New Candidate Could Emerge For Rockford Mayoral Race
October 1, 2012
Rockford – There could soon be a new player in the race to become the city’s next mayor. Michael Kleen (R) picked up a petition packet from the Board of Elections today. He most recently made an unsuccessful run in the March primary for the Winnebago County Board. If Kleen declares his candidacy, he’ll go up against incumbent Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) and former city alderman, Jim Hughes (D).
Republican enters the race for Rockford mayor
October 1, 2012
ROCKFORD (WREX) – There are now three candidates in the race for Rockford mayor. Republican Michael Kleen kicked off his campaign as he picked up his petition packet. His platform is to restore public order and prosperity to Rockford. He is up against current mayor Larry Morrissey, who will run for reelection as an Independent, and Democrat Jim Hughes.
New Challenger for Mayor Morrissey
October 1, 2012
ROCKFORD (WIFR) — Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey will face at least two challengers this spring. Today, Republican Michael Kleen tells us that he’s throwing his hat into the race. “There’s going to be two main issues in this race, the economy and crime. Now, Rockford is the number one city in Illinois for violent crime per capita, and something needs to be done about that. And I don’t think the present administration is doing anything,” said Republican Mayoral Candidate Michael Kleen. Kleen is just 31 years old, slightly younger than Mayor Morrissey when he first ran for office. He owns Black Oak Media; a desktop publishing business based in the Forest City and ran for county board in the Republican primary this spring. Even though he is a political newcomer, he says he’s ready for the challenge and will make public safety will be a major part of his campaign.
Michael Kleen: Paranormal writer turned politician
February 24, 2012
Winnebago County Board candidate Michael Kleen will be interviewed on the Internet radio broadcast The Unexplained World tonight to talk about his transition from paranormal writer to politician.
The Libertarian-leaning Winnebago County Board candidate is the author of several books on the paranormal, most of which are self-published, including “Haunting Illinois: A Tourist’s Guide to the Weird and Wild Places of the Prairie State” and “Paranormal Illinois.”
Edward Shanahan, host of The Unexplained World, bills the interview as ghost chaser author turned Tea Party politician.
“I sympathize with many of the Tea Party values, but I don’t really associate myself with that formally,” Kleen said in a phone interview today.
The Legends and Lore of Peck Cemetery
South Piatt Record-Herald
November 9, 2011
On October 22, many people from around the area came to Peck Cemetery to hear historian Michael Kleen tell the tales of haunted places in central Illinois. Michael is the author of Haunting Illinois: A Tourist’s Guide to the Weird and Wild Places of the Prairie State, Tales of Coles County, and Paranormal Illinois, just to name a few. He did a four day tour in our area starting with Lincolnland College… Gary Van Winkle, Oakley Cemetery Board Member, made the event even more fun by giving hay rides back and forth to the road for visitors…
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“Folk Historian” Talks About Local Haunts
Rockford Register Star – Go Section
November 5, 2011
Halloween may be over, but local author Michael Kleen spends all year looking for haunted places. Kleen, who lives in Rockford, refers to himself as a “folk historian.” He answers questions about local haunts. …What are some of the most haunted spots in Rockford and what is the story behind these locations?
Rockford has many ghost stories. Rockford College, Twin Sister’s Woods, Tinker Swiss Cottage, the Coronado Theater, and even the Cherry Vale Mall are all alleged to be haunted. At Rockford College, many of the buildings on campus are said to be haunted. The laughter of past students has been heard in the vicinity of Adams Arch, which was constructed using a doorway from the original campus. The ghost of either a student or professor reportedly haunts a former radio station in the Burpee Building. The Clark Arts Center’s two theaters are also visited by their own phantoms, one of whom is supposed to be the ghost of the building’s architect.
Tinker Swiss Cottage has received a lot of attention lately. In recent years, several paranormal teams instigated the cottage after visitors repeatedly asked the museum curators if it was haunted. During one investigation, a woman’s voice appeared on an audio recorder saying, “I don’t like trains… trains bring death” as a train passed by on the railroad tracks outside. At other times, doors closed with no apparent explanation.
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More interesting events around the area: Cemetery walks, ghost hunts!
October 16, 2011
In keeping with the ‘spirit’ of things, we attended an event Saturday (10.15.11) in Charleston that was the kick-off of a week-long series of appearances for our columnist and friend, author/publisher Michael Kleen… he was downstate and continues to be a bit south of his stomping grounds of Rockford promoting his books of the paranormal and local history and legends.
