Sunday, July 24, 2016

My Visit to the George Stickney House

The George Stickney House

By: Mariah Ruiz

My name is Mariah Ruiz and I'm currently a student at College of Dupage. This summer semester, I'm taking English 2 and was assigned a project to research and update a Wikipedia page of my choice.  I chose the George Stickney House. I find paranormal activity very interesting. I've done tons of research, interviews and even got to go inside.

The George Stickney House has no 90 degree angles and has over 200 spirits.  Here it is! Before conducting my own research, I looked at different sites online about the house. Some of the information posted did not make sense or would contradict another pages. I decided to go to the house and get the real story.

The George Stickney House is located in the Village of Bull Valley, Illinois. Bull Valley is a little town right outside of McHenry.  The house is located on Cherry Valley Road. My iPhone GPS could not locate the house, which I thought was odd.  The Stickney House is currently the Bull Valley Police Headquarters. When I pulled up to the house it had an eerie vibe to it and gave me goosebumps. The Stickney House was built in the 1800's. The house is beautiful and has so much architecture design to it. Every brick is perfectly placed. The house is immaculate for being built in the 1800's.

When I walked into the house I was nervous. I didn't know what to expect. The rounded door creaked open when I walked in.  A man said, "Hello, how can I help you?". I replied, "This is kinda weird but I was wondering if you could tell me about this house? I'm doing a project on it."  He said, "What about the house?" I smiled and said "Can you tell me about the paranormal activity here?" He laughed and said, "Why don't you take a seat." His name is Richard Vance and he's the Village Administrator and Police Officer.  Officer Richard told me that he's been working here since 2011. When he was interviewed for the job, he was warned about the house but didn't think much of it. So far three officers have quit because of the paranormal activity. He told me that the house is no joke, it's real. 
George Stickney

Sylvia Stickney

The story on the house is that George and Sylvia Stickney had ten children, but only 3 survived to adulthood. George and Sylvia were Mediums, which means they could talk to the dead. They would hold seances to communicate to their children who passed away. They also allowed others to come into their house so that they also can talk to there loved ones. George and Sylvia wanted to build a house that would be easier to communicate with their children. The Stickney's believed that 90 degree angles were bad for spirits because the spirits would get stuck in the corner and house the evil spirits. When building their mansion, they wanted everything to be rounded so that the spirits can move freely, even the ceiling is rounded. Rumor has it that a 90 degree angle in the house is were George Stickney died. Richard confirmed that wasn't true.  The house was searched and documented and there was no 90 degree angles found at the time of George's death. He also confirmed that George's death was never documented, so no one knows how he died. 

Back Side of the house. Note: the Rounded corners

I asked Richard Vance what type of experiences he had in the house. He told me some stories about what happened to him and other officers. He said the spirits like to move things around on his desk. They have made his stapler vibrate vigorously, they stood all of his pencils on their erasers and things have flew off of shelfs. He even told me that he has seen a lot of different spirits and talked to them as well. The spirits like to move around chairs. There are specifically two chairs that are upstairs that move often. They like to move them close together or stack them on tables. Richard told me he has talked to spirits threw a voice box.  He didn't get into details with what was said but he has communicated with them. Richard described how it feels when a spirit touches you. He said, "There body feels like a spiderweb meshed into human figure, a cold, electric shock when they touch you." Richard says that the spirits touch him all the time. They touch him on his face, hands, and arms. One time he had his gun on his side and a spirit poked him underneath his gun. Throughout the interview, Richard Vance kept reminding me that the house isn't bad. The Stickney's were good people, they just wanted to talk to their dead children.
The chairs the spirits like to move around. 

Sylvia Stickney is the most active spirit in the house. Everyone that works there has seen her and say she is very beautiful. Sylvia Stickney wears a white gown and she loves children.  Richard informed me about an experience a little boy had while visiting the Stickney house. The boy was very scared to go inside because of what he had heard about it. When asked if he was still scared later on, he replied, "No, the nice women told me that I shouldn't be scared, so I'm not scared anymore!" When they asked the little boy to describe what the women looked like, he pointed to the picture of Sylvia Stickney.  

Top of the Staircase.
Richard Vance told me about the most active places and times of the house. The Stickney family is the most active spirits in the house besides the Indians. Richard believes that the Indians were on the property before the Stickney family built there home. He said that the spirits are more active from 5pm to 8pm and on the weekends. Richard said that the Stickney house still celebrates Mayday, which is the most active day out of the year. Mayday is a celebration on May 1st, which was a very big holiday in the 1800's where everyone would celebrate with dancing and singing outside. The Stickney's held tons of parties on Mayday. Whenever it rains, the house is more active as well. Richard confirmed what I read online that the second floor of the house and the staircase is the most active.
This is a picture of the staircase in the Stickney house. This is one of the most active places in the house.

Before I left, Richard Vance allowed me to go upstairs and take pictures. They do not allow people to wander upstairs. I will not lie, I was very scared. When we opened the door to the staircase I was surprised to see the swirling wall paper. Sylvia Stickney has good decorating taste. The stairs creaked every step I took. I could feel my heart racing and my head was pounding with a terrible headache.  Richard said that he always tells them how beautiful their house is, so I decided to say the same thing. "Hello, you have such a beautiful house, I'm just looking around and taking pictures." Hoping they wouldn't bother me and understand that I appreciated their home.
Top of the stairs.

The house is actually very big for being built in the 1800's.  Upstairs has two rooms, one with a bathroom, and down the hall is Sylvia's ballroom that has three more rooms connecting to it. The Police Officers use the room for storage. When standing in front of the staircase, I didn't realize there was another room behind me. Suddenly I heard whispering in my ear. I freaked out and turned white. I couldn't make out what they said but it sounded like two girls huddled over me whispering to each other. I'm pretty sure they were just wondering who I was. Obviously, I got out of there as quick as I could. I thanked them for letting me tour there beautiful home and I also thanked Richard Vance for taking time out of his day to talk to me about the house. This was an awesome experience. I feel the spirits knew I was there by giving me a headache only while I was in their house and whispering in my ear.

The Stickney House with the Historic Sign