If you are a fan of the paranormal, and want the biggest “bang for your buck,” then you need to head to Coles County. For some reason or another, it has been hit by paranormal event after paranormal event. We are profiling six. For a more in-depth treatment of these tales, we highly recommend Michael Kleen’s “
Tales of Coles County.” Here are some of the spookiest things about Coles County.
1. Ashmore Estates
Ashmore Estates used to actually be part of the Coles County Poor Farm. It then transitioned into a private psychiatric hospital. Overcrowding and insufficient care led to its closure in the 1980s. Many have reported this property haunted. It served as a haunted house and has been revitalized and is open for paranormal explorations.
2. Pemberton Hall
Pemberton Hall is a residence hall at Eastern Illinois University. It is actually the oldest women's college residence building in Illinois. Mary Hawkins was the first matron (early 1900s), and legend has it that Hawkins discovered the body of a student who was sexually assaulted and murdered by a janitor. It was too much for Hawkins to digest, and she committed suicide. Her ghost is said to linger over the residence hall.
3. St. Omer Cemetery
This cemetery is actually all that is left of St. Omer. The headstone is absolutely strange, and the story is even more strange. Supposedly, there are four people buried under this stone. One is Caroline Barnes. She was put to death for practicing witchcraft. Her ghost haunts the cemetery.
4. Airtight Bridge
Airtight Bridge was built in 1914. Some people say that's what it is called because you feel almost a creepy absolute stillness while crossing it. It was the sight of a gruesome discovery some 30 years ago, when a woman's body was found floating on the Embarras River. It was missing its hands, feet, and head. The murder wasn't solved until 2008, when the woman who was brutally murdered was properly laid to rest. Many people report eerie feelings in this area, still.
5. Bethel Cemetery
If you ever visit, Bethel Cemetery is rather pleasant. But if you learn the ragdoll story, it will haunt your dreams. According to legend, a little girl could never be apart from her beloved ragdoll. She unfortunately passed away at age 9, and the doll was not buried with her. According to legend, the doll roams the cemetery looking for the little girl. Apparently, it will hang from the oak tree in the cemetery and drop down on visitors.
6. The Tycer Home
This old home is more than a century and a half old, and home to many strange occurrences. The Tycers lived in this home. Mr. Tycer was one doing some electrical work in the basement, lost his balance, and almost fell into live wires. According to Tycer, he was saved by "invisible hands." The Tycers also reported seeing ghosts in the mirrors. Because of these occurrences, and possibly other reasons, Mrs. Tycer committed suicide. It is said that the bloodstains reappear no matter how many times you wash up.