Ashmore Estates, a former almshouse and hospital for the developmentally disabled, was sold at auction over the weekend. Since 2006, the building has been operated by Scott Kelley as a haunted attraction and has been featured in national television shows and documentaries. On Friday, April 26, it sold to a four member partnership for $12,700.
Since its closure in 1987, Ashmore Estates has captured local and regional attention for its variety of legends and ghostly tales. In the past few years, it has risen to national prominence as its owners opened its doors to the public for tours, paranormal investigations, and as a full-fledged haunted attraction. Its new owners intend to keep its spirit alive and continue to offer paranormal-themed tours and events.
The purchasing partnership consists of four individuals from central Illinois, including painter, pigeon racer, and musician Robert Burton, band manager and song writer Ella Richards, electrician and entrepreneur Jerry Fegget, and registered nurse and mother Nancy Meier. The was a small crowd at the auction, but in the end, it came down to just a handful of bidders. The auction was conducted by Bauer Auction Service from Windsor, Illinois.
“We have met so many wonderful people,” Robert told us. “There is a magnificent support group behind Ashmore Estates. The previous owners have done a wonderful job.” The new owners plan to add events and programs including a graveyard scene to the front yard, more tours, and a monthly haunted attraction every full moon.
In January of this year, Ashmore Estates was damaged by a tornado that destroyed its roof. Funds raised to repair the roof were given to the new owners, so that they could choose a suitable replacement. There will be more fundraising events in the near future to cover the full cost of the new roof.
The new owners are hosting a potluck informational/organizational meeting for all past present and future individuals who are interested in the restoration development and continuation of Ashmore Estates on Saturday, May 11th at 1pm at Ashmore Estates (22645 E CR 1050N Ashmore, IL 61912).
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