More Than You Asked For at Ashmore Estates

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More Than You Asked For at Ashmore Estates

Ashmore Estates ghost


Ashmore Estates is a historic building outside Ashmore, Illinois, constructed in May of 1916.  Formerly, the estate was Almshouse, part of the Coles County Poor Farm which operated from 1857 to 1869.  The Almshouse operated until 1959 until it was purchased by Ashmore Estates Inc who private psychiatric care.  Closing in 1986, the estate was abandoned until 2006 when restoration efforts began.



The Coles County Poor House housed the poor, homeless, elderly, alcoholics, and overflow of mentally ill patients from local mental institutions.  While they had a haven to go to which may have seemed like the answer to many of their problems, the haven quickly turned into a nightmare.  Investigations showed the buildings as being vermin infested, lacking fresh air or ventilation, swarming flies, malnutrition, and patients roaming the facility who were not getting adequate medical treatment.  The conditions were horrible and many inmates died at the farm.  They were buried and forgotten in a local pauper cemetery.

Ashmore Estates Inc took over the property in 1959 but closed quickly after only five years due to debt.  The estate traded hands until 2006 when it was purchased by Scott Kelley and renovated the building with money he made from giving courageous guests flashlight tours.  He and his family were forced to move on the grounds due to the vandalism and break ins that frequented.  Because of the eery stage set by the Ashwood Estate, paranormal researchers flocked the area, demanding their chance at exploring within its walls.

In deep tunnels, evidence of pagan rituals and dismembered body parts were found.  The stories shared amongst visitors who toured the facility and paranormal investigators who studied it were plentiful.  They talk about feeling repelled from the compound as soon as they entered.  They described a deeply emotional experience, almost taking on the strange feelings of the patients who were once housed there.  One researcher was so affected she stripped out of her clothes upon leaving the facility, not wanting to “take” anything with her when she left.


(images:[email protected]/flickr)

Some described difficulty breathing, and even more concerning, had evidence of scratches or being grabbed by unseen entities.  Voices were heard and captured on electronic equipment.  Breathing, singing, whispering, and chanting were heard.  Music played throughout the compound, with no source to be found.

People described hearing banging, and seeing things that were concerning.  Full body apparitions and orbs are common sightings, as well as black mists that seem to bring visitors back to a time of the history of death that plagues the grounds.  Demon attacks are described as well as being attacked upon entering certain rooms or areas on the grounds.  Dark figures walk throughout the walls of Ashmore Estates and seem to maintain their presence.

Four spirits in particular seem to frequent the grounds.  The first is Elva Skinner who was burned to death in the original Almshouse in 1870.  Her spirit wanders the grounds, tied there for eternity.  The second is a man in a top hat referred to as Kentucky Joe.  Third is known only as Jumper.  He was a doctor that was driven mad during experiments on the compound and jumped to his death from the roof.  He often seen repeating that action, only to disappear upon reaching the bottom.  Finally, a woman in white roams the halls, argued as a nurse or an angel- but whether she is the angel of life or death, no one will ever know.


Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

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