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The Phantom Spectre Hunter

History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern IllinoisFrom History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern Illinois by Bruce Cline.

In the mid-1700s, a mysterious entity was often seen on dark and stormy nights near the Cahokia Indian Mounds. When lightning flashed, frightened travelers would see a tall man dressed in sackcloth carrying a powder horn on his wildcat skin belt. They called it the “Spectre Hunter.”

Some people believed what they saw was a man wandering in the woods. Others thought that it was a demon. In 1774, the true identity of the phantom was revealed. The Spectre Hunter phantom was a rich and powerful Spanish grandee by the name of Don Manuel.

Many years previously, Don Manuel returned unexpectedly from a long journey and discovered his beautiful wife being ravished by a fancy-dressed cavalier. In a fury, Don Manuel drew his dagger and stabbed the rascal in the heart. To his horror, Don Manuel soon realized that he had killed his sister who what been dressed in the costume as a joke.

Don Manuel could not live with himself having the knowledge that he had killed his sister. He was arrested, tried and sent to prison for his crime. After losing his freedom and vast estate, Don Manuel went insane. After being released from prison, he ran off and hid in the wild country near the Indian mounds, living as a hunter.

Death finally freed Don Manuel from the torment that plagued him since the death of his sister. A Catholic priest conducted a funeral mass for Don Manuel, but he still could not find peace and his tormented phantom spirit is still said to appear on dark and stormy nights to frighten unwary travelers.

Copyright Bruce L. Cline, 2014. You do not have permission to copy this post.

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