Author Topic: Hey SGU, Like abandoned buildings? We went ghost hunting and came up empty.  (Read 5253 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jamashinaida

  • Brand New
  • Posts: 4

I've always been interested in abandoned buildings.  The idea that humans haven't lived or walked frequently in these dilapidated halls for years is extremely interesting.  The notion that these husks of 19th century architecture are windows into the past, with undisturbed appliances and furniture is simply enticing.  So, while looking for something to do in the desolate prairies of Bloominton/Normal, IL, we stumbled upon the abandoned Soldiers and Sailors Orphanage.

Some Background on the property:
In Normal,IL in 1865, legislation was passed to establish a home for Civil War Orphans.  In 1867, the Civil War Orphans' Home, later known as the Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's School, was offered to the Town of Normal as an institution of education and boarding.  in 1869, 5000 people from all over the state attended the dedication ceremony of the new home.  In 1899, following the Spanish-American War, the charter was amended to allow the children of soldiers and sailors of the Spanish-American War.  In the 1920's the orphanage was again changed to accommodate any child that was a ward of the state. In 1931, the name of the home was officially changed to the Illinois Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home.  And in 1979, the orphanage was officially closed by the State after several attempts to keep it open.  The grounds included a theater, gym, aquatics center, classroom complex, recreational park, and several boarding houses.  All buildings but the classroom complex have been re-purposed since, and plans have been made to refurnish the classrooms for a local preschool. 

Some Ghost Hunters believe the property is haunted by the children who died of malnutrition during the great depression, and one comments:
Used to be where from what I understand, soldiers and sailors left children in times of war...Though some of the buildings have been renovated for offices, the theater and select buildings still remain...At night glowing yellow orbs can be seen in buildings.  Overwhelming feelings of depression can be felt whilst driving by the old infirmary...Also if you go into some of the buildings they have been left as they were then.  A few years back some friends of mine went into the theater....They said that everything is still backstage.

But we didn't go there for ghosts.  Ghosts don't exist.  /duh.

Two weeks ago, 7 people and I went into this condemned orphanage and explored the first and second floor, but lost the majority of the party to fright after that. 

On Saturday, we re-entered the premises with a camera setup and attempted to explore the rest. 

Jim(Me)-Camera/Ballsy Guy who leads the font, so first to meet hoboes and asbestos armed with a knife and the camera

Joey-Cautious Skeptic who fends in the back armed with a knife and the flashlight

Alex-Interested Guy looking for dead bodies and proving hoboes like orphanages wielding a flashlight

Stevey-Alex's friend who keeps the sides lit and wields a flashlight and a devil may care personality

The sounds we heard in the connected annex building prompted us to leave rather quickly, and you'll have to watch to know.  I've split up the video into sections, but there's also a full length video that encompasses the rest.  I've also provided a layout of the structure in paint, for those wanting to understand our path better.

Oh!  I almost forgot.  Here's Joey's interpretation of the events, created specifically for the reddit thread(WARNING! SPOILERS!):
Full story for this experience from my perspective (Joey from the video): Okay, so a couple of weeks ago my friend Jim and my friend Alex and I decided that we needed to do something slightly thrilling. My mother was not home at the time, so, naturally, we went out into the night in search of something to do. At the time, we had Courtney with us, but she needed to go home. We are heading towards her house, and Jim points out a house on the right. Courtney explains it to be an old orphanage, and is now abandoned.

We take her home, and we then contemplate what to do. Almost instantly, Jim says we should go explore the abandoned house. I'm slightly skeptical about this idea, but of course I agree because of the thrill it could provide. I mean what the hell could happen right? So we end up going, bringing a couple of flash lights and knifes just in case anything shows up like a hobo or an animal. We explore the main floor, but Alex and I start tweaking out so we end up leaving.

Jim calls up a friend, and we end up bringing 4 other people to this abandoned building. The scariness is instantly gone, and curiosity is the only thing that is keeping us there. We explore all of the first building (there was a hallway connecting the two buildlings) and find some rather hilarious things that people have left. The people we brought start tweaking, so we end up leaving because they were being so goddamn loud.

Fast forward to yesterday - Alex and I are hanging out and have like nothing to do at all. So, we go pick up his friend Stevie and try to decide what to do. The orphanage came to mind immediately for me, and I call Jim to see if he was up for it. He apparently has just walked into his home from a speech tournament. He said yes almost immediately to it. I go over to his house, and we get into his car, but at this point it's almost 9 PM, so it was dumb to go to the orphanage because there is a house that watches over it, and we have to go through their backyard to even reach the orphanage.

It's 11 PM now, and the porch light is still on. We head back to the car and chill out and tell stories for about 45 minutes. We head back out, but the damn light is still on. Jim says fuck it, climbs the wall and hops into the yard. Quickly, Alex hops over also. I then hop over, and realize that there is a shit ton of mud right where we decide to jump. My shoes were caked in mud. Stevie hops over, and as soon as he does, the light on the porch goes out. Luckily, there is a large tree right where we hop over that all 4 of us can hide behind. Stevie mentions something about two dogs, and instantly we all freeze up as to not alert either of the hounds.

