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   Home      Investigations 2015      Opera House/Toy Store
 Opera House and Toy Shop
Rossville, Illinois
 
 
     One thing that we really like to do is be a part of a joint investigation with other teams that we respect. And such it was this night. We were invited to join Riverbend Paranormal for an investigation of the Rossville Opera House. Even though the temperatures were reaching 100 degrees, we looked forward to the chance to do this historic location. 
 
     The Opera House was built by the Masons in 1904. They took the 3rd floor as their lodge, while the opera house was located on the 1st floor. At its construction, the building was top of the line and very beautiful. Some of the ornate trim and ceilings are still intact. The Opera House operated until 1929.
 
     In 1931, the building was purchased, and the owner extended the balcony to the back of the building, making a 2nd floor. That same year, a Ford dealership moved into the building, pouring concrete over the wooden floor so cars could be brought inside. This existed until 1998, when the floor collapsed into the basement. At that time, the owners filled in the hole with gravel. Makes you wonder what might be buried down there, doesn't it!
 
     The Mason Lodge continued in this location until 1947, when they moved to another location. Many businesses over the years have resided in the building including a metal fabricating business; chickens being raised on the 2nd floor; and an auction house. Most interesting is the history of a bootlegging operation involving Al Capone. The 3rd floor has remained relatively unchanged, having been used for storage over the years. You can still see the Tyler's window, which was the entrance into the lodge. There is also a hole where blindfolded men with tied hands were lowered as part of a initiation ritual.
 
     Over the years, we have heard of this building, and were looking forward to this investigation. David, who had investigated the building in early 2010 as a part of Indiana Ghost Trackers, purchased the building in late 2010. David greeted us, gave us a history of the building, including the history, hotspots and some of his past evidence.  
    
      Next door to the Opera House is Eric's Retro Toy Store, that used to house The Order of The Knights of Pythias. Seems odd they were next door to the Masons. Eric was kind enough to open his door and let us investigate his building as well. He reported seeing a woman and small boy while he was working. The toy store housed a car dealership around the same time as the old opera house and stories of the bootlegging linked the buildings together.
 
     By the end of our evening everyone on the team had some personal experiences.  Audible voices, being touched, footsteps, the sound of dragging furniture, and shadows moving throughout the entire building. In the toy store, we had 2 objects thrown at us, maybe to get our attention while we were there, along with hearing footsteps. Was the boy playing tricks on us? Ken thought so..      
 
     We would like to say thank you to David and Eric for letting us enjoy the special places that they own. It was awesome to meet and work with Ken, Shannon, and Ashley, and we so want to thank Riverbend Paranormal for the invite. This was a great time and hope to go back in the fall!
 
 
 
The elevator to the break room.
 
David giving us an introduction to the building.
Front entrance to the Masonic Lodge.
 
Back of the Knights Lodge, in the toy store.
 
Creepy baby, in child's casket.
 
Teri made a new friend! No, he can't come with you.
 
The Opera House.
 
The toy store.
Ashley, Ken, and Shannon investigate.
 
 
Having fun at 2AM!
The Tyler's window to the Masonic Lodge.
 
Entrance where they held the private rituals of induction into order.
Ken (standing), Ashley, Shannon, and David.
 
Old ceiling still in place.
 
Opera House
 
EVPs:
 
 
 
Spirit Box:
 
 
Toy Store
 
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Spirit Box:
 
 
 
The following clips are from Ken Rahmoeller, who was a part of the investigation.
These clips are used with his permission, and we thank him.
 
Spirit Box:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
EVP:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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