GHOST HUNTING AND DIVINATION: River Town Ghosts leave traces in Playing Cards

Ryan Mansion Galena Illinois

The “informal” first floor parlour with Mrs. Ryan’s portrait and playing cards.

Took an absolutely fantastic and chilling ghost tour in the historic river town of Galena, IL over the Labor Day weekend. Took a little vacation there with my sister and her family, and the teenagers thought it would be fun to get Auntie on the Ghost Tour. They know me pretty well!
I think it would have been easier for the tour guide to have pointed out the buildings that weren’t haunted in Galena, since the town has a long and very creaky history. The highlight was at the end of the tour when we went inside the famous “Ryan Mansion.” This was a highly lavish construction, even more so back in the day. Walking through the house, you could cut the air with a knife it felt so thick with haunted.

And the tour guide made it fun, letting us poke around with hand held EMF sensors and explaining the history of the house. Of course, I flipped when I saw PLAYING CARDS actually laid out on a table there. Perfect opportunity to do a reading on the house!!

Other great and memorable moments were getting to speak with the spirits via dowsing rods, which I had never done before, and also doing questions and answers with the invisible residents via what was called a Spirit Box. This was cool. AND CREEPY. Many of the answers were crystal clear and chilling.

Tour Guide with Spirit Detector

Air so thick you could swim through it. Tour guide with fancy detector.

After the tour, we all went back to my sister’s place in the Galena WOODS where I had previously decided to sleep out on the screened in porch, and proceeded to freak out there alone in the pitch black. Oh well. I have had better night’s sleep!

So, here is the card layout as it rested on the parlour table inside the mansion. You know, NOTHING IS RANDOM. This layout tells a story. And if you yourself read with playing cards,* take this as an exercise. I will post my interpretations in an upcoming post.

Cards in Mansion

Close up of playing card spread on parlour table.

Here is a little more info about the house as conveyed by the tour guide, feel free to read before or after you try your hand at the card interpretation:

The mansion was built from money earned by a large pork operation in the 1800’s. After it was built, Mr. and Mrs. Ryan moved in with their teenage children (plus more than 20 servants!) but about 10 years later Mrs. Ryan died in one of the bedrooms of the mansion. You can see her portrait above the piano in the top photo of this article. Mr. Ryan died a few short years following. The mansion has remained haunted with accounts of poltergeist like activity.

Through answers received very clearly by question and answer through the Spirit Box (see this cool contraption HERE,) our group was told there were 3 spirits present at the time, and that the person (spirit) we were speaking with was male.

PLEASE. I would love to hear and to share your card interpretations!! Post your card insights here, beneath the post, or on the Facebook Page where I will post this exercise as well. I will publish my interpretation of the cards in a few days in a separate blog post here at anacortez.com. HAVE FUN!!!

I LOVE GHOST HUNTING!

*If you want to learn to read with playing cards, try The Playing Card Oracles, A Source Book for Divination.

1 Comment

  • Monica Laura says:

    Hi Ana,

    I wrote this down very quickly before I read the description beneath it.

    Two very different people came to be together for some time until dreams got in the way there was a big fight over money. They disputed how to spend it or how to show it off, because they were so different. They just throughout differently.

    The lady of the house, the Queen of Clubs had a youthful inclination for money, fame and being connected. She liked the good life. She was also befallen by it and went first.

    I see the King of Spades as the man of the house, who died or left. He was lonely and he could not handle loss. He had strong inclinations to show off his wealth and the hard work it took to get there. He had inclinations to the Ten of Diamonds, and she to the Ten of Clubs, of her suit. She liked to dream.

    2D, 7C, 2S, AD
    **
    *
    **
    *= Acquisitio, number

    *
    **
    **
    *=Carcer

    *
    *
    **
    **=Fortuna Minor

    All they gained ended up being their jail and their downfall. They must have really stressed over being rich and keeping the appearance of doing well?

    QC. 4H, 10C, 8D
    **
    **
    **
    **=Populus

    **
    *
    **
    *=Acquisitio

    *
    **
    *
    **=Amissio
    She liked community, being in groups. Being around rich people all the time and enjoying the rich life led to downfall.

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