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DINNER & SPIRITS The History & Hauntings of the McMackin House Restaurant

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Author Topic: DINNER & SPIRITS The History & Hauntings of the McMackin House Restaurant  (Read 241 times)
Keira Kensington
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Posts: 4702

« on: October 19, 2008, 10:55:18 pm »

The former parlor is now the formal dining room of the McMackin House and it has both history and hauntings of its own. It was in this room that the family and their often important guests would gather to discuss business and politics. A couch that was once located in this room is now on display at the Abraham Lincoln home in Springfield, Illinois. It was in this room where pictures flew from the walls and glass table tops shattered after portraits that were brought into the house that the apparently ghosts felt were ignored for too long. But that’s not the only mark the haunting has left on it…

The McMackin's formal Parlor - where the disembodied laugh of a man is often heard, followed by the smell of pipe tobacco

Cold, eerie chills often come over people who dine in this room and there is also another strange happening linked to the room’s past. One corner of the room, near the front window, was once a favorite resting place for Uncle Merryfield McMackin. He liked to sit here and smoke his pipe, gazing out the window and taking part in discussions with others in the room. He liked the spot so much that some have pondered the idea that he had never left it! It is common for visitors in this room to actually hear the sound of a man’s deep laughter, followed by the fragrant wafting of pipe smoke through the room. There is no smoking allowed in this part of the building and yet the smell seems to come from somewhere - perhaps from the other side?

Just beyond the old parlor is the Governor’s Library, which now offers intimate seating for about 15 people. The room has been so-named due to the fact that every governor from the state of Illinois between 1905 and 1990 visited this house. It was originally a sitting room and offered access (now closed off behind a secret, turning bookcase) to the living quarters of Helen McMackin’s dear friend, Beth Dunham. Like much of the rest of the house, memories of the past still haunt this room as well. It is here where visitors and guests have reported mysterious cold chills that they have been unable to explain. One guest described the cold air that washed over him as being like “air from a cave”.

As the reader can see, the McMackin House is a place that is literally filled with the past, in both its history and its haunts. Should you get the chance to visit Salem, Illinois some day, I encourage you to stop in for a drink or a bite to eat. There is much to see here and yes, much to experience - for the dinner and “spirits” in this restaurant are unlike anything that you may have experienced before!

Update: The McMackin House Restaurant is now closed and according to a recent newspaper article from February 2005, the city of Salem has given the current owners the permission to turn the house into apartments. It is no longer open to the public. 

© Copyright 2002 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

Special Thanks for Information & History goes to:
Hal Harrison
Justin Harrison
Deb Garland
McMackin House Staff
McMackin Family
Luke Naliborski
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