By CARYL CLEM:
Ghost curiosity, about unexplained mysteries of paranormal activity grows as digital equipment and better camera equipment captures proof of the apparitions. Unexpected, often dreaded, an uninvited visitor appears floating then dissolving into a wall, air, or sky. Transparent figures not held by physical boundaries, some make noises, move objects, slam doors, emit smells of perfume or smoke, others are moving orbs of light, or cast a shadow turning into a green mists.
Experts classify ghosts into 5 main groups:
- Interactive Personality that portrays a loved one or famous person.
- Ectoplasm or Ecto-Mist a vaporous form that rises from the ground usually white or green.
- Poltergeist has the ability to make sounds and move physical items whose energy can increase to dangerous levels.
- Orbs are balls of translucent light most often photographed among ghost hunters.
- Funnel ghosts, swirling forms spied in buildings and landmark structures.
For the ghost believer or doubter, YouTube offers several videos that capture the essence of ghost hunting online. Crystal Lake is 50 miles from Chicago and has a history dating back to 1836. Crystal Lake has 7 acclaimed haunting locations.
1. The Dole Mansion constructed from 1858-1864 owned by a prominent businessman Charles Grain and ice baron member on the Chicago Board of Trade. After the civil war, the imposing Italian style mansion on the beach of Crystal Lake includes servant quarters and a stable for racing horses. Another family, Ringling circus owners, bought the property, converting the estate to a country club. The Depression closed the their doors but now as historical landmark.
2. Colonel Palmer House an over 150 year old Greek Revival architecture has been rumored to have faces of beaten children peering out basement windows while screams can be heard in the air. A story was created about an orphanage with a mean man in charge except no record exists of an orphanage on that property.
3. Barnes and Noble Bookstore claim a ghostly patron lady who can be seen rocking in the back storeroom or who invisibly moves carts of books around the store. Items mysteriously disappear to be found later. An elderly lady willed her land to a church to be used as a site for a school. The land was sold for other purposes.
4. Fountains of Crystal Lake have had several reports of following wispy figures traveling down upper floor hallways to reach a dead end where the translucent form dissolves through a wall, while leaving one can hear footsteps behind them. It has been reported that on a checkerboard upstairs, pieces move without human assistance. Basement visitors feel a chill in the air, and report strong sensations of being watched.
5. Lake Avenue Cemetery is rumored to be haunted by a women committing suicide; setting herself on fire.
6. Park in Covered Bridge Trails has witnesses reporting activity by the stream of various orbs of light.
7. Mount Thabor Cemetery has frequent witness reports of swirling orbs, associated with the symbol of a human soul. Luminous multicolored balls of red, green, and white have been photographed. Several sightings describe an eerie green mist. Check out more from USA Today
If an entire day of ghost hunting sounds daunting, Crystal Lake offers an array of activities to explore from the quaint downtown, modern shopping centers, restaurants, golf course, amidst scenic views of Crystal Lake. What To Do with 15 Landmark Preservation homes and various water sports at Three Oaks Recreation Area is just a sample of what is available. A Heritage Trolley Tour is offered in June.