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Halloween at the Dole

Haunted tales of the historic Dole Mansion, plus a chance to have a ‘paranormal’ experience there on Halloween.

I have been an artist in residence at Lakeside Legacy Arts Park in Crystal Lake for the last year and a half – home to the 1865 Dole Mansion. From the very day I set foot in the building, others felt compelled to tell me their spooky stories and paranormal experiences from working in the building – everything from flashlights turning off by themselves during tours to caretakers being pushed and shoved while working alone late at night.
This is nothing new for me. As soon as people learn I’m a professional mind reader and a psychic investigation hobbyist, I don’t have to read their minds, they just tell me their stories. People have entrusted me with their stories since I was a kid in Sunday school I would interpret dreams – something I do to this day.
Since I’ve had a studio at Lakeside Legacy where I host mini talks and palm reading/dream interpretations, people ask if the building is haunted. I always say the same thing: “I honestly don’t know, but it certainly looks haunted, and there are a lot of unexplained occurrences that have happened here.”
I’ve often thought that maybe this was a practical joke by all the employees, or a simple case of people’s imaginations running wild in a spooky old house.
One such occurrence is from many years ago when the building’s annex was used for various purposes, including a day care. As children left, they would always say “bye” to the same corridor by one of the exits. When one of the adults finally asked who the kids were saying bye to, the children all responded, “The man in the hat.” All of the kids agreed to the information, even though none of the teachers could see anyone or anything.
New security cameras have been installed this last year, and they have captured shadows, orbs and figures walking down hallways that have no exits, and never leaving.
Admittedly, these are all told to me secondhand – stories others who work in the mansion have told me. As a skeptic, I’ve often thought that maybe this was a practical joke by all the employees, or a simple case of people’s imaginations running wild in a spooky old house.
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Unexplained “shadow man” appears from an unaltered photo taken in April.
That was until April 23 when I was taking photos of the interior of the mansion for my Instagram feed. As I went back through the photos I took, I noticed a strange “shadow man” in one of the photos. I showed it to one person on staff, and we tried to recreate it with no success. The photo was taken in real time and is not Photoshopped in any way. Rather than continue to explain it, I prefer to live in the mystery, and let others make up their minds about it.
That’s been my philosophy about the unknown, in fact – if people want to learn more, they should do the research and make the discovery themselves. That way, their thoughts are their own and not the result of what others tell them to think.
That is ultimately what’s been the inspiration for my Halloween show “Paranormal,” which incidentally takes place at ‘the Listening Room’ – the basement venue of the Dole Mansion/Lakeside Legacy. During this evening event, I will not only read minds and perform sideshow stunts, I’ll be telling ghost stories from my own life and even recreate a seance at the very end. Come see for yourself and make up your own mind about the strange and unexplainable!
joeJoe Diamond, of Bull Valley, is a world record holder for solving the world’s largest corn maze blindfolded. He’s been featured on WGN News and The Today Show, and once drove a 1966 GTO around the Woodstock Square blindfolded. Reach him at 815.347.5481 or joe@joediamondlive.com

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