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& local St. Louis'
St. Louis Caledonian Pipe Band
Pipe Sergeant -
Jim Oates










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St. Louis Caledonian Pipe Band
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The "White Mist" Video of 1999
McPike Mansion History


The McPike Mansion was built for Henry Guest McPike in 1869.  Henry McPike was a wealthy and
prominent citizen who quickly became an integral member of the business and political community
and is even noted as being a friend of Abraham Lincoln who sat on the podium during the 1858
Lincoln-Douglas Debate in Alton and was with Lincoln in Springfield, IL when the telegram arrived
informing Lincoln of his election to the presidency.

The mansion was constructed in an Italianate-Victorian Mansion style by the famous architect Lucas
Pfeiffenberger.  The mansion was well endowed with several types of design flourishes that made it
one of the more elaborate homes during its time within the region and one of the largest private
residences in the area at that time.  It boasted sixteen rooms, a vaulted wine cellar and fifteen
enchanted acres graced with rare trees, shrubs, flowers, orchards and other vegetation.  Mr.
McPike was a very accomplished Horticulturist of his time who also propagated the well known
McPike grape in vineyards upon his estate which resulted in award winning wines known from
coast to coast.

Henry McPike lived on the estate until his death in 1910.  His family remained until 1936 by some
documented reports.  While other reports are conflicting we do know that the next owner of the
estate was a man by the name of Paul Laichinger who either obtained the mansion around this time
and  lived there until his death in either the 1930's or 1940's.   All accounts indicated that Mr.
Laichinger rented out rooms to tenants while living on the estate himself.  It is these tenants that
started to report unexplainable events and sightings while residing there.

Human tenants vacated the mansion sometime during the 1950's and remained vacant suffering
severe abuse from the weather, time and intrusive vandals until 1994 when current owners Sharyn
and George Luedke purchased the property during an auction in hopes of restoring it to its original
splendor and beauty of yesteryear.  Within a six weeks of becoming the mansion's new owners, the
Luedke's soon experienced unexplainable events themselves including encounters with the
disembodied spirit of Mr. Laichinger and a servant girl they named "Sarah" who likes to touch and
sometimes hug human visitors.

There has been stories from hundreds of individuals who have had strange unexplainable
encounters in this historic place.  Aside the stories is also some very remarkable documentation of
such unexplainable occurrences on film, video and other media.   On such very notable
documentation involved a Ph.D. from California who in 1999 while taking a tour of the mansion
luckily had her video camera.  While in the vaulted wince cellar they all became witness to a "white
mist" that entered the cellar and began to circle them at a high rate of speed.  Witnesses there also
gave accounts of how this mist felt electrified.  The mist then left the cellar with a few following it.  
The mist then stopped and turned around to pursue those in pursuit of it.  It then circled them again
before dissipating from sight.  The captured video soon found its way on many nationally televised
shows and fell under the scrutiny of may experts which to this day can not find any explainable
cause for the events captured in this 1999 video.

Another very remarkable event occurred while a very credible paranormal investigative team was
in the vaulted wine cellar with the large heavy iron doors shut.  While in there, they all heard the
footsteps of a female descend the basement stairs and come towards the closed door.  While
assuming such was one of their investigators who had to be escorted by another to the upper
floors, the large iron doors with the sound of them scraping the floor opened.  To the surprise of
everyone in attendance, no human was in sight.  This was also captured on video.

An oddity concerning this haunting stems around the lack of tragic or natural deaths within the
home.  However, one can theorize that some of the events may be what is called a "residual"
haunting where certain events replay like a recording on a tape.  Although, the 1999 "white mist"
incident along with others indicate also the presence of an "intelligent" haunting where the spirits
or ghosts are aware of their surroundings and interact accordingly.

No matter what type(s) of haunting may be occurring or who may be responsible for the haunting,
one can safely state that this is one of the most haunted locations in the Midwestern United States
and a place to visit for someone wanting to experience the unknown themselves!

















Henry G. McPike (1825 - 1910)

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