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HAUNTED DECATUR

THE HARROLD HOUSE

 

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The Harrold House as it appears today (left)
(right) It is near this window, in the master bedroom of the house, where the ghost
first appeared and continues to appear today.

When Amy and Tim Patrick moved into their house in the 700 block of West Wood Street a few years ago, they knew they had a ghost..... or actually, three of them. Shortly after moving in, Amy started to get strange feelings and sensations as if someone was watching her. She didn't know at the time, but she was not the first occupant of the house who felt as if the place might be haunted. The previous owners had also been aware of the ghosts but it would not be until Amy would research the history of the house before the reason for the haunting would become apparent.
But strange impressions were not all that began to happen.... Amy would encounter the first of the ghosts in the back parlor of the house. He was the ghost of a small boy who would appear in the parlor, run across the room and giggle. He was seen on many occasions and once, he appeared on the couch, where he then vanished.

The second ghost was not seen by Amy, but by her father, an ardent skeptic. He claims to have seen the female spirit standing on the front porch of the house many times.

The other ghost is perhaps what has attracted the other spirits to the house and is, I believe, the spirit responsible for the majority of the activity here. The ghost has been described as a middle-aged man who normally appears in the master bedroom of the house. He stands silently, watching the living occupants of the house with eyes that seem to be totally aware of the surroundings. These are not the eyes of a psychic imprint, but a conscious spirit who is haunting the house with a purpose.... and one that will perhaps never rest.

The ghost began appearing on a regular basis and Amy decided to look into the history of the house and see if she could find a reason why he might be haunting the place.  She discovered that the most notorious owner of the house had been a man named Frank Harrold, who had been involved in a Decatur scandal more than 70 years before.
When she saw a photograph of this man, she realized that he was the ghost who was haunting the house!


Harrold had been the head cashier at a bank in Decatur in 1925, when over $200,000 turned up missing. Harrold vanished the next day and was found dead at his farm in nearby Clinton, Illinois. The death was ruled a suicide despite the fact that detectives on the scene noted many discrepancies with the autopsy and the crime scene. Many, including Amy Patrick, believe that he may have been murdered.

The Harrold House is on West Wood Street in Decatur, Illinois. It is a private residence.

Copyright 2000 by Troy Taylor, All Rights Reserved

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