Manteno State Mental Hospital

Date: January 12, 2002
Location: Manteno, IL
Investigators: Jennifer Lauer, Laurie Ginter, Donna Garcia
Equipment Used: 3-35mm Cameras, Gauss Meter, Non-Contact Thermal Scanner, Digital Voice recorder, Camcorder with Night Shot, Humidity gauge, Tri-Field Natural EMF Meter
Film Speed: 800 ASA
# Rolls Taken: 3 Rolls of 24 Exposure
Moon Phase: quarter/ Waning
Start Time: 12:00 p.m. (Noon)
End Time:  9:30 p.m.
Temperature: 33 deg. F
Humidity:  43 %
Solar X-ray phase: Unknown
Geometric Field phase: Unknown

Manteno State Mental Hospital is located just outside of Manteno, Illinois, south of Chicago.  The grounds of the hospital is one square mile in area and the oldest buildings date back to the 1890's.  The hospital was closed down due to improper practices in the 1970's.  There are some buildings still in use today, which have been renovated in order to bring them up to code.  These are being used for such things as businesses including Diversatech; a bank which is in a very large building with a cross on the roof, so the assumption is that it used to be a house of worship; a juvenile home; and a Veteran's Hospital. When the mental hospital was in operation, there were many patient ward buildings as well as a building where the criminally insane were housed and occasionally executed, and a morgue.

  There are many reasons for the souls who once walked these halls to haunt them.  At Manteno State Mental Hospital, shock therapy was used; first chemically, then electrically.  Patients were sooner executed than treated due to over-crowding.  There are abundant reports of abuse and mistreatment of patients.  The condition of many of the still-standing buildings is terrible, so they are being demolished, while some others are being remodeled and brought up to state and city standards.  One curious change to the area is that where some of the more notorious buildings have been torn down, some very nice homes have been erected on that very ground.


The first building we went into, we had to enter through a basement door which, although cluttered with debris and broken woodwork, was left open just a little.  We entered to find a room with two smaller rooms branching off from it, and all were very much littered with leaves as well as garbage left behind by previous visitors.  Every room we entered in each building was littered in the same way, as well as having almost every window broken out.

  In each building, remnants of the past hospital such as chairs, bed rails, x-ray equipment, toilets, tables, and miscellaneous accoutrements were strewn around the rooms.
  After taking a look around the basement of the first building, we ventured into the underground tunnels that connect the buildings and through which patients were once transported.  One tunnel is even said to reach as far as the downtown area of Manteno.  We walked a tunnel to the next building, which brought us into a room much like the first room we entered in the other building.

  While exploring this and subsequent buildings, we used the Tri-field meter as well as the Gauss meter.  Little, if anything, registered during the daylight hours.  Temperatures in the rooms remained a steady 29-33 degrees F, taking into consideration the wind entering through the broken windows.
  One peculiar thing our team took note of in quite a few places was the placement of new electrical plates and switches- in buildings with no power and which will ultimately be destroyed.  In the basement of one building, a new circuit breaker box had been installed where the old fuse box had once been- with no wires going in or out of it.

  In this same building, we took advantage of some very quiet time and asked some questions while recording with our digital audio recorder to try to record an EVP.  This did not take long.  After asking a few standard questions, such as their name and when did they come to this place, the question, "Did anyone ever try to help you when you lived here?" was asked.  There was an indistinguishable, yet audible whisper-like sound.

  This was the only phenomena experienced until much later, into the evening, in the second floor of the building we had gone into first that day.  Almost immediately after taking the Tri-field meter into a large room at the end of the hallway, it began to give indications of paranormal activity.  The Tri-field meter was set on a table in front of the video camera.  Photos from this area show apparent ectoplasm.  One other photo shows an orb.  There was much dust in all the buildings, so many photos contain items that appear to be orbs, but they must be discounted, due to the amount of dust in the air.

  Upon viewing the videotape, there were a few things that we found curious, if nothing else.  The most astonishing is the very audible page over a non-existent PA system.  It is of a female voice paging a Doctor Martin- although we are not one hundred percent positive on the last name. The sound was as if it was in the same room we were in.  Two members of our group remember hearing this at the time it occurred.

  There are two other audible anomalies on the tape.  They both sound alike in tone and texture.  One sounds like it is saying, "Extra cold," while the other sounds like it is saying, "Extra damn cold," or something very similar.  There are two reasons we do not believe these voices to be of human origin, the first being the fact that we were all speaking to each other at the time both of these occurred.  The other reason is that the tone lacked substance- there simply was no echo to the voice.  When we spoke there was a definate echo because of the large, empty room we were in, yet with these there was none.

  The other anomalies are visual, one being a possible traveling orb, and another is a flash of light with what looks like to be a face close-up.  We are going to have all of these things broken down to analyze them further.  If there is additional information, we will post an update.

- Investigation report written by Donna Garcia