The Grams family bought the farm in the 60’s and turned it into the worldwide attraction it is today. But throughout this time there were the continual sightings around the mall barns of a Civil War solder. A Mysterious Illinois article by Brian Grams tells how his father, while looking for the source of some smoke, tore up floor boards in the property’s farm house. Under the floor boards he found smoldering wires but also an old backpack that contained items that would have been used by a Civil War soldier. A marker in the Volo Cemetery states that H.W. Gale was a casualty of the Civil War at the young age of 21. The Gale family homesteaded the farm in 1841.
Lisa Santiago, manager, recalled the story of a trucker who while doing a late night car drop saw a man in a long, Civil War era trench coat walking from the barn to the loading dock. The driver called out to the man asking if he needed help. The man did not turn or reply but continued on and walked right through the loading dock wall.
While the soldier apparition may be connected to the original farm’s family other phenomena might be attached to objects that come in and out of the Antique Malls every day.
Cashiers have heard the sounds of boot steps and children running when the Antique Mall was empty. Vendors have commented on the elusive smell of cherry tobacco smoke in Mall 1. Patrons have seen items fly through the air and then gently land. Others have sighted the mall’s phantom dog and ghostly faces have been repeatedly seen in photographs.
Lisa once found books that had been on a high shelf neatly placed in a row on the floor. And review of the security video has shown curious phenomena like a painting violently flying off a table, the glass of a cabinet shattering outward, and boxes, candle sticks and other objects falling to the ground with obvious force.
The Ghost Lab team from Discovery Channel considered this attachment theory during their 2009 investigation. They captured a shadow passing a wheel chair just before a door alarm went off. The team could not debunk the shadow or find a rational reason for the alarm going off.
On weekends until October 27th Volo Auto Museum’s Haunted Trolley Tours will give attendees the opportunity to visit the areas of these ghostly occurrences and maybe have their own sightings.