For years, the website Mysterious Heartland has sought out some of the most notable haunted locations throughout Illinois and the Midwest.
As Mysterious Heartland's Michael Kleen points out, some people argue Illinois is one of the most haunted states in the nation, and cities across the state have eerie anecdotes that seemingly back up the claim.
Below are five of the Top 10 most haunted cities in Illinois, according to Mysterious Heartland.
In 1946, [Naperville] was the scene of one of the worst train disasters in U.S. history when two passenger trains collided, killing 47 and injuring 125. Eyewitnesses have seen lost and disoriented specters walking along Loomis Street. Residents of 4th Avenue, where