Mattoon, Ashmore cemeteries part of book of haunted places in Illinois


01/09/08 - Journal Gazette and Times-Courier

A recently released book about some unexplained events includes more than 50 haunted locations around the state of Illinois, namely two sites in Coles County.

The book, called “The Illinois Road Guide to Haunted Locations,” was written by Chad Lewis and Terry Fisk, both paranormal researchers.

The 270-page, soft-back book takes the reader on a tour of the most haunted places in Illinois.

Lewis of Eau Claire, Wis., said the book is filled with directions, eyewitness accounts, ghost lore, photos and investigations.

“No part of the state is without its own ghosts,” he said in an e-mail.

The book contains more than 100 photos of the locations and investigations in Illinois.

Priced at $14.95, the book is available at amazon.com; barnesandnoble.com; and at its own Web site, unexplainedresearch.com

The foreword of the book is written by Scott Maruna, who also authored a book about Mattoon titled “The Mad Gasser of Mattoon.”

Lewis said the book, which displays a photo of McPike Mansion in Alton on the cover, also features Campground Cemetery in Mattoon and another haunted cemetery in Ashmore.

The Alton site is reportedly haunted by a servant named Sarah, Fisk said.

“At the Campground Cemetery spirits of those long since passed still roam the cemetery practicing their faith,” Lewis said.

The book on Illinois hauntings is among a collection of similar books the pair have written, including hauntings in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa and South Dakota.

Lewis said the credible sources that provided information about the Mattoon cemetery made them want to include it in the book, although they witnessed nothing in person.

“We received a lot of e-mails from people in the (Mattoon) area asking if we had heard the stories about the (Campground Cemetery).

“Once we visited the cemetery and started to interview witnesses and dug up the history of the place, we had to include it,” Lewis said. “(That) convinced us that something strange is lurking inside the Campground Cemetery.”

He added that Ashmore is the home to another cemetery that is haunted.

“The (Ashmore) cemetery, located in the ‘middle of nowhere,’ is overrun with grass and weeds and houses a haunted cement tombstone ball, with the date of death being Feb. 31.”

Lewis has a master’s degree in applied psychology and has been a presenter at many professional conferences. He has also hosted several video documentaries and is the host of “The Unexplained” television and radio programs.

Fisk studied philosophy and religion and directs “The Unexplained” television series.

Contact Dawn Schabbing at dschabbing@jg-tc.com or 238-6864.

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