Illinois is one state that has more than its fair share of paranormal activity and creepy attractions to visit! Whether you are looking for a portal to Hell, a ghostly gangster or just some playful poltergeist fun Illinois certainly seems to have it all!
Let’s check out some of the most haunted places in Illinois!
6 – Acid Bridge, Collinsville
Acid Bridge in Collinsville is said to be one of the most haunted places in Illinois and Lebanon Road certainly does seem like a rather terrifying stretch of road! One of the most unique features of the road is that it has seven railway bridges passing over it which are locally referred to as the seven gates of hell. There is an urban legend that circulates in the local area stating that if someone passes underneath all seven bridges at midnight, they will pass into a portal leading to Hell itself! Each of the seven bridges is also supposed to be guarded by Hell hounds!
One of the scariest of the bridges is the one know as Acid Bridge. The legend is that some teenagers were high on Acid when they lost control of their car and flipped over the edge of the bridge into the shallow creek below where they all died instantly. People say that they feel particularly uneasy on this bridge and have strange feelings while there. There are also cold spots and weird unexplained noises. Although, to be fair none of the seven bridges looks particularly welcoming!
5 – Robinson Woods, Chicago
Let’s be honest – forests have a tendency to be quite creepy anyway, especially after dark, so imagine just how spooky a bona fide haunted forest must be! Robinson Woods is said to be one of the most haunted places in Illinois. Rumour has it that the land is actually cursed. The land was acquired by a Mr Robinson following a treaty with three local Native American tribes. At first, Robinson seemed to have some decent luck on his side, but it wasn’t long before his luck seemed to run out leaving him plagued by misfortune. His home was destroyed by fire which ended his family’s claim to the property meaning that it reverted to being park district property. That’s when things got weird!
Three people were strangled and left lying naked in a ditch on the property. The crime remained unsolved until 1994. Around the same time visitors to the area began to report various strange occurrences including weird lights, sounds and smells. Reports were made from runners, kids playing out in the woods and even police who had been called in to investigate. There are often reports of tom tom drums being played which fits with the property since there are Indian burial mounds in the woods. There have also been reports of a sound that resembles sawing wood!
4 – Congress Plaza Hotel, Chicago (Book Now)
The Congress Plaza Hotel was built back in 1893 and has been dubbed the Landmark of Hospitality in Chicago. It also holds the honor of being one of the most haunted places in Illinois! It has a long history with the paranormal and is said to be home to a classic poltergeist style haunting. For almost as long as the hotel has been open, guests and staff alike have reported strange noises coming from the hotel ballroom when it is empty. The many hallways are also commonly the site of unexplained activity! Appliances all over the hotel are said to turn on and off of their own volition and guests have claimed to see an apparition of the hotel’s former owner – Mr Al Capone!
However, although arguably the most famous ghost to inhabit the hotel, Al Capone is not the one who most of the sightings relate to. In fact, a much more common report is from guest who see a ghostly gloved hand sticking out of the wall. It has been dubbed ‘The Hand of Mystery’! The story goes that a construction worker somehow managed to get trapped behind some drywall when the property was being built and ended up walled in. The hand is all that he has been able to free from his final resting place and he is doomed to wave for all eternity in an attempt to get some help. Another commonly spotted ghost is one known as Peg Leg Johnny. He is said to be the spirit of a hobo who was murder in the building several years ago!
3 – Showmen’s Rest, Chicago
Showmen’s Rest is an interesting spot within Woodlawn Cemetery in Illinois. In 1918, there was a horrific train wreck involving a circus train. A conductor on another train apparently fell asleep causing his train to plow into the circus train killing somewhere between 60 and 110 circus employees and some of the circus animals. The victims are buried in a mass grave in this corner of the cemetery which has come to be known as ‘Showmen’s Rest’. Since many of the circus performers’ names were not known the markers say things like ‘Baldy’, ‘Unidentified Male’ or ‘4 Horse Driver’. These days Showmen’s Rest is still used as a burial ground for the circus folk and showmen. It is also said to be one of the most haunted places in Illinois. There have been many reports of paranormal activity here, but one of the most common is the sound of phantom elephants being heard in the dead of night!
2 – Hotel Baker, St Charles (Book a Room)
Hotel Baker is a charming hotel that has been in business since approximately 1926. The hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and is also considered to be one of the most haunted places in Illinois. Colonel Baker built the hotel on the site of an old mill and it was constructed with a working hydroelectric facility, a radio station, a rose garden and a parking garage since the Colonel had a dream of creating a luxurious hotel where guests could escape for some serious relaxation. Today the hotel has much of the same ethos, and many of the original pieces of furniture are still in place. The furnishings are not the only things that have hung around – there are also plenty of ghosts as well!
The hauntings at Hotel Baker can perhaps be attributed to the fact that a former chambermaid committed suicide while working at the hotel by drowning herself in the nearby Fox River after being jilted at the altar. Her quarters would have originally been on the 6th floor, although that part of the hotel has now been converted into the penthouse suite. However, those who have stayed in the penthouse have reported hearing disembodied voices within the suite and have even felt some unseen force tugging on the bedding.
1 – Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Chicago
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Chicago is a small, abandoned burial ground which has a reputations for being one of the most haunted people in Illinois. It is certainly not a place for the faint of heart. There are several different ghost stories that are linked to the desecrated cemetery which is often said to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in the United States.
The headstones at Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery date back as far as the early part of the 17th century, although it was not officially consecrated as a burial ground until 1844. There are persistent reports that Satanic rituals are conducted in the abandoned cemetery even to this day which of course just serves to add more fuel to the creepy stories that are linked to the place. Orbs are a common occurrence not only in photographs and videos, but also seen with the naked eye. People also describe seeing red streaks of light flitting between the headstones with no explanation as to what it could be!
There are also several spirits known to haunt the cemetery, but the two most well known would be the white lady and a young boy. The young boy has been heard crying out about a lost silver coin. Interestingly enough, in 2006 an investigation was conducted and a well known psychic is said to have gone into a trance like state and walked into a knee deep muddy pond where he bent down and instantly retrieved a 1942 Walking Liberty half dollar from the bottom of the pond! Since then it seems that the little boy ghost has not made any more appearances. Perhaps he just wanted to find his coin all along! The white lady has actually been dubbed ‘ The Madonna of the Bachelor’s Grove’. She appears on top of one of the tombstones and looks out towards the thick woods close to the cemetery.
However, by far the strangest ghost stories that has been linked to Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery is the tale of the ghost house. A large manor is said to appear from time to time and has even shown up in some photographs. However, whenever you get close to the house it vanishes into thin air!
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