Haunted Journeys

5 of the Most Haunted in Illinois USA: Phantoms of the Prairie State!
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The phantoms of five of the most haunted places in Illinois are eager to tell their spooky stories. Here are our spine-chilling picks from the Prairie State!

The Road House 

Oregon, IL 

Haunted Road House

The building was a general store around 1890. Later it became known as The Stenhouse. On June 25, 1948, Mary Jane Reed and Stanley Skridla failed to return home from a Lover's Lane date the night before. Stanley was found murdered the next day and Mary Jane's body was found four days later. Although the shocking and gruesome crime got national attention nationwide, their murders were never solved. One thing was certain. The last place they were seen was at The Stenhouse. Today, the establishment is known as The Road House.

Recently, when the tavern was being renovated, a construction worker mentioned that a young woman had walked through commenting, "How nice it was going to be upon completion."  But then he noticed there was absolutely no one in the building and no other vehicles was found in the parking lot.  Others have seen her apparition as well. There are other stories of seeing an unknown woman walking in the front hallway. It is said you can smell flowers and perfume, with no earthly source for it. On the more masculine side, cigar smoke can be seen and smelled throughout the building with no explanation. Employees say that the jukebox will play by itself after midnight. What makes it a bit creepy, it will sometimes play the same song over and over again, or perhaps stopping in the middle of a song. Today, the owner is very certain that many of the hauntings are related to the murdered couple that was last seen alive at his establishment.      

Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing HERE.      

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Bachelor Grove Cemetery 

Midlothian, Illinois

Haunted Bachelor Grove Cemetery

The Bachelor Grove Cemetery was established in 1840. The Englishmen who used this cemetery left it abandoned when the settlement moved east.

Many different paranormal occurrences have been reported over the long history of this very active location.  Numerous ghost stories have accumulated over its long history. The "White Lady" or "Madonna of Bachelor's Grove" is the most well-known story associated with the cemetery. Her apparition is seen walking the grounds holding an infant, especially when there's a full moon.  Another strange report is seeing ghost cars on a nearby road. It is said that devil worshipers were common here in the '60s and '70s, leading some to believe that there are some evil elements in this cemetery.     

Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing HERE.        

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DeSoto House Hotel

Galena, Illinois 

Haunted DeSoto House Hotel

First opened in 1855, the DeSoto House is one of the oldest operating hotels in Illinois. President Abraham Lincoln spoke from its Main Street balcony on July 23, 1856. In 1859, the hotel suffered a fire and ten years later a steam boiler exploded in the basement.

Galena’s first documented sightings actually go back to the 1800s, when actual ghost stories were published in the local newspapers. The stories printed said a woman saw a black figure come to her window. Many folks have reported phantom cigar smoke, voices in the halls, and apparitions of people in period dress who seem to walk, or float, through walls. Others have heard disembodied voices in the hallway.  Although the supernatural claims are strongest coming from the 3rd floor, on the lower level, an apparition of a lady dressed in black has been seen walking out of the wall near the fireplace in Green Street Tavern.  There’s also proof of the Lady in Black. A guest caught a picture of her in a full apparition form. Go to our ARTICLE to see the photo.  One day contractors were repairing plaster and discovered a doorway behind a wall, hidden for over 100 years. It's in the same place that the Lady in Black had been rumored to have walked through.     

Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing HERE.      

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The Drake Hotel 

Chicago, IL 

The Haunted Drake Hotel

The Drake opened on New Year's Eve, 1920. Throughout the roaring twenties, the Drake was the city's first choice in opulence.

According to legend, a woman in a red dress attended the New Year's Eve 1920 celebration. She discovered her fiancé dancing with another woman. She took the elevator to either the 10th floor or the roof and jumped to her death. Still today guests have reported seeing the Woman in Red wandering the Gold Coast Room, the Palm Court, and the 10th floor. Bobby Franks was kidnapped and murdered by his cousin Richard Loeb and his accomplice Nathan Leopold in 1924. The two said they did it "for the thrill of it." After the trial was over, Bobby's parents sold their mansion and moved into the Drake to avoid publicity and gawkers. The father, Jacob M. Franks, died of a heart attack in his suite in 1928, four years after his son was beaten to death. The mother, Flora, died in the hotel nine years later. Both have been seen wandering the hotel mourning their son. In January 1944, Adele Born Williams, socialite and the wife of a State Department employee returned to her eighth-floor suite with her daughter when "a middle-aged gray-haired woman wearing a black Persian lamb coat" stepped out of the bathroom and began shooting at them both. Adele died until the next day. Several witnesses saw the "woman in black" flee the scene, but police never solved the case and it is said Adele is still seen at the Drake.    

Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing HERE.      

Visit the property.

McPike Mansion 

Alton, IL 

Haunted McPike Mansion

Alton is not only the ghost capital of Illinois, but it’s also considered one of the most haunted towns in America. Nestled in this spectral town is McPike Mansion. Constructed in 1869, this grand Victorian home, is a masterpiece, whose original owner was Henry Guest McPike. The McPike family lived in this, their country home, until 1936. After many exchanges of owner's hands and extensive time-driven damage to the structure, today the mansion today is owned by Sharyn and George Luedke who have been trying to nurture this great house back to its regal state.  It is readily known today for its hauntings in paranormal circles.

Many believe, including the owners, visitors, investigators and psychic mediums, that the previous owners from centuries ago, are still looking down on them from a window, and whose visitors often report orbs of light that mysteriously appear in photos taken at the house. It is understood the presence of what they believe to be McPike family, servants, as well as some of those who resided in and owned the house since 1936. Other mysterious stories include servants of the building, a cook in the kitchen, and the strange death of a woman in the bathtub. Some even believe that Eleanor and Henry McPike still roam the corridors of their former home. The Cellar has been a focal point of many energies felt in the mansion. All total, it is believed (and even documented with ample evidence) that more than 11 different spirits have been experienced in recent years. Some paranormal experts have claimed the haunts date back to the property before the mansion was even built, with Native American ghosts. In addition, they believe there is spectral residue from a possible Underground Railroad stop.  According to the Illinois Office of Tourism. "Other mysterious stories include servants of the building, a cook in the kitchen and the strange death of a woman in the bathtub." Some photos (see in our ARTICLE) have captured the mansion ghostly activity, including orbs, balls of light, even figures appearing in the windows that were not seen by the human eye when the photo was taken.    

Discover more about this property by reading the details in our extended listing HERE.      

Visit the property.


Read about more haunts in spooky Illinois...


The Big Book of Illinois Ghost Stories Paperback – July 17, 2019 by Troy Taylor  (Author)     Ghosthunting Illinois (America's Haunted Road Trip) Paperback – September 1, 2005 by John B. Kachuba  (Author)     Haunting Illinois: A Tourist's Guide to the Weird & Wild Places of the Prairie State Paperback – May 15, 2011


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