Just in time for your Halloween party, a famous haunted mansion near Chicago has dropped its selling price but buyers still think the deal is
The luxury home on the shores of Lake Michigan is the Mayflower Place, better known by the name associated with its first owners – the Schweppe Estate. It was built in 1917, while a world war was being fought in Europe, as a wedding gift to the offspring of two of the area’s richest families. Laura Shedd was the daughter of John G. Shedd, chairman of the Marshall Field & Co. department store chain and donor and namesake of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. He built the Mayflower Place for his daughter and her new husband, Charles H. Schweppe, an heir to the fortune of the family that founded the Schweppes Company, the bubbly beverage business.
The Schweppes lived in the mansion – with its 28 rooms including 10 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and 11 fireplaces – until 1937 when Laura had a fatal heart attack at age 58. Things may not have been happy at Schweppe Estate because Laura’s will gave nearly all of her $10 million fortune to their children, leaving Charles only $200,000. The thought of life without
Laura’s money Laura must have been too much for Charles, as he was found in his bedroom in 1941 dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Was the house already haunted? Charles had complained about unexplained sleepless nights and his suicide note was one line:
I’ve been awake all night. It’s terrible.
The Schweppe family maintained the mansion for a few years after his death but it eventually fell into disrepair and remained mysteriously empty of living beings for 46 years. During that time, the paranormal stories began. The ghosts of Laura and Charles were seen in bedrooms and the ghosts of servants were spotted serving them meals. A single window in the master bedroom mysteriously never got dirty. And no one has ever explained the source of the so-called “twisted footprint” – a single print from what looks like a deformed human foot in the concrete floor of an upstairs room.
The mansion was purchased and renovated in 1987. Despite being in move-in condition, it has been for sale since at least 2011 and the price has dropped from the original $18 million to the latest new bargain basement listing of only $9.95 million.
How low must it go before the ghosts stop saying no?