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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.

As an artist in residence, I host many  at Lakeside Arts Park in Crystal Lake, 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 the Dole where I host engagements, 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.

That was until a few years ago when I was taking photos of the interior of the mansion for my Instagram. As I went back through the photos I took, I noticed a strange “shadow man” in one of the photos (above). 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.

Another instance was our flashlight tour on Friday the 13th. Multiple people caught photos and videos of orbs and shadows moving. Above are just two of the dozens of unexplained photos taken on that night.

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 takes place at ‘the Listening Room’ – the basement venue of the Dole (tickets here). During this evening event, I host a one-hour tour through the unknown. Take a tour through my life, as I share real life ghost stories, reads minds and perform acts that defy explanations! Join us after the show as we take a flashlight tour through the Dole, and hear about its mysterious secret history. See spooky photos and learn more about the history.


The Dole
Lakeside Legacy Arts Park, Country Club Road, Crystal Lake, IL, United States

©2019 McHenry County Living. All Rights Reserved. | Cary, IL | 815.900.8522 | Site by 82 Birds

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