A spectral education: Students tour alleged haunted house following local author talk

Students from the Hamburg High School Library Club enter the Allen House in Monticello, where local author Mark Spencer lives. Spencer has based several books with supernatural elements on the house’s supposed haunting.

Some Hamburg High School students recently had the opportunity to put the “Boo!” in “books.”

Beverly Flemister, the HHS Librarian, took the Library Club to Monticello Oct. 24 and 25 to visit the Allen House, a local landmark known for being haunted.

Before the field trip to the Allen House, the homeowner, Mark Spencer — who moved there in 2007 — visited HHS to speak about the historical background of the house. Spencer, who is a published author, has written several books based on the history of the house and of the house’s haunting.

The Allen House in Monticello was built in 1906, and is widely known as an example of the Queen Anne Victorian style of architecture. Local businessman Joe Lee Allen had originally planned for his beautiful house to be Monticello’s showpiece along North Main Street.

The home itself, however, has a terrifying history.

When Spencer and his family moved into the Allen House in Monticello, they were aware of its notorious reputation for being haunted.

According to local lore, the troubled spirit of society belle Ladell Allen, who had mysteriously committed suicide in the master bedroom in 1948, still roamed the grand historic mansion.

Spencer said remained skeptical — that is, until he and his family began encountering faceless phantoms, a doppelganger spirit and other paranormal phenomena.

Spencer and his family continued their interest in the house’s spirits while, he said, “ghost investigations offered convincing evidence that six spirits, including Ladell, inhabited their home. But the most shocking event occurred the day Mark followed a strange urge to explore the attic and found, crammed under a floorboard, secret love letters that depicted Ladell Allen’s forbidden, heart-searing romance—and shed light on her tragic end.”

Spencer’s wife, Rebecca, actually saw one of the many ghosts before they moved in.

“Before we even moved in I saw a woman sitting in the master bedroom in the very first window,” Mrs. Spencer said. “Once we were inside I realized it wasn’t the owner because the owner wasn’t even there.”

While HHS Library Club members toured the master suite, they learned the room had been locked until 1889. The master suite was where Ladell tried to commit suicide and since then previous owners believed that keeping the doors locked would preserve her spirit.

Senior Nick Bridges said he felt that the trip was fun and educational.

“I believe the house is haunted,” he said. “Just because I haven’t seen the ghost doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. I would consider going again to learn more stuff about the house.”

Maria Aguilar, another senior, also said believes the house is haunted and she enjoyed visiting the house.

“I felt something in the attic; I could just feel it and I knew something was there,” she said. “I also loved visiting the house but I expected more. I most definitely would go again though. It’s a beautiful house. Everything was so nice.”

Not everyone was convinced, however.

Unlike Aguilar and Bridges, senior Carolann Williams was more of a skeptic.

“I don’t believe the house is actually haunted,” Williams said. “I enjoyed the tour through the Allen house. It was nice, short, and to the point. I would contemplate going again to talk to the owner and explore the house.”

Flemister said she enjoyed the club;s trip.

“I would absolutely take the students there again,” she said. “I love anything to do with history. I do not believe there are any spirits there but I loved the architecture and the history of the home.

“Mark wrote a new book, ‘Untimely Frost’, and it was due to be released around this time. I wanted to take the students to his home, but I also wanted them to be exposed to his novels before we visited the house many of his books are based upon.”

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