You Can't Go Home Again...But You Sure The Fuck Can Just NOT Leave!
"In Cambodia, they said the problem was that the kids couldn't get to the schools or libraries, so we donated bicycles." ~John Wood, founder of Quincy, IL
Okay, so we three have been doing a lot of talking since my recent bout with insanity. It's pretty much a certainty that I wouldn't do too well away from home for a long period of time. With Lora by my side I could probably survive, but wouldn't truly be happy.
Emily, too, LOVES it here and doesn't want to leave. Lora also loves it here but she has HUGE future plans that involve going to a full time university and not just a two year college. I would never and will NEVER try to discourage Lora from achieving her dreams. So we have come up with a solution.
Thanks to a semi-wealthy step-dad and a family history that dates back almost to the beginning of Quincy (My city), we three will, beginning in January, be matriculating at...
I have no major details about it yet but as soon as I do I'll tell all. I'm just happy that we won't be leaving home. Lora has always planned on coming back to Quincy after college and after checking out QU she seems really excited about attending.
But Sara, you may ask, why would you want to stay in a little hick town when the ENTIRE world awaits you? Well, if you knew Quincy and you know me then you'd understand. This city (Yes, Quincy is technically a CITY, not a town.) is full of old gothic buildings, haunted places, weird legends, ect.
I moved here during the GREAT FLOOD of `93, and over the years I've found out that Quincy is an amazingly spooky city. Here are the best known haunted places...
~Thanks to its rich history, the city is also known for its many ghostly legends and lore. There are a number of haunted houses and sites here, including one of the most famous buildings in the region. The stories say that Villa Catherine, the only Moorish castle built on the Mississippi, is haunted by the wife of George Metz, who constructed the house in 1900. Her spirit is rumored to still haunt this historic mansion.
~There is also a haunted cemetery in the area known as "Ghost Hollow," located south of Quincy. This eerie graveyard is supposedly surrounded by a high stone wall and is filled with crumbling stone crypts. In the center of the burial ground is a black tomb that bears a one-word inscription in Latin. Few are believed to know the exact location of this cemetery and my inquiries into the site were mostly met with silence. The few who did speak about it claimed that "you could hear the sound of whispers and singing" in the place at night.
~Located just outside of the city limits is a government housing project known as Harrison Hills (This is where Lora grew up.). According to local legend, the houses here were built directly on some Indian burial sites. Residents still find the occasional arrowhead on the property, not to mention spot the occasional ghost in the surrounding wooded area. Stories say that you can sometimes hear voices chanting in native languages being carried on the wind at night.
~Greenwood cemetery - There are lights in the back corner of the cemetery at nighttime. When you walk forwards you can see something hanging in a tree and if you blink it will disappear. Up in frobt of the mausoleum you can see and hear little children playing, and when you walk towards them and smile they will smile back at you, and wave and disappear.
~Quincy Junior High- The School was built over fourty years ago. A student had lost their girlfriend and hung themself in the bathroom over the loss. Most students now were never told about this incident, so they wouldnt get any ideas. The boy is heard by teachers and staff after school crying faintly and they hear footsteps to the bathroom, mumbling and then it all stops. It replays on the day the kid died. Teachers had tried to figure out natural causes but when ever they went to check for something that was within a short distance from the haunting, it would stop.
~Another haunted school is the site of the Madison Grammar School. A woman was once brutally murdered in the house that stood at this site and her killing was never solved. Residents who moved into the house were unable to remove the bloody evidence of the crime from the oak floorboards. They reported many strange and unexplained sounds in the house from doors opening to that of a body being dragged down the steps. It was not learned until later that the woman who had been killed in the house had been slain on the second floor and her body dragged downstairs and stuffed into a small closet.
Finally, the house was torn down. The school that was built on the site is also believed to be currently haunted and some claim that a mysterious fire that broke out here in 1982, almost destroying the school, was paranormal in origin.
