Categories
Appearances

“Heartland is Haunted” in Champaign-Urbana, Turns into Final Lap

It was a packed day yesterday with two back-to-back appearances in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, one at the Beads N Botanicals on Broadway in Urbana and the other at the Barnes and Noble at the Marketview Shopping Center in Champaign. There were a lot of new faces at both these events, but some familiar ones as well. I spoke about some local legends at both of these appearances, and even shared a story from pioneer Illinois at Beads N Botanicals when one lady asked me to retell a story I had related on WILL Public Radio the previous day. After the events, some friends and I went to Old Chicago and enjoyed some calzones while talking about how well the book tour was going so far, as well as catching up, of course. If you wanted to attend but missed both book signings, you can pick up a signed copy of my book at both Barnes and Noble and Beads N Botanicals, but hurry because they are selling out fast!

Today I will be at the Book Warehouse at the Tanger outlet mall in Tuscola from 1 to 3, and then at my final event of the tour – “Legends and Lore of Central Illinois” at the notoriously haunted Peck Cemetery outside of Oakley (near Decatur) from 5 to 8pm. Money from the event will go to help restore the cemetery and preserve its history. I hope I see you there!

Categories
Appearances

“Heartland is Haunted” Reaches Villa Grove, Moves Toward Champaign-Urbana

I didn’t know what to expect last night when I pulled up to the small Camargo Township Library in Villa Grove, but I was pleasantly surprised. My audience was primarily students from the local high school and many of them, I learned, were from the football team, the Blue Devils, which were 2008 Little Okaw Valley Conference Champions. They had all heard of Ashmore Estates, and many of them had seen the season premier of Ghost Adventures, so they were all eager to hear what it was like to be on the show. I shared a lot of local ghost stories with them and I was interested to know if there were any from Villa Grove. I saw an abandoned railroad depot on my way into town and I was sure there would be some story about the place. To my surprise, there wasn’t! Never the less, the kids asked a lot of questions and bought up Haunting Illinois in droves. I’m afraid I might not have any left after I go to Champaign and Urbana tonight!

This evening I will be at Beads N Botanicals in Urbana from 4:30 to 6:30 and then directly afterwards I am heading over to the Barnes and Noble in Champaign and will be there from 7 to 9pm. Please join me there and make sure to mention that you heard about the event on my website!

Categories
Appearances

“Heartland is Haunted” Rolls into Springfield and Villa Grove

Last night I shared folklore and ghost stories from all over Illinois, as well as my experience being interviewed for the season premier of Ghost Adventures and WGN News, at Carl Jones’ class at Lincolnland College in Springfield. The talk was well received, and the “Heartland is Haunted” t-shirts were a big hit too! Afterwards, Carl and a friend met me at Mowie’s Cue for a round of beers and some fried mushrooms and mini tacos. All in all, it was a very fun evening and left me excited about the second leg of my book tour!

This afternoon I spoke briefly on WILL 580-AM out of Urbana before hitting the road for my next destination. Tonight I will be speaking at the Camargo Township Library in Villa Grove, Illinois, a small town east of Tuscola, from 6 to 8pm. As for right now, however, I am enjoying some ice cream at Flesor’s Candy Kitchen in Tuscola and preparing for my presentation!

Categories
Appearances

Heartland is Haunted Book Tour Kicks Off

Saturday, October 15th – My appearance at the paranormal meet & greet in Charleston, Illinois kicked off the first event in a book tour I am dubbing the “Heartland is Haunted” tour. The event in Charleston was organized by Becky Guymon of the Illinois Metaphysical & Paranormal Society and featured groups from east-central Illinois. After the meet and greet, I conducted a tour of haunted places around Coles County. The event was an overwhelming success, and I’m very excited about my appearances all next week in the second leg of the book tour. “Heartland is Haunted” t-shirts are available for $14. Check out what Angela Howser of the Disclosure had to say about the event:

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 [Macon] 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.

Check out the entire article here..

Upcoming tour dates, times, & locations:

Camargo Township Library in Villa Grove, IL
October 20, 2011 – 6:00pm – 8:00pm
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Beads N Botanicals in Urbana, IL
October 21, 2011 – 4:30pm – 6:30pm
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Barnes & Noble in Champaign, IL
October 21, 2011 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm
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Book Warehouse in Tuscola, IL
October 22, 2011 – 1 to 3pm
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Legends and Lore at Peck Cemetery
October 22, 2011 – 5:00pm – 8:00pm

Categories
Press

New Radio Appearances

I’ve added a couple of radio spots to my appearances this month, so make sure to tune in!

The Michael Koolidge Show
WROK 1440 AM, WLBK 1360 AM, WRHL 1060 AM
October 19, 2011 – (Times may vary)

WILL Radio Urbana
October 20, 2011 – 12:40pm

WIKK 103.5 Newton
October 27, 2011 – 10:10am

Categories
Appearances

October Events, Book Signings, and Appearances

If you can, I would like to invite you to join me at any of the following events throughout October. I’ll be appearing all over Illinois this year, including central Illinois for what I’m calling the “Heartland is Haunted” tour. I’ll also be giving away free Black Oak Media bags filled with goodies at these events. Feel free to invite your friends and family, we’ll have a great time! I hope you can make it.

Darkness Radio 102.5 FM/1130 AM
October 5, 2011 – 11pm to 12am
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Rockford ParaCon 2011 at Rockford College
October 8, 2011 – 1:00pm – 5:00pm
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Prairie Trails Library in Burbank, IL
October 13, 2011 – 7:00pm
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Meet & Greet and Haunted Coles County Tour
@ Charleston Moose Lodge
October 15, 2011 – 10:00am – 2:00pm
Tour is 2:00pm – 4pm
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Camargo Township Library in Villa Grove, IL
October 20, 2011 – 6:00pm – 8:00pm
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Beads N Botanicals in Urbana, IL
October 21, 2011 – 4:30pm – 6:30pm
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Barnes & Noble in Champaign, IL
October 21, 2011 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm
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Book Warehouse in Tuscola, IL
October 22, 2011 – 1 to 3pm
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Legends and Lore at Peck Cemetery
October 22, 2011 – 5:00pm – 8:00pm
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The Brick Cafe & Art Gallery in Belvidere, IL
October 29, 2011 – 11:00am to 2:00pm

Categories
Announcements

“From Poor House to Haunted House” in Historic Illinois

My article, “From Poor House to Haunted House: The Coles County Poor Farm,” was recently featured in the August 2011 issue of Historic Illinois, a publication of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. It is a shortened version of a paper I read at the 2010 Conference on Illinois History in Springfield, and it chronicles the history of the poor farm from 1870 to the present day.

Although Ashmore Estates gained notoriety during the time it was a psychiatric facility and later abandoned, for most of its history it was known as the almshouse on the Coles County Poor Farm. The Coles County Poor Farm sat on the same property outside of Ashmore, Illinois for 89 years, between 1870 and 1959. The current building, as it stands today, was built in 1916.

At any given time, the building was home to between 30 and 40 “inmates,” many of whom, because of the age at which they came to the farm, died there. It is estimated that over 100 inmates died on the farm in its 89 year history. On September 23rd, Ashmore Estates will be featured on the season premier of Ghost Adventures, the Travel Channel’s top-rated program.