Mysterious America


Join me as I explore the unusual, mysterious, and often tragic places and events that make America unique

Abandoned America: Prisons and Asylums

Visiting a former prison or asylum is an eerie experience, knowing you are free to explore where hundreds were once trapped. Has so much suffering and loneliness left something intangible behind? Most people avoid ending up in a prison or asylum, opting instead to experience it vicariously through television, movies, or books. When these institutions […]

Who Murdered John Mason?

The following is an excerpt from my book Tales of Coles County, a collection of history, folklore, and true crime from one of the most interesting counties in Illinois. Order it in paperback or Kindle today. In 1880, the cold-blooded murder of an elderly German-American farmer and shopkeeper named John Mason shocked Coles County residents. […]

Culver House, 412 W. Prairie Avenue in Decatur, Illinois.

Culver House

Culver House, 412 W. Prairie Avenue in Decatur, Illinois, a beautiful redbrick Queen Ann style home, took 20 years to be built. John and Florence Culver began construction in 1881 and it wasn’t finished until 1901. John H. Culver was a prominent local businessman who owned an electric and telephone company. Shortly after his family […]

Williams Hall at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

Illinois State University and the Enduring Legacy of Ange Milner

Founded in 1857, Illinois State University is said to be haunted by the ghost of Angeline V. Milner, or Ange for short, a beloved librarian who remained with her books long after she passed from this world. Does she still haunt the university archives? Jesse W. Fell, a Bloomington newspaper publisher, founded Illinois State Normal […]

Haunted Mansions of Dixie

A decaying manor frozen in time, the trappings of opulence stubbornly refusing to fade. It’s the stuff made for Southern Gothic. The American South has a long and tragic history, where wealth was obtained on the backs of slaves and the scars of war lasted for generations. Relics of the antebellum South are natural incubators […]

The Strange Death of Cora Stallman

The following is an excerpt from my book Tales of Coles County, a collection of history, folklore, and true crime from one of the most interesting counties in Illinois. Order it in paperback or Kindle today. Cora Stallman stood out. She was approximately six feet tall and 175 pounds, physically larger than average. She was […]

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