Old-Ghosts-Tour in Alton
Old-Ghosts-Tour in Alton Offers Tales of Ghostly Haunting By Diane Toroian
COPIED FROM: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ARCHIVES Originally published on Thursday, October 29, 1992.
Ken Linkeman expects strange looks when he tells people his house is haunted.
''It's the sort of thing that you can't believe unless it happens to you,'' Linkeman said. ''But that doesn't mean it's not true.''
After taking a tour of haunted locations in Alton, Linkeman and his wife, Sharon Linkeman, began to believe they had company.
Marlene Lewis, who organized the tour, says many people who signed up for the trip shared their own ghost stories.
''A lot of people told me that they have had experiences themselves,'' Lewis said. ''By going on the tour, I think they want some sort of confirmation that these things happen.''
Lewis said she learned about the locations by sifting through the files of the Alton Historical Society, looking at old stories in the local newspaper and interviewing people at ramdom.
''I'd go to parties and casually bring up the subject of ghosts and haunted houses,'' Lewis said. ''I was amazed at how many people had stories.''
Psychic Antoinette and her daughter Alixandria, however, aren't so surprised. They think that ghosts often will reside in a home before passing on to the spirit world.
Lewis said not everyone on the tours was ready to accept that explanation. Many came just to have a good scare and to hear spooky ghost stories.
''The first tour was really into it. They felt goose bumps and everything,'' Lewis said. ''But the next night, everybody just wanted to have fun. Either way, it's been very entertaining.''
Antoinette, who is guiding the tour, explains to the group the psychic history of a house. Lewis asked Antoinette and Alixandria to investigate the locations, but did not disclose the information she had already gathered. Antoinette and Alixandria came back and reported psychic impressions that
often closely coincided with the house's history.
When picking the final locations for the tour, Lewis considered many things: If the house were large enough for the group to enter, how the owners felt about openly claiming their house was haunted and whether the location possessed a ''positive or negative presence.''
''If you get someone who is fearful, that fear will create a problem,'' Alixandria said. ''Negative energy, like fear, draws other negatives to it. Someone might experience nausea, headaches or nightmares.''
People on the tour will visit just one mildly negative spirit, Antoinette said.
''I'm going to teach them how to draw God's protective light around them then nothing can hurt you.''
Antoinette and Alixandria reckon that, given the time of year, the group might encounter some unexpected spirits. Alixandria contends that although spirits might always be present, people only seem to see them during Halloween.
Haunted History Tours are sold out for this week, but Lewis says more dates are being scheduled for November. The tour includes dinner at Benjamin's at Godfrey Mansion. The tour cost $35. For more information call (618) 446-8693.
Diane Toroian is a free-lance writer.
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