Turns out, there might be some haunted places in ogle County.
That is according to the Rock River Area Paranormal Society. Founded in 2014 by Josiah Lee Henson, RRAPS has investigated approximately 25 locations in Illinois and also out of state.
Current group members are Steve Bartel, Colleen and Mike Gosnell, Shari Stump, Tarah Patterson, Sara Degenhardt, Jennifer Williams, Greg Bennett, Bob Merrell and Anne Green.
“So, what we do is try to collect data that would substantiate claims of hauntings and we try to find explanations for what may be happening at a haunted location,” Henson said. “Sometimes we discover that the activity was something completely unrelated to the Paranormal and we could easily explain it. Sometimes that is not the case.”
Henson shared some of the top ghostly locations and experiences at local, eh, haunts.
Our team has investigated at Conover Square multiple times. Many of the shop owners have stories about strange things that have occurred over the years. Most of the activity we experience is in the museum and in the attic, although things have happened elsewhere in the build too. On one occasion in the attic, a team member saw shadows moving, another saw what looked like eyes, and yet another teammate was touched by something, all in a matter of minutes.
Aside from the many personal experiences, our equipment almost always registers something in the building. We have captured EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon), video clips of anomalies, and video clips of our equipment responding.
The Roadhouse is a unique restaurant on the southside of Oregon just off of Illinois Route 2. The Roadhouse was most likely built in the mid-to-late 1800s and added on until it’s present day appearance.
The Roadhouse has been known to be haunted for quite a few years now. It has a very interesting and colorful History along the lines of a speakeasy during the prohibition era, and secret rooms in the basement that was possibly used for illegal gambling in the 1920s and 1930s. The current owner has experienced many unexplained happenings such as seeing a phantom apparition, hearing disembodied voices, having glassware randomly fall off shelves when no one was nearby and much more.
The Rock River Area Paranormal Society was lucky enough to be invited by the owner to investigate. As a group, we investigated the entire building and feel that there is most definitely something paranormal happening. We look forward to a future investigation at the Roadhouse with hopes that we can catch something unexplainable.
The Oregon public library was built in the early 1900s and opened its doors in 1909. The building has been rumored to be haunted for many years. Many workers throughout the years have felt an otherworldly presence and heard phantom footsteps throughout the building at night when no one else should be there.
The Rock River Area Paranormal Society has investigated the Oregon Public Library twice now and have experienced some very interesting happenings. To name a few, the first time we investigated, several members heard the name “Mike” loudly in the front stairwell of the library with no known source.
Also, during the first investigation the team split up and three went into the children’s area of the basement and immediately once they walked in the area all three felt what could be described as a massive surge of electricity. It made our hearts race and made us feel like we were standing in direct contact with a powerful live wire. After a little while, the feeling went away and was never felt again.
One last experience we had was during the last investigation, where we had once again split our team up and we had people in the basement and people in the upstairs art gallery and everyone in the basement heard what sounded like a giant crash on the first floor. When we went to investigate, we saw nothing but immediately heard it again but could not find the source. This was captured on our EVP recordings.
The current Ogle County Courthouse was built in 1891, after a fire consumed the original courthouse in 1841 which was started by “The Prairie Bandits.”
The Rock River Area Paranormal Society investigated the courthouse in 2018. One of the team’s members currently works in the County Clerk’s Office. Although the night did not reveal much activity, there have been many occasions where employees have had some “odd” events happen during the workday.
On multiple occasions people have heard male and female voices in the basement, most coming from the area where the original jail cell still stands, and is currently being used as a storage closet.
Automatic lights come on when there is no one in the room, and knocks have been heard on doors only to reveal no one is there.
Shadow figures have also been seen in some of the offices.
In September of this year, RRAPS was invited to investigate Sledgehammer’s (formerly known as the Silo) on the North side of town along Illinois Route 2. We captured interesting voice responses in the silo area while using the SB7 (spirit box), including those of a man and a young girl. In the basement, one of our team members saw a form moving around, similar to a cat. Also in the basement, one of the bartenders was touched on the neck, with nobody near her.
We captured “stick figures” which may indicate paranormal entities using the Kinect SLS camera in the upstairs, the kitchen, and the basement. As we were packing up, we heard a loud male voice from across the room say, “we’re done here,” with nobody near that area.