George Stickney House

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George Stickney House
George Stickney House2.jpg
The George Stickney House in Bull Valley, Illinois. Note the rounded corners.
George Stickney House is located in Illinois
George Stickney House
Location Bull Valley, McHenry County, Illinois
Coordinates 42°18′58″N 88°22′1″W / 42.31611°N 88.36694°W / 42.31611; -88.36694Coordinates: 42°18′58″N 88°22′1″W / 42.31611°N 88.36694°W / 42.31611; -88.36694
Area less than one acre
Built 1836[2]
Architectural style Italianate[1]
Governing body Village of Bull Valley
NRHP Reference # 79003115[1]
Added to NRHP May 14, 1979

The George Stickney House or simply Stickney House or Stickney Mansion is located in rural McHenry County, Illinois, in the small village of Bull Valley, near Woodstock.

The Stickney House has housed the Village Hall and Bull Valley Police Department since 1985.[3] The structure has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979.

The house is widely considered bizarre due to its design, which was based, in part, on George Stickney's belief in Spiritualism.[3][4]

Round corners[edit]

As an adherent to spiritualism, Stickney believed that the spirits in his house required the freedom to roam without getting caught in corners. Therefore, the home's interior was designed with no 90 degree angles between the walls.[3] However, presently, only exterior "corners" in the house are rounded.[citation needed]

The Stickneys may have drifted toward spiritualism as a way to communicate with their dead children; they had ten children but only three survived to adulthood. It is known that the family conducted seances on the second floor of the building. In the years since the house left the hands of the Stickney family, owners have reported supernatural occurrences.[3]

The supernatural[edit]

Today the mansion is occupied by the Village of Bull Valley and its police department.

In 2005 Bull Valley Police Chief Norbert Sauers described his experiences with possible paranormal events in the Stickney Mansion. Sauers said that village employees have heard numerous sounds that seem to defy explanation. He described hearing footsteps in the second floor ballroom, a room that today is used only as storage for village records but was used for seances when the Stickneys owned the mansion. The footstep sounds have extended out onto the stairwell at times. Other occurrences include hearing human sounding noises or voices. They sometimes even hear the toilets flushing when they are alone in the house.[3]

The Chief said he has also personally experienced objects moving around on his desk, lights turning off and, door knobs turning and a door opening, seemingly by themselves, and voices from thin air, having once heard a shout in his ear when no one was around him. Another police officer in Bull Valley claims to have come face to face with an apparition of Stickney's father-in-law.[3]

According to a local news report, "[o]ver the years, two men who carry a badge and gun" have quit their jobs over the supernatural events.[3]

Photo gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ Holcombville Cemetery, Nunda Township Supervisor, Nunda Township, Retrieved Jan. 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Fanjul, Juan Carlos. WGN Cover Stories: Stickney House, WGNtv.com, 31 October 2005. Retrieved Jan. 2007.
  4. ^ Stickney Mansion, Ghosts, Ghosts.org.uk. Retrieved Jan. 2007.

External links[edit]

Media related to George Stickney House at Wikimedia Commons