This former almshouse, once part of the Coles County Poor Farm, was built in 1916 and operated until 1959, when it was purchased by Ashmore Estates, Inc. for use as a private psychiatric care facility. Many of the inmates died at the farm, and the county maintained a small cemetery somewhere north of the grounds. In 1879, Joshua Ricketts, superintendent of the county farm at the time, had recorded 32 deaths out of the roughly 250 inmates who had stayed at the farm between 1870 and 1879. Another pauper cemetery, established a few years later, still exists south of Route 16 and now contains the graves of between sixty to one hundred persons.
As a summary, records demonstrate that, literally, hundreds of people have passed from this life to the next in this particular structure. From about 1916 to approximately 1956, this home played host as an “Almshouse”. This is when the greatest number of people passed away. Once this housing unit shut down, a new development occurred – it was turned into an area where those who were mentally impaired could live and attempt to recover.
Ashmore Estates closed in 1987 and stood abandoned until 2006, when it was opened as a commercial haunted house.
Throughout all of these years, many have had personal ghost accounts in the Ashmore Estates. Most of these experiences were quite frightening. Eventually, in or around the year of 1987, the government ceased all of the funding activity for the home, and shut it down to the public. Once the shut down occurred, the stories of all the paranormal experiences and even rumors of other stories started to circulate. This immediately drew the attention of the public eye – particularly paranormal experts and the curious public.
Some of the occurrences reported include lingering smells, ominous black mists and tall shadows, sounds that cannot be explained recordings on video and audio equipment and thermal images. It was reportedly haunted by many ghosts, including Elva SKinner, a woman who died in a fire in the former almshouse.
The house has been featured in several books and TV shows including Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. In 2013, the site was said to have suffered a violent windstorm and was damaged extensively, but reports are now that the home has been purchased by a new family and renovations have been undertaken.
22645 East Co Road 1050 North
Ashmore, IL 61912
A Note about Abandoned or Dis-Repaired Properties
Abandoned properties and buildings are everywhere
and they can be quite fascinating ... and as likely, dangerous.
Some of the buildings are not structurally sound or may
have inhabitants that can cause risk (rodents, animals or even
homeless persons). Never explore alone.
Always use good judgment! If the building is posted as
no trespassing you should gain permission before exploring.