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  • Writer's pictureMike Smith

Allerton Mansion, Monticello Illinois

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

Allerton Mansion Investigation

Date: April 6, 2019

Address: 515 Old Timber Rd., Monticello, Illinois 61856

Telephone: 217-333-3287

Owner: University of Illinois Champaign- Urbana

GRS members present: Dale Kaczmarek

Other investigators present: Mike Smith and John Klimek from Afterlife Tours;

History: Robert Henry Allerton was born on March 20, 1873, the only son of wealthy Chicagoan, Samuel Waters Allerton (1828-1914), and Pamilla Thompson Allerton (1840-1880). Samuel Allerton was a self-made man who made his millions in land, livestock, banking and other commercial enterprises.

The Allertons lived on Prairie Avenue, which in the 1800s was the most fashionable residential street in Chicago. They were neighbors of Marshall Fields, the Pullmans, the Kimballs, and the Armours. When Robert was a boy, Samuel had given him 280 acres of land in Piatt County. He also gave him the money to build a house on this land and the responsibility of managing the other Allerton land holdings in the same area. Robert named these holdings under his stewardship “The Farms.” By 1914, “The Farms” consisted of about 12,000 acres which Robert had acquired through inheritance, purchase and trade.

In 1946 Robert gave part of “The Farms” to the University of Illinois. He stipulated that “it was to be used by the University as an educational and research center, as a forest and wild-life and plant-life preserve, as an example of landscape architecture, and as a public park. The portion known as the Woodland Property, approximately 1,500 acres in extent, has been named Robert Allerton Park...(another) area consisting of 3,775 acres of land in eight different farms lying north of the Sangamon River, was provided with the stipulation that its income be used to maintain and develop the Park.”

Robert Henry Allerton died on December 22, 1964 at the age of ninety-one. At his request, his body was cremated and the ashes were scattered on the outgoing tide in the bay at Lawai-Kai. There was no memorial service. He left us, his public benefactors, living memorials in Allerton Gardens, Kaui, the Honolulu Academy of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Robert Allerton Park.

(Bibliography credit to: Etta Arntzen, Coordinator of Research)

Hauntings: There have been reports of a mysterious lady in white. She, according to witnesses and old photographs of people that use to go there as a guest of Robert Allerton, is a guest that frequently visited here. She has been seen walking along the pond in the back of the mansion and in Room 6 trying on hats and gloves. She’s been heard coming down the stairs and pacing the hall in front of her room.

Some believe that the ghost might be one of two possible ladies including Agnes Allerton and Ellen Emmet Rand who was an artist and romantically involved with Robert Allerton in the early 1900s. She was a frequent guest of the mansion.

Others have just noted a strange feeling in the air while visiting the gardens and the mansion itself.

A former evening manager on his first night in the mansion was given a temporary room in the Master Bedroom and according to a YouTube video “Allerton House Ghost” produced by Jack Kelly and hosted by Alison Davis in 1997 by WILL-TV, Urbana, Illinois; he had a night that he wouldn’t soon forget.

“An eerie sort of power thing came over my body and I bolted away, jumped out of bed. It seemed to swoosh over me and into the long bedroom.” This was the same bedroom that Kaczmarek had his experience after their investigation.

Equipment setup: Afterlife Tours set up some Nightshot cameras within the building plus a number of trail cameras to detect motion and figures outside the building. Kaczmarek set up a 1080p full spectrum camcorder down an upstairs hallway where earlier a figure was seen peeking around a corner. Supplemental infrared light was used along with a shadow detector and REM Epod on an old bureau and mirror whose reflective surface had been covered with a black sheet.

Other hand-held equipment was employed which included a Melmeter, Tri-Field Natural EM Meter and REM Epod.

Experiments performed: EVP, Ovilus X, Phasma Box and Armenia sessions were held in the Ballroom, Library and haunted Room 6 upstairs. The X-Cam SLS device was used in the Ballroom/Bar area along with red and green laser grids.

Laser grids were also deployed in Room 6 along with a set of passive infrared motion detectors that were placed across the two beds in the room.

Personal experiences:

Mike Smith: John got hours of just static in Room 6 on his cameras. I did not get anything in the library. In Room 6 the audio recorder ran for 18 seconds and stopped recording. My video was just the room and our presence. The only activity John and I experienced was the pounding at the door. I heard it for almost 2 hours, and John woke up for the last 15 minutes of the pounding. I know that you had an experience around 2-3am as well as another guest who heard pacing on the wood floors in their room. So, three rooms had personal experiences after retiring for the evening. If we get the chance to do it again, I believe that you and us will leave a recorder running all night.