After what seems like 2 hours, the dogs are back inside and we have not been discovered. Stevie, Alex, and I are all very pissed that our shoes are caked in mud, but the show must continue. We go one by one to the next checkpoint: a much lower wall that we can hide behind. Once everyone got there, I said fuck it, and we all just ran straight for the cracked open door for the orphanage.

We show Stevie everything we had already seen, also known as the main floor and upper floor. It was time to explore the basement. It's fairly disappointing at first, but eventually we come to two rooms with exercise equipment in them. Naturally, Jim launches himself into the exercise chair and attempts to use it. It slightly breaks, so we move onto the next room. The building was slightly disappointing, so it was time to move onto the next building.

The hallway looked like something straight out of a horror film. We pushed on, being as quiet as possible. We enter a room on the right, and there's some sort of machine. We presumed that it was for eye testing, whatever you want to call it. We continue on, looking into rooms. We consistently hit something throughout the second building because of all the debris.

We stop because we wanted to talk about everything we saw and whether or not we want to go upstairs. At that very moment, we hear footsteps coming from upstairs. Everyone freezes - there's someone here. I instinctively tell everyone that we need to get the fuck out of here repetitively until I start moving towards the exit because the steps were getting closer. Jim and I whip out our blades and take the back to make sure nothing happens. We are basically running at this point, and do make it out of the building. We are all scared shitless, and our hands are completely numb because we didn't wear much more than a sweatshirt each. We head back to Jim's place, and clean up.

It was an encounter that could've been too close for us, even though Alex and Stevie were both talking shit about whatever it was in that house. In the end, it was a damn thrilling experience, and completely worth it.

[Full Length Video]

[Just Introductions]

[Just the Last Half of The Exploration(The interesting Part)]

Reddit Thread

« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 08:20:13 PM by jamashinaida »

Offline whitedevilbrewing

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 10421
Those are some interesting video links there...

Offline jamashinaida

  • Brand New
  • Posts: 4
Haha, what do you mean?  They should work!  I swear!

Offline Dionysus

  • Prideful and Indolent
  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4142
  • God's Son
A couple protips:

PROTIP #1: Keep the camera steady. Those who suffer from Parkinson's or epilepsy should NOT handle the camera.

PROTIP #2: Edit the video. There were many parts of the video that you could have simply cut out.

The last tip is especially useful if you want us to keep watching in order to see you guys get scared off by hobos. Which I'm guessing is what happens, because I stopped watching after about 10 minutes due to nausea and boredom. Hope this helps!
Behold, God's Son is come unto this land, Of heaven's hot splendour lit to life, when she Of Thebes, even I, Dionysus, whom the brand Who bore me, Cadmus' daughter Semele, Died here. So, changed in shape from God to man... to show me in men's sight - Manifest God.

Offline jamashinaida

  • Brand New
  • Posts: 4
Well, I'm not gonna lie.  It was cold as an SOB in there.  And raining.  And I was soaked, and we were caked in mud.  It gets rather hard to hold things steadily at this point.

And yeah, the seriously interesting stuff is in the last video, which was edited. 

Offline jamashinaida

  • Brand New
  • Posts: 4
We're currently in the process of getting a copy of the building floor plans and blueprints from the Mclean County Historical Society and the Secretary of State's Office of Archival.

Offline floweizzil

  • Brand New
  • Posts: 1
Jim Duehr! I am VERY displeased by this post. I know this place like the back of my hand and you've barely even seen half of it! Oh Jim.

BYTHEWAY, the machine in the one room that connects the two buildings, isn't an optometry set. We think it's an x-ray machine. Because it obviously doesn't have any eye holes. Silly.

Uh and yeah. Why the fuck would you guys go at night in JANUARY. Honestly, that's probably the WORST possible time. Go in the summer, it feels better on the skin. ;)

Oh and the room you were exercising in, that's how we get in. Did you guys see the window? Yeah, another entry point. And a whole lot safer than the one you guys went in. There was no hopping of someone's fence orr fear of dogs.

SPEAKING of dogs. Uh, ever think that the "mud" you jumped in wasn't mud? That perhaps it could've been POO? God Jim I hope you guys cleaned up good.

Offline spiney

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8831
These "haunted (wherever)" tv shows are only made because they're unbelivably cheap and get large audiences

Just pointing a camera around - in near darkness - you don't need to hire any expensive lighting rig, nor a script, nor continuity girl, in fact all you need is a camera and the ghosthunter (who's doing this anyway, and wont want a large fee!).

"When you turn on the television and you watch people pointing their gizmos around the room, acting all dramatic and pretending to detect ghosts all around them, any intelligent adult should laugh out loud."

Offline MountainManPan

  • Banned
  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3461
Why is it ghosts only come out at night?

And only in scary places?

Offline Boßel

  • Go away or I shall taunt you a second time.
  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2900
Why is it ghosts only come out at night?

And only in scary places?

Sylvia Browne knows. I'd ask her!