Paranormal activity in historic building keeps it standing

By Beau Ebenezer

October 30, 2012 Updated Oct 31, 2012 at 1:24 PM CDT

BARTONVILLE, Ill.-- Rumors have stirred for decades on whether the Bowen Building in Bartonville is really haunted.

Now residents have a chance to experience it themselves even after Halloween.

"People will set up in the middle and they'll watch shadows block out the light and the end of the hall. They'll see legs walking. They'll see people walking towards them that aren't there," said Co-Manager of Peoria Asylum Trish Weiss.

Executive Director of "Save the Bowen", Richard Weiss bought the building in 2008, which was once a Peoria State Mental Institution. However, he did not know much about its haunted past.

He says his purpose is to save an important part of Bartonville's history.

"Administration in Bartonville wanted to see the building tore down. I did not want to see it tore down. So I set up a non-profit organization specifically to try and save the building," said Weiss.

The village recently gave Weiss over $300,000 to remove asbestos, money Weiss and his daughter must repay in 3 years.

But the Paranormal activity is apparent to many.

Richard's Daughter, Trish Weiss, said she has heard multiple ghost stories from customers along with personal ones of her own.

"I watched a woman in a white night gown with black stringy hair walk from one side to the other. And you could just barely see her which is kind of what caught me off guard because I could see the door behind her," said Trish.

The Peoria Asylum is set up as a real tour.

Unlike a regular haunted house, the owners say everything is real.

Richard Weiss said they made about $20,000 since last month when they first opened for business.

They will continue to provide tours all year long.

Once the money is paid back to the village, Richard Weiss added that they will look to renovate.

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