What was more surprising was, there
was a different investigating team hosting the haunt. Along with me, other
stations of my group, and the other group did dowsing rod sessions. What was
very interesting was that all the groups that did dowsing rod sessions came up
with the same people with the same attachments to them. It makes you wonder
about the how the dowsing rods work. The questions asked were exactly the same
answers and spirit attached to the same people in all the other stations. I
would have loved to sit and compare notes with the other group that was there.
was something going on in that building though. When I got home to review my
evidence everything was blank. I had my tape recorder going through the entire
night. When the last group came through the recorder was still on but stuck or
frozen. My camera would not shut off and I had to pop the battery out and put it
back in. There was nothing on my memory card when I got home. I like to take
pictures of the public groups and saw them in the screen before I went home.
I couldn’t even get my GPS to work until I was a block away from the
Para: GRS assisted Kathi Kresol’s Haunted Rockford with a public
investigation of the Conover Square Antique Mall. This very large building was
originally a piano factory. GRS members taking part were Dale, Stan. Kat, Marge,
Mike and myself. There were five groups that rotated to five locations
throughout the building. GRS was stationed at three. I was teamed up with Dale
in the attic.
The attic is said to have the spirit of a man.
Feelings of anger, sounds of someone working, objects being thrown, people being
touched and shadows appearing are all reported paranormal activity in the attic.
Equipment we used during our five sessions included:
digital recorders, Ovilus, Melmeter, Rem pod, and ghost boxes (both SP-7 and
We had a few interesting responses from the Ovilus
and ghost box during the night. Noises and a ringing bell were heard in the next
room and a few people, upon taking pictures there, discovered shadows on their
Sucha: Equipment: FLIR,
SB-7 Sprit Box, Dowsing Rods, And Olympus Digital Recorder
was a public Event. The people were
broken off into 5 groups with approx. 10 per group.
We were each assigned a station for the night.
Mike Wright and I were teamed together on the main floor.
This area is a known for pictures coming off the wall, furniture is heard
being dragged across the floor from the vacant store above, a gate is heard
opening and closing, and spirits are
of the ladies from the first group has a shop in this area.
She claims to have a spirit of a young woman in her shop.
We did a dowsing rod session and the replies matched with her
A gentleman in one of our groups was using the FLIR and noticed when we were doing a dowsing rod session everybody was in the purple range except for the person using rods. He was orange in the chest/stomach area.
the fact that we didn't have a lot of activity that night, we had an interesting
evening and several people had personal experiences.
Square was a fun night. I hope
sometime we can do a private investigation there.
Michael Wright: GRS hosted a public event on October 30th
at Conover Square in Oregon IL.
We split up into several
teams and did short sessions with different groups of people that came to
investigate Conover Square.
Marge and I were together
on the main floor of the antique mall we did EVP/ Dowsing Rod sessions with each
group of people that came through.
Did not pick up any EVPs
during the evening; however we did get some activity with the dowsing rods, in 2
of the groups the dowsing rods were responding communicating that it was
deceased family members of the participants that were making the rods move.
Other than the dowsing rod
sessions the rest of the evening was fairly quiet.
Kaczmarek: This was an
interesting building and the participants were well-behaved and quiet throughout
the EVP sessions. We had to remind each group not to whisper during the EVP
attic was a large, spooky area that was one of the most active places in the
building however, our sessions were fairly quiet. I did get a 2.2 hit on my
Melmeter during group #2s visit and when the Ovilus X was turned on in
dictionary mode, the word it said was, “Hello” which was interesting.
group #3s session, the Ovilus said long and restore. Both could be relevant as
long was received when asked for a name and they did restore and build pianos
here at one time. Someone else’s Ovilus also said, “Laborer.”
group #4s session, the word “boat” came out and we’re not far from a
river. After Kathie mentioned that there was a river nearby, “captain” was
then produced through the device.
group #5s session, the Ovilus X said “curse” which could be relevant for the
angry apparition of a man often encountered in the attic area.
unusual was recorded on the static IR camcorder for any sessions.
conover.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in dictionary mode during
session #2, the first word out of the device was, “Hello.”
will you help conover.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in phonetic
mode during session #5, the device said, “Help, will you help.”
conover.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box during session #5, earlier a
question was asked about us leaving or staying, the Ghost Box responds with a
clear male voice saying, “Stay.”
Ovilus X said the following words in dictionary mode:
#1: mother, happens.
#2: Hello, various, tide December, column and boy.
#3: long, alright, restore, tide (laborer on someone else’s device), you,
answer and quiet.
#4: boat, alright, captain.
#5: bond, more, bomb, wheat and curse.
though this was a public event with a number of people traveling throughout the
building, it was fairly quiet as far as phenomena goes. Groups were
well-disciplined and some did ask thought-provoking questions, even though, most
of time, no response was given.
An absolutely huge building that should be properly investigated again in the future with more cameras, a Command Center and monitors to watch other areas of the building. Well worth the trip and would not hesitate to come back again in the future.
Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
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