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Unexplained Cases | America's Most Haunted Small Town

Written by: Darren Dedo
Case Filed: 3/29/19 - Alton, Illinois
Executive Producer: Rick Garner



Alton, Illinois is what you would call a true river town. Its waters are the Mississippi, the Illinois and the Missouri. Alton was born in 1818 after Rufus Easton established it as a river town and gave it his son’s name. Alton is known for Limestone bluffs and historic homes. At one time confederate prisoners of war were kept behind bars in the Alton Military Prison during the Civil War.

Alton, is certainly a quaint, old, historic Midwest community. Some say it's the most haunted small town in all of America.

The Unexplained Cases team wanted to find out for ourselves if Alton is a hotspot for paranormal activity. One place we’ve always wanted to investigate, the McPike Mansion. Its owner is Sharyn Luedke.

“I’m basically a big chicken, I do not watch scary movies, I don’t do any of that. But you now own one of the most haunted places in America? I do,” said Luedke.

So, who haunts the home…

Field Reports from Loyd Hall Plantation - Cheneyville, Louisiana

Written by: Rick Garner
Case Filed: 10/31/03 - Cheneyville, Louisiana
Executive Producer: Rick Garner





Day 1
2:00pm
- Our team arrives at Loyd Hall. Kriss Stephens, our paranormal investigator, is to join us around 5pm. We each secure a room for the evening. Most of the rooms are located on the outside of the main house. One room in the main house is available to guests. I assign it to Kriss.

Jeff Rent is assigned to Room 4, the Commissary, which I have heard accounts of a guest being "kicked" in the back from beneath the bed while they slept. This "old store" building is original to the plantation and has been completely renovated.
 
Rob Ruffin, our photographer, is assigned to Room 2, the Magnolia Suite. Once the original kitchen to the plantation, this building has been split into two rooms. I have Room 3, the Camellia Suite. Guests in Room 2 have been awaken to a wardrobe door opening and closing to the point one of the doors flew off its hinges.

David Bunger, our Production Director, gets Room 5 - Minda's House. This room along with Room 6, the McCullough House (King Suite), are not original buildings and have no paranormal accounts.


9pm - After spending the afternoon conducting interviews, planning the evening and shoots for the next day, and eating dinner, our investigation begins. First, we conduct a "walk-through" with all the house lights on. More for the benefit of collecting usable footage for Unexplained: Haunts III production, this walk-through allows for us to determine if any areas are hot spots.

10pm
- We've walked the house and the grounds with only minimal results. One orb is spotted on the second floor balcony and Kriss captures evidence of a "shy" ghost outside on the grounds. Orbs are detected in one shot, then nothing, then appear in another completely different location and not the following shots.

11pm
- By this time, an unexpected creaking noise surprises everyone in our "staging area" at the rear of the first floor. The noise was louder than the usual creaking of the wood which is made in the doorway between the "staging area" and the first floor hall. This noise was not made by any team member. We begin turning off all lights and proceed to collect pictures throughout the house.

11:45pm
- Knowing the accounts of one of the two third floor attic doors opening on their own, Rob and I have gone to check on them and to secure them both closed. After closing the one door closest to the staircase, Jeff Rent joins us to indicate he had closed that door not long before us. The other door was impossible for any of us to close and he agreed that was his experience. However, this door he noted as an ease to close and found it odd that the latch knob faced up. Rob had found the door open and closed it with some effort. Jeff found it rather difficult to reopen and close the door. We all knew no one else had been upstairs during that time. There was no explanation for the door being opened.

12am
- We've been camped out in the second floor room where Kriss is staying the night. This is the one room guests can rent inside the main house. It's here that we've found major paranormal activity. Rob reports more than once a heavy pressure sensation on his chest. This feeling takes his breath away.

We are rolling multiple cameras and taking digital pictures of clouds of orbs that seem to coincide with a perfume smell. Whereas the other team members are smelling the aroma strong and frequent, I only smell it distinctly once and the remaining times are light waftings. However, the smell is moving from room to room and never in the same place. No team members have any strong deodorants and no one is wearing cologne or perfume. One could assume the fragrance is inherit to the room or rooms, but the smell is fluttering in the air like a young woman dashing about trailing her fragrance.
The aroma is similar to cloe and is rather floral and powdery.

Although a mirror is in the corner of the room, the phenomena seems to reside in that area. Although a camera could be positioned for the same shot, one moment might contain clouds of orbs, while the next few pictures would show that cloud trickling to one or none.


1:20am
- All team members hear what is perceived as furniture moving downstairs. Rushing to investigate, we can locate nothing out of the ordinary.

1:45am
- Although team members have attempted to gather other evidence in the house, we are yielding few results. The activity seems concentrated or elusive. Kriss thinks something in the kitchen "doesn't like her." This could be true as this is where the slave nanny has been spotted and pans have been heard rattling on multiple occasions.

2:30am
- After returning to the upstairs room, we continue to get more activity before it departs somewhere before 3am. We retire for the evening in our own rooms closer to 4am.

No one experienced any unusual happenings.


Day 2

Focused on collecting interviews and other production elements, our second day at Loyd Hall progresses quickly. We each retain our rooms but the main house room was secured by another overnight guest. I would've liked to assign Jeff Rent to it.
 

Our second night of sleep is also undisturbed. Maybe the ghosts knew we were quite exhausted both nights and let us be. 

My conclusions of Loyd Hall are that this property has immense energies pulsating through the land. Nothing in the home caused me fear and I've never experienced any location that has left that impression on me. Perhaps these energies are Native American in nature. There's a great deal of history relating to this plantation. And like many others, the people who know the home best seem to feel comfortable with their unseen guests. After all, this is not the first time that workers or owners have said that they feel their home is being "looked after" by their ghosts.


Loyd Hall remains an open "Unexplained" file.


Additional Resources:

Loyd Hall Plantation

Kriss Stephen's Website

Loyd Hall Remains A Family Home - Page 1


Loyd Hall Remains A Family Home - Page 2


Meet the Ghosts at Loyd Hall - Page 1


Meet the Ghosts at Loyd Hall - Page 2

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Alton, Illinois is what you would call a true river town. Its waters are the Mississippi, the Illinois and the Missouri. Alton was born in 1818 after Rufus Easton established it as a river town and gave it his son’s name. Alton is known for Limestone bluffs and historic homes. At one time confederate prisoners of war were kept behind bars in the Alton Military Prison during the Civil War.

Alton, is certainly a quaint, old, historic Midwest community. Some say it's the most haunted small town in all of America.

The Unexplained Cases team wanted to find out for ourselves if Alton is a hotspot for paranormal activity. One place we’ve always wanted to investigate, the McPike Mansion. Its owner is Sharyn Luedke.

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