ASHMORE — “Spooked TV” producers Philip and Christopher Booth were hooked on Ashmore Estates from the moment they saw the three-story brick building looming in the countryside.
“Pulling up was incredible; seeing this place for the first first time,” Philip Booth marveled.
The two brothers filmed footage inside the purportedly haunted 93-year-old building, built as a part of the county poor farm and now used as a haunted house. They plan to use the film for a segment in their upcoming “Soul Catcher: Trail of Fears” documentary. The finished product is scheduled for release on DVD in February and on Syfy Channel in May.
Now these producers are back at Ashmore Estates to promote “Soul Catcher” and to film extra behind-the-scenes footage for the DVD. They arrived Thursday and hang out tonight, 7 p.m.-midnight, at Scott and Tanya Kelley’s haunted house, which has a “Circus Sanatarium: The Scariest Show on Earth” theme this year.
The return visit to Ashmore Estates, located along the north side of Illinois Route 16 just west of Ashmore, is also a working vacation for the two brothers.
“We are looking forward to going through as guests this time instead of filmmakers,” Philip Booth said as he sat in one of the building’s gloomy corridors.
The producers recalled that the last time they were at Ashmore Estates they recorded sounds and images, with the help of a thermal camera, that they feel are indications of the building being haunted. They said their production crew, all skeptics, were mystified by some of the unexplained technical malfunctions that occurred.
In addition, Philip Booth said he was disconcerted when his camera was aggressively jerked from his hands three times by some unseen force.
“I don’t like that feeling,” Philip Booth said.
Christopher Booth said they are fascinated to think of all the indigent people, both young and old, that were sent to live and work at Ashmore Estates, isolated amidst the farm fields.
Philip Booth said “Soul Catcher” focuses on both Native American and white American stories of spirits. He said Native American soul catcher amulets were created to hold lost souls, but there is also a belief that a soul catcher can be a building.
Many of the grand old buildings throughout the United States that are thought to be haunted are being demolished because no one wants to maintain them, Christopher Booth said. He praised Scott Kelly for watching over Ashmore Estates and opening it to the public.
“Scott has put a lot into this place to make it an attraction,” Christopher Booth said.
For more information on “Soul Catcher” and other productions the two brothers have shown on the Syfy Channel, go online to www.spookedproductions.blogspot.com/.
Contact Rob Stroud at firstname.lastname@example.org or 238-6861.