I have long wanted to see the “Old Slave House” for myself since first reading about it in Michael Kleen’s book “Haunting Illinois.” I knew even when that book came out in 2011 that the site was strictly off limits, currently owned by the state of Illinois. Attempting to do things ‘by the book’ I contacted the state. Saying that since it’s such a new addition to the DNR, I should contact the site directly, I was then given a phone number that did not connect to anything.
Do I think I was being thrown off my goal intentionally? No. Unfortunately, I think I got a feel for how much of a priority this location is to the state, which is to say, not much of one. Despite being on the National Registry of Historic Places, this is likely an endangered location with little chance of the house ever being re-opened to the public. Part of this is due to its seclusion. Since the nearest ‘large’ town, Harrisburg, only boasts a population of 8,800, the likelihood of the location generating revenue as a museum is unlikely. However, with the location infamous for its dark history (being associated with slavery and the horrendous “reverse underground railroad”) and with paranormal activity reported here for over 160 years, there is another option. I think the building would have paranormal shows and ghost hunting teams lining up to rent the location nightly.
To hear more about the history and hauntings at Crenshaw House, watch the video above.