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Eldred House

On April 16, 2016 TIP investigators Lesley, Tuesday, Paul and our friend Shana investigated the famous Eldred House in Eldred Illinois. The James J Eldred house completed in 1861 was probably the most elegant residential structure in the region and is an important surviving example of Greek revival architecture transplanted to the Illinois bluff. Combining the stylistic values of neoclassicism with traditional local materials, Eldred created a county estate home that became a center piece of regional social life during the 1860’s and 1870’s. James and Emeline Eldred raised children, managed a farm, and regularly hosted social gatherings. The prime years of the Eldred House were not all gaiety and light for its owners, however. All three Eldred daughters died at home: Alma at age 4 in 1861, Alice at 17 of tuberculosis in 1870, and Eva at 17 from the same cause in 1876. We began the evening with a tour led by one of the volunteers that work to return the home to its former glory. He gave us a substantial history of the house and its spirits. One thing he emphasized was to also investigate the grounds of the home since they had seen apparitions of a Native American on the grounds.

He also showed us one of the most interesting pieces of evidence from the home which is a picture of three girls standing outside against the home and in an upper window is the image of a another child that was not there. We set up our night vision cameras and DVR to record in the hotspots where some type of motion had previously been seen. We did investigate the yard area before it got too dark. One interesting note is that the woods around the house are full of whip-poor-wills that called all night long and their call is exactly their name. We then performed EVP sessions in each of the rooms in the home. While in Alice’s room we heard a loud crash and ran to investigate what had happened. At first we thought it was a piece of wood falling from the ceiling in the nursery but then realized it was the picture the volunteer had shown us of the little girl in the window had fallen off the wall. We performed our last EVP session in the basement in the so called “cheese” room because they used to store cheese there. After that we broke down our equipment and headed back to our motel to try and get a few hours of sleep before driving home.

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