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Dean's Wife Hosts Haunted House Tour

Cody Wales

Staff Writer 

Photo by Latoya Shelton

The Allen House

   The Allen House of Monticello, a historic mansion that's supposedly haunted, will be open to the public for the first time in 18 years Oct. 30-31.

   Guided tours will be given from 6-11 p.m. and advanced tickets can only be purchased at Bellelise Booksellers on West Bolling Street.

   Mark and Rebecca Spencer bought the 1906 Neo-classical Victorian mansion located on North Main Street and began renovating it in June. The Simmons, the former owners, hired security on Halloween to keep local kids from gathering at the home, daring each other to ring the door bell.

   “We were aware that everyone was curious about the house, and since people were so curious and it has a reputation of being haunted we thought that, well, why not open it up for tourism,” said Mark Spencer, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. 

   “If they want to see it, they might as well come on the scariest night of the year,” Rebecca Spencer added.

   Several books and Web sites tell about the reputation of the house, such as "Haunted Places in the American South" by Alan Brown and "The Scent of Lilacs" by Carolyn Wilson, a romantic suspense novel written while Wilson lived in the house. The Spencer’s have also found six different Web sites with mention of the Allen House, such as Haunted Houses 

   “It’s not going to be decorated for Halloween; it’s not going to be gimmicks or tricks. It’s not a conventional haunted house; we don’t have dummies with red paint dripping down their foreheads. It’s a tour of a historically and architecturally significant house that just happens to also have a reputation of being haunted,” Spencer said.

   The story of the house began in 1949, when Ladelle Allen, the daughter of the wealthy Delta businessman Joe Lee Allen who owned the home, killed herself with potassium cyanide in the master bedroom during her mother’s New Year’s Eve party. Many believe if anyone uses the home for commercial use, Ladelle and her son Allen, who mysteriously died at 29, haunt the home.

    College students attending the University lived in the house after it was converted into apartments in the 1950's. Many residents reported to the police about hearing strange footsteps, noises and moans, but nothing was found.

   One man reportedly took a picture of his wife and when the picture came back, a ghostly image of another woman stood next to her. Then one owner used the house as a gift store,  and reported when he opened in the mornings, items in the store would be rearranged on occasion.

   Although cameras are not allowed on the tour, Desiree Thornhill with Frozen Memories Photography will take portraits of people inside the home, and she will e-mail or send the pictures out  to the individual if a ghostly image appears.

   KHTV Channel 11 will cover the Allen House on the evening news program Tuesday, Oct. 30. The Spencer’s are still looking for a few more tour guides. Please contact them at Bellelise Booksellers 460-9854 for more information.

   Have a comment? Please e-mail us.

ŠThe Voice 2007
Revised 09/17/2007 08:12:03 PM —