Kleen will be giving cemetery tours and presentations as they pertains to local legends and reports of hauntings; later this week, October 22 ,he’ll be in Piatt County with our friend Angie Johnson, who is conducting a tour of a local cemetery, Peck, which she’s leading the way in restoration of. In order to fund restoration, Angie is also conducting a ghost hunt, and has raised quite a bit of money with this fun and successful venture, all for the good of the cemetery preservation. Angie is emerging as a state leader in the Association for Gravestone Studies,a fascinating venture.
Paranormal Investigators Swap Ghost Stories
Daily Eastern News
October 16, 2011
Attendees were given an inside view of the life of paranormal investigators at a meet and greet sponsored by the Illinois Metaphysical and Paranormal Society at the Charleston Moose Lodge Saturday. Michael Kleen, an Eastern alumnus who received his master’s degree in history in , discussed the legends behind several hauntings in Illinois.
Kleen said he has been interested in the paranormal his entire life, but it was not until he began attending Eastern that he discovered the rich and largely unknown history of many ghost legends around Coles County…
He was recently featured on an episode of the Travel Channel series “Ghost Adventures,” which examined ghost activity in Ashmore Estates, a former almshouse and care facility in Coles County. “What I do, though, is different from other people who call themselves paranormal investigators,” Kleen said. “I simply write about the history and the legends associated with places. My only equipment is a pen.”
Paranormal Society Invites Public to Meeting, Haunted Tour
October 6, 2011
The Illinois Metaphysical & Paranormal Society plans to hold a Central Illinois gathering followed by a Haunted Coles County tour featuring author Michael Kleen on Oct. 15. The Central Illinois Paranormal Meet and Greet is scheduled for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Charleston Moose Lodge, 615 Seventh St., with Kleen’s tour leaving from the lodge at 2 p.m.
Kleen has written “Tales of Coles County,” “Haunting Illinois: A Tourist’s Guide to the Weird and Wild Places of the Prairie State,” and other books, as well as a monthly newsletter called “Legends and Lore of Illinois.” He was interviewed for the Sept. 23 episode of the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” show about Ashmore Estates.
Ashmore Estates to be on ‘Ghost Adventures’ today
Daily Eastern News
September 23, 2011
Ashmore Estates will be featured on an episode of “Ghost Adventures” today at 8 p.m. on the Travel Channel. “Ghost Adventures” is a show where paranormal investigators Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin explore locations to search for paranormal activity.
Scott Kelley, the owner of Ashmore Estates, said the crew filmed there during the end of April 2011. Michael Kleen, an Eastern alum and folk historian, was interviewed for the episode.
Kleen said anyone looking for a comprehensive exploration of the history and folklore of Ashmore Estates will be disappointed. “Ratings are ratings, and so we’re going to get a bunch of night-vision cameras, bleeped out swearing and running around,” Kleen said.
Kelley said the crew was fairly professional and, since they are entertainment based, they exercised their “creative license.”
Coles County Poor Farm featured in ‘Historic Illinois’ magazine
September 13, 2011
SPRINGFIELD – The Coles County Poor Farm is featured in the latest issue of Historic Illinois, published by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
The cover article features the Coles County Poor Farm, in operation from 1857 to 1959. Originally established in the small town of Loxa, the structure proved inadequate for the number of residents who needed assistance and was replaced by a much larger building in 1916 that still stands.
The Poor Farm, as the name implies, was a working farm and residents raised much of their own food. The main building, or almshouse, was sold and converted into a private psychiatric hospital in 1959, but the hospital closed in 1964.
The building sat empty until it was purchased in 2006 and operated as a haunted house. The article was written by Michael Kleen, author of “Tales of Coles County, Illinois.”
Orwellian society closer than we think
March 11, 2011
Thursday, students gathered in Western Illinois University’s Morgan Hall to hear Michael Kleen’s discussion entitled, “What Is Totalitarianism?” Thoughts were challenged and several points were made to compel attendees to question the intentions of the government. The lecture suggested that while we are not a totalitarian country, we have all of the necessary components to put the ideology in place.
The purpose of the presentation was to explain the realities behind totalitarianism and look at it as a form of social control, not simply just a form of government. In addition, this presentation helped students realize that the media representation of totalitarianism doesn’t match the reality.
Paranormal Activity at Cumberland Cemetery Attracts Ghost Writer
March 5, 2011
Located several miles west of Wenona, the historic cemetery is said to be located on the first country homestead in Evans Township. It also is said to be haunted.
“The most popular legends associated with Cumberland Cemetery involves a headless woman, ghostly lights, and the specter of a little girl,” claims author Michael Kleen of Rockford who has personally researched and written on the paranormal folk stories of the obscure prairie graveyard.
Kleen, who has many of his Cumberland stories published in the digital newsletter “Legends and Lore of Illinois,” a Black Oak Media publication, said one of the prolific tales from the burial grounds started with a grisly decapitation…