McPike Mansion: The Most Haunted House in America?


        Just north of St. Louis, Missouri, in the historical town of Alton, sitting on the highest point of this town, stands the McPike House. Built in 1869  and once a proud addition to the small town, the McPike Mansion hasn’t been occupied since the 1950′s. Since then,  the ravages of time, weather, and vandals has taken a toll on the house. Present day owners, Sharyn and George Luedke are planning to restore the house back to it’s original glory. Oh yeah…the McPike Mansion has a history of paranormal activity and is widely beleived to be haunted. Pictures of balls of light, ghostly images that have been seen in the windows, and images in pictures that were not visible at the time the photo was taken. These events have yet to be explained by experts.

      Built by architect Lucas Pfeiffenberger, the original owner of the house was Henry Guest McPike. Along with the mansion, the McPike family owned 15 acres of land known as Mount Lookout Park. Henry McPike was devoted to politics much of his life. A staunch Federalist, McPike supported the Union throughout the American Civil War. He  traveled in high political circles, even meeting Abraham Lincoln towards the end of the war. McPike was elected and served one term as Mayor of  Alton. He was also an avid horticulturist. It was said he had an aversion to dogs and would not allow any on the property, as he was afraid they would disturb and scare away the many birds he loved having nested in the trees. McPike studied and documented the many species of birds that had made the McPike property their home. He also created and cultivated his own grape. Of course it was called the McPike Grape.

      Henry McPike died in 1910, but his family remained in the house until 1936. Over the next decade and a half, the house had several different owners. For a short time it became the Browns Business College, afterwards, Paul Laichinger bought the mansion and turned it into a boarding house. By the ’50′s however, the McPike house was comepletely vacated.

      Over time the house began to fall into disrepair and became victim to vandalism. For instance, the mansion had 11 marble fireplaces and exquisitely carved stairway banisters, which were stolen at some period during this time.

      As far as the McPike home being haunted, there are many documented accounts of psychics and mediums that have visited the property and felt the presence of what they believe to be the McPike family servants as well as the presence of Henry McPike’s wife Eleanor. Some accounts have concluded that there is also a male presence in the house, who may have been ill-tempered and abusive. Could this be Henry McPike? All agree though that the focal point is the house’s cellar. Then there’s the many pictures of mysterious white orbs, shadowy figures, and a strange mist that was caught on tape. The house has been visited by many ghost hunters, and many of them have walked away impressed, if not creeped out.

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