ALTON - The latest ghost spotting at McPike Mansion is raising hairs (and eyebrows) on social media.
The McPike Mansion is known for being one of the most haunted places in Alton. When owner Sharyn Luedke posted the most recent picture of the mansion on Facebook, even skeptics were second-guessing what they saw. Many people report that they can make out an old man in the second-story far-left window.
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“I think it’s either Henry or his dad,” Luedke said. “We do think we have about 12 spirits.”
Henry Guest McPike built the mansion in 1869. Luedke said that the spirits of McPike, his parents, his two wives, his son, his grandchild and a servant likely haunt the house, as well as a few other people and children who once lived on the property but weren’t related to McPike.
Luedke explained that they use old photographs and newspaper articles to piece together information about McPike’s life and the other spirits in the mansion. She and her husband, George, have also worked with a shaman to identify the “different energies” of the spirits and who they might have been in life.
Luedke never set out to own a haunted mansion. She said she’s “a big chicken” and was unnerved when she first spotted a man in the window just seven weeks after buying the property. Since then, she has seen multiple spirits and felt their touches on her face and shoulders.
But these days, Luedke speaks of the ghosts like they’re friends.
“Mary [McPike, Henry McPike’s first wife] is really kind of a shy spirit, and Henry tends to be more, I would say, social. He likes when people visit his house,” Luedke said.“He is very proud of his house.”
Alton is considered one of the most haunted small towns in America. People often come from across the country to visit places like McPike Mansion, and the Mansion has been featured in multiple television shows and segments about hauntings. The photo that is currently making the rounds on social media was taken during a tour sponsored by the Haunted America Conference last weekend.
While this was never Luedke’s intention, she has enjoyed watching the Mansion’s mythos grow. She is especially thankful that it can serve the City of Alton as a tourist attraction.
“The nicest thing about owning McPike Mansion is meeting all the nice people. I have met people from all over the world,” Luedke said. “That’s really like a gift to me.”
Luedke noted that as long as people are kind to the spirits, they don’t mind that the Mansion has become a tourist attraction, either. In fact, she said, they enjoy it.
“Oh, they’re pretty good spirits. They like company and they like to, I think for the most part, interact with people. I think they enjoy that,” Luedke said. “But it is all about respect.”
To learn more about McPike Mansion, including the dates of tours and Henry McPike’s upcoming birthday party, visit their website.
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