Dale Kaczmarek: While conducting communication sessions in the Ballroom, I saw several lights from the Green Laser Grid suddenly go off and then come back on to the right of the bar. This is the same spot where I later captured two stick figures; one large and one possibly a child.

The Melmeter’s proximity probe alerted when Smith prompted any spirits present to make themselves known by moving objects or playing with our devices.

I had the batteries from two different devices drain in the Ballroom; my digital recorder and the Melmeter.

After a tiring day, I turned the lights off in my room which I later found out during check-out was Robert Allerton’s room. Around 2:30am or so, I wasn’t entirely asleep when I was alerted to someone in my room by the fireplace. I heard a faint female voice coming from that vicinity but could not make out the words. I strained my ears and looked in that direction for several minutes afterwards but no further sounds were heard.

Evidence collected:

Get out or get a life Allerton.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in phonetic mode in the Ballroom, the device blurted out, “Get out or get a life.”

Hey Mike Allerton.MPG – while conducting a Phasma Box session in Room 6, the device says, “Hey Mike!”

I don’t know Allerton.MPG – while conducting a Phasma Box session in Room 6, a question was asked, “Who’s the President right now?” The device responds with, “I don’t know.”

Melmeter alert Allerton.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Ballroom, a comment was made about making itself known by playing with the meters; at that instant the Melmeter’s proximity probe began to alert.

Most Allerton.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in dictionary mode in the Library, a question was asked, “Who are those people outside? Do you know them?” (This question was posed due to John seeing shadow figures by the water. The Ovilus responded with, “Most.”

One Allerton.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Ballroom, the X-Cam SLS device picked up a stick figure to the right of the bar and directly ahead of Kaczmarek.

They’re not Allerton.MPG – while conducting a Phasma Box session in the Ballroom, a comment was made, “We got some crazy lights on the bar but don’t worry about them. They’re party lights.” (Using a green laser grid) The device said, “They’re not.”

Two Allerton.MPG – while conducting an EVP session in the Ballroom, the X-Cam SLS device picked up a small stick figure to the right of the bar and near a garbage can. The figure was smaller than the height of the bar.

Yes three four Allerton.MPG – while conducting a Phasma Box session in Room 6, a question was asked, “Can you see me waving over here?” The device responded with, “Yes.” “How many fingers do I have held up?” (Had 3 fingers held up) The device responded with, “Three.” How many fingers do I have up now?” (Had 4 fingers held up) The device responded with, “Four.”

Words spoken by the Ovilus X in dictionary mode: In the Ballroom – set, radio, eerie, will, beckon, reel, region and leader. In the Library – E, plane, telepathy, middle, nine, jog, animal, some, file, haunting, (shadows detected in the woods), knife, most, stand, stream (John reported two shadow figures standing by the water) and underlined; and in phonetic mode – Hell yeah. In Room 6 – difficult, sunset, bracelet, equal, sure, president, mustard, clock, ring and total; and in phonetic mode – stop.

Conclusions: There was small contamination during a few EVP sessions caused by others talking or in some cases whispering in the background. These were easily discerned as real person’s voice and nothing paranormal.

Several times the Shadow Detector alerted but I could not be positive that it hadn’t been set off by some participants from the group. It was impossible to be sure that someone did not shine a flashlight down the hallway as that would have set off the device. The REM Epod did not alert the entire time and no shadow figures were recorded. There was a lot of noise from participants walking up and down the stairs, talking and conducting EVP sessions both nearby and downstairs.

I believe in the future if there is similar equipment set up, there should be 10 minutes of quiet time where everyone is sitting down, not talking or moving around or perhaps even investigating outside. We have conducted these on investigations in the past and if anything is then picked up; i.e. voices, sounds or footsteps, it cannot be one of the investigations causing this.

This was an absolutely large and beautiful location and our investigation here along with After Life Tours was the very first time a professional paranormal team had been allowed to investigate Allerton Manor. First time investigations are always nice because it means that the location hasn’t been “over investigated” and it is the first time that the spirits have had the chance to voice their opinions, respond to questions or get a message across.

I would believe more results could have been achieved if the participants had been split in two groups; one investigating outside while the other investigated inside or if both groups were inside, then quieter EVP sessions behind closed doors would work better. I realize that this was a public event but I believe that participants would have appreciated it a bit more if the location was a bit quieter and true EVPs could have been captured.

I want to personally thank the staff of Allerton Manor, Mike Smith and John Klimek from After Life Tours for allowing us to investigate this incredible location and giving me the opportunity of participating!

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