This beautiful 1901 Queen Anne Mansion has an interesting history. It seems that four prosperous men in Savanna, Illinois had a bet as to whom could build the grandest home in 1899. With that bet in hand, Hillcrest (as it was known then) went from dream to reality. It was built for Francis and Margaret Greenleaf. The Greenleafs had three sons and a daughter and spent many lovely years in the mansion. Mr. Greenleaf died in 1944 and his wife followed him into death a mere year later.
Hillcrest was sold by the children and changed owners several times before it was finally bought in 1976 by Alan and Adrianne St. George. They immediately fell in love with the home and rechristened it as Havencrest Castle. They have been renovating ever since and eventually the building has grown nearly three times its original size. It is a gorgeous and inviting home. Adrianne St. George died on June 1st, 2006 in the castle and Alan has continued to lovingly pay tribute to his wife with further renovation and restoration. This home is truly a sight to behold.
An interesting side note to this home's history is that the original owner's son, Kenneth, fell in love with his nanny, Harriet Harbaugh, who lived in the home with them. Harriet and Kenneth had a clandestine love affair for some time. They had decided to elope and Harriet left for Christmas holiday to spend time with her family in Chicago before they would run away to become man and wife. However, fate can be a rural mistress and Harriet went to see Bluebeard at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago that fateful day on December 30, 1903, where the most horrific fire in theater history broke out, claiming over 600 victims, including Harriet. A package of her personal effects, including a scorched program from the play was returned to Hillcrest. Kenneth hid the program behind a mantel in one of the rooms and there is stayed for 76 years until it was found in 1979 by Alan St. George when he was doing restoration work.
During an EVP session, Lisa says, "Princess closet. Savanna, Georgia, but it is Illinois," followed by Nicole saying, "You're going to Georgia?" and then Lisa saying, "Lisa and Nicole, yeah, I don't even know how to turn all these lights off." After that is a female voice saying, "Come get me."
Dining room figure captured outside quickly passing by the window. Note that this is self-illuminating as it was dark outside.
While Nicole Tito and Lisa Krick were conducting an EVP session in the upstairs bedroom, you will hear a train in the background followed by what sounds like someone laughing not heard in real time.
Lisa Krick managed to capture a young girl's voice on her recorder not heard in real time in the Doll Room that says either, "Hello," or "Help," while Nicole and Lisa are discussing the room.
Lisa is explaining to Nicole how to maintain whiskey properly during an EVP session in the Merlin Room when a voice in the background grunts and then yells, "Stop."
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