Geocaching and exploring have taken us to some spooky locations and sites. Many of them involve tales of killing, treachery and tragedy. These are almost always accompanied by stories of ghosts and paranormal activity. I’m not a guy who is easily spooked, but we have experienced some things in our travels which converted me from skeptic to open minded. There are definitely things out there that can’t be explained.
One of those places is the Hoffman Mansion, outside of Peoria, OK. We stumbled upon it while looking for a nearby geocache called… (drum roll)… the Hoffman Mansion.
The history of the place and the tragedy that happened here are well known. The compound was built in the 1880′s and bought by the Hoffman family at the turn of the century. In the 1920′s, they ran a camp for boys there. One night, one of the Hoffman family tortured and murdered five boys who were staying there, then hanged himself. All were buried in the family cemetery which is on the grounds. The Hoffman family lived in the mansion until 1960, when it was bought by a family from California. They lived there for several years, then abruptly packed up and moved, never to return. The main house and several other structures were condemned and demolished in 1998 after over 30 years of abandonment and neglect.
Nevertheless, there appears to be something present there. Visitors, passers by and paranormal investigators have reported voices, lights and the sounds of children playing. Investigators say there is an enormous amount of paranormal energy. One interesting detail is that there is absolutely no graffiti anywhere on the premises. The taggers don’t go there.
The compound is posted and fenced. We, however, ventured into the grounds via an open gate. At least I did. The geowife didn’t want any part of it. I walked around for about a half hour. It must have been quite a place. There were two large concrete aprons with shredded tennis nets and rusty basketball hoops along with several large foundations, one of which looked like a swimming pool. Normally, I can poke around a place like this for a long time, but after 30 minutes, I’d had enough. Completely quiet and deathly still, it was really creepy. I kept turning around to see if anyone was there.
More detailed information about life and death at the Hoffman Mansion is hard to come by. There are no known pictures of the compound when it was intact, which is unusual considering it was occupied for almost a century. The cache is still there, just outside the property line near the cemetery. In addition to spirits, there’s lots of poison ivy, so beware of both.
Good haunting … The Cachemanian Devils