Ryan Katastrophe

Ryan Katastrophe
Because one man's trash is another man's treasure

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Haunting We Will Go-Go

I've always been a huge fan of ghosts, the supernatural, paranormal, and the unexplained. Something about the Fall weather seems to magnify that love. Over the course of the last month, I've been doing my damnedest to get out there and check some these 'supposedly' haunted places out. Here are a few of them for your viewing pleasure.

Nathaniel Hanson Mansion/The Enos Sanitarium - Alton, IL

Nathaniel Hanson had this house constructed back in 1857. It was designed specifically as a stop on the Underground Railroad for escaping slaves on their way to freedom in the north. The house itself is up on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi river. A maze of tunnels were created right off the bank of the river all the way up to the basement of the home. Escaped slaves would have to know specific steps to take in the pitch black tunnels, otherwise they would find themselves completely lost. This was a precautionary measure taken to ensure that anyone else who may find their way into the tunnels, not find their way out. As you can imagine, anyone caught harboring runaway slaves would have severe consequences.

Here is a photograph of the underground tunnel escaped slaves would have to sit and wait days, weeks, or months in before they could continue North. It is located in the basement of the house and keep in mind, there was absolutely no light source at that time, not even a candle was permitted.

Dr. W.H. Enos would purchase this home in 1911. He added another wing and story to the house and converted it into a tuberculosis hospital. At this time, there was no cure for the disease and the only form of treatment was fresh air. Needless to say, people were dying by the boat load. I'd say that if any building had the perfect ingredients for a haunting, this one had it.

This place is now known as the Enos Apartments. That's right, you can live there. Many tenants however, do not stay long due to the unexplained noises and strange happenings. Rent is pretty cheap though!

Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion - St. Louis,MO

Henri Chatillon resurrected the first part of this house in 1848. It was later sold to Dr. Nicolas N. DeMenil, who would reconstruct the farmhouse into a Greek revival mansion.

On this particular visit, the house was decorated as it would be in the Victorian age as if someone in the house had died; A house in mourning. The mirrors, and paintings of the deceased and/or photographs would be hidden behind a black cloth of some sort. Many post mortem photographs were on hand and so I took advantage of those with my digital camera. Here are some of those:

A casket

A death wagon

The Missouri State Penitentiary - Jefferson City,MO

The Missouri State Penitentiary was a functioning prison from 1836-2004. Prison life has never been good, but was especially bad in the facilities infancy. The prison halls were segregated and all of the cells were overcrowded. In the black sections, as many as 8 men could be crammed in a cell that should uncomfortably hold two. Prisoners were often beaten and tortured. One man spent 17 years in the hole for repeatedly attempting to set fire to the prison. Many people suffered and died here. A perfect prelude to a haunting...

This cell housed a then, future heavyweight boxing champion, Sonny Liston.

Better clench your cheeks tight. The only crappers available on this tour are in the cells.

The gas chamber

40 men and women were executed in the gas chamber.

Go on, have a seat


  1. I knew if you took a look at this, you'd appreciate those!