~Quincy’s history during the Civil War has also given birth to several legends. Once such story comes from the fact that the city is located just across the river from Missouri, a state that stayed loyal to the Confederacy during the war. Southern sympathizers and spies often came across the Mississippi and stayed in Quincy. One house that legends say often harbored southerners was the "Old Rebel House" which was located at the corner of Second and Vermont Streets. For many years after the Civil War, locals told of spies and saboteurs who stayed at the house and to add to its reputation, it was also regarded as being haunted.
Beth Scott and Michael Norman’s book, "Haunted Heartland," recounts a spooky incident that took place in the house in 1880’s. At that time, the Old Rebel House was occupied by a mother and three children who lived on the top floor, while the woman’s married daughter and her husband lived downstairs. There was a long balcony on the second floor that stretched from one end of the house to the other and doors opened from this porch into nearly every room. It should also be pointed out that there was no way to gain access to this balcony from outside.
One morning, the mother left for work and placed her daughters in charge of her infant son. Almost as soon as she departed, the two girls began to argue over who got to rock their baby brother’s cradle. Suddenly, in the midst of their bickering, a door that led in from the balcony opened up and a sinister-looking man stepped inside. Years later, the two girls would say that the man "looked just like the picture you see of the devil."
They simply stared at him as he stumbled across the room and out into the hallway. There was a wooden banister that surrounded the staircase leading down to their sister’s apartment and their mother had placed several handmade quilts along the railing. The strange man proceeded to throw the quilts onto the floor, and then he picked them back up again and arranged them differently on the rail. After a moment, he turned and started walking toward the two girls. Before he reached them though, he changed directions and lurched out through the door he had entered through.
The girls didn’t waste any time and immediately began screaming, bringing their sister upstairs. They explained to her what had happened and pointed out the door the devil man had disappeared through. She walked over but found it locked. Refusing to believe the story, she spanked her sisters, a punishment that was repeated by their mother when she returned from work and heard the odd tale.
In spite of this, the girls maintained that the story was true. Years after the event, when others had encountered their own specters in the Old Rebel House, the doubters were forced to grudgingly admit that there may have been more to the story than they first imagined!
~Another of the legendary haunted spots is a place called Burton Cave. It is said that on a day back in the 1880's, a group of picnickers spotted a strange and mysterious figure near the mouth of the cave. This person was wearing a long robe with it's hands hidden within the folds and a hood over it s head. The figure vanished but the picnickers moved deeper into the cavern and discovered a woman in a white dress lying prone on a makeshift altar, ritual candles lying all around her.
The party ran for their wagons and returned to the cave in the company of several deputies. When they arrived and went back into the cave, the woman, and the mysterious figure, had vanished... No evidence of the strange encounter was ever found.
~Quincy University is also believed to be haunted. Solano Hall on campus, which now holds the school of music, was erected on the site of St. Aloyisius Orphanage, which burned down many years ago. According to the legend, several children were killed in the tragedy. The orphanage was rebuilt and the new building was used to house orphans who survived the fire until it closed down.
Quincy University, then known as Quincy College, used the building as a dormitory for football players and then it was turned into the current music building, Solano Hall, named for St. Francis of Solanus, who was a musician. In the years following the fatal fire, strange occurrences have taken place in the building and are believed to be connected to the ghosts of the children killed here years ago. The apparition of a child has been reported in the hallways, running feet are heard in the corridors and screams have been reported by those passing by outside of the building. Others report hearing the sounds of children laughing and playing in the darkened corridors, even though no living children are present.
Across campus is MacHugh Theater, which is located in Francis Hall. This area was once used as a gymnasium but was converted into a theater, a television station and then back to a theater in the 1980's. A theater professor named Hugh "Fitz" Fitzgerald worked to get the theater restarted again, but passed away in 1998. According to campus lore, his spirit now resides in the theater. Students and staff members who are in the building late at night have often reported spotting his presence in the light booth, where he also appears on occasion to watch the performances.
***A Strange Light in Willer Hall, Quincy University***
Quincy, Illinois, August 1996 - May 1997, email@example.com
If you believe the stories, almost every college is haunted -- usually by a student who killed themselves or was hacked to death by an axe wielding murderer. Obviously such stories are meant to scare underclassmen and are pure BS -- such a story has circulated about Padua Hall (the freshman boy's dorm).
There were was actual occurrences in Willer Hall (a coed dorm, mostly for juniors and seniors). There were incidents on several floors. The building has been there only since the 1970s and I have never heard any story about anyone dying in that dormitory.
At first, things felt strange -- at times I didn't feel comfortable in the room, and sometimes felt as if I were being watched. This often happened around 5:00-6:00 PM. Just a feeling like I was being stared at. Several months later, when I talked to my roommate, she said she had had the same feelings, but she was a skeptic and thought she was being silly.
On four occasions (when I was alone) I saw a large pane of light seemingly hanging in the middle of the room. It was blue-white, very big (maybe 5 feet in length). It would appear for possibly 10-20 seconds and just vanish, not fade away. It was always around 5-6 PM. At first I thought it was an outside light. First, the dorm room faced the college grounds, and not the street nor the parking lot. Second, the blinds were fully closed. The light never moved along the walls or reflected on anything else -- it just hung in the middle of the room. No ghostly noise, no phantom figures, just this bizarre light. Sometimes weeks or a month would go by and everything was normal. Then for a day or two I would get 'weird' feelings of being watched and seeing this light. I was never terrified, just perplexed.
My boyfriend also had this same experience when I was in the bathroom once (he was alone in the room) and he immediately told me about it. It was at this point I asked my roommate if she had ever seen anything strange in the room -- she admitted she had seen a similar light but had thought it was her imagination or an outside light source.
My roommate and I talked to other people on our floor and on several other floors -- several others also had strange experiences. A girl on our floor said she woke up to see a light in her room that disappeared. She thought she was dreaming.
Our Resident Assistant said the previous year she had lived on the first floor suite with several other girls (the floors were divided into four suites). They had been sitting in their living room watching TV when the partial figure of a man walked through the door and went into the hallway into one of the girl's rooms. They all looked at each other in shock, one of them finally said, "Did anyone else see that?"
Another girl on a different floor said books had been stacked in her room on several occasions, even when she knew she had scattered them on the desk and no one had been in the room prior to her return. She also felt "watched" at times.
I never did find out who or what was causing some of the bizarre goings on in Willer, and I have no idea if anyone currently living there has experienced the same things. Obviously there is no way to prove my story or anyone else's, I was bothered that other people saw the same light I did. I was always curious if there had ever been any prior buildings where the dormitory currently stood. It was just very strange.
Paranormal Society of Quincy http://www.thelivingroomquincyil.org/gallery/haunted-illinois.php
***Weird Cities Near Quincy***
The Village of Sleepy Hollow
Normal, Home Of Emily Graves
Plainville, The Plainest City In America!
This is the best site for basic info about Quincy.
Population in July 2005: 39,841 (-1.3% change)
Males: 18,932 (46.9%), Females: 21,434 (53.1%
Median resident age: 38.4 years
Median household income: $30,956 (year 2000)
Median house value: $70,600 (year 2000)
Races in Quincy:
White Non-Hispanic (92.5%)
Two or more races (1.2%)
American Indian (0.5%)
For population 25 years and over in Quincy
High school or higher: 82.7%
Bachelor's degree or higher: 19.3%
Graduate or professional degree: 6.8%
Mean travel time to work: 13.5 minutes
Never married: 24.0%
Now married: 53.1%
1.0% Foreign born
***Other sites about Quincy***
http://www.quincygems.com/ 2005 CICL Champions
Well, that's pretty much it. Quincy is really an amazing place if you know where to look. Here's a panoramic view from the bluffs near my house.
p.s. All pics in this post are really from Quincy, in case you're wondering.