The Jarrot Mansion, One of the Most Haunted Houses in Southern Illinois
The Jarrot Mansion in Cahokia, Illinois was completed by Nicholas Jarrot in 1807. Built by slaves, the brick for the mansion was made on site. The Jarrot Mansion is the oldest brick structure in Southern Illinois, and quite possibly the most haunted. During recent renovations, walls had to be opened up for maintenance, and animals remains were found inside. Some think this could be evidence of voodoo rituals performed by slaves to curse the Jarrot Family. Under the staircase, there is a small quarantine room where the sick and dying would be placed. Members of the family would pray outside the door for their well being, but they would not open the door until the occupant was well or had passed. Visitors to the mansion have heard cries and moans coming from inside the small room. Some think this could be a ghost of a sick family member, who was shuttered inside and left to die. Visitors and staff have reported hearing footsteps walking across the wooden planked floors. The wooden planks are badly worn and grooved due to hundreds of years of use. In the book "Myths and Legends of Our Own Land," written in 1896, there is also a story about the Devil visiting the Jarrot Mansion in the 1830's. Also, late at night, police have reported seeing lights passing past the windows, but always report that mansion is secure and doors locked. The mansion currently owned by the State of Illinois has suffered due to the state's current budget crisis. The mansion is seldom opened to tourist due to the lack of staffing, and currently, the roof is covered with large plastic tarps because the wood-shingled roof needs replaced. Due to the lack of state funds, I doubt the roof will be repaired soon. The mansion can be visited during the day, and the Holy Family Church, built in the late 1700's is open on Saturday's during the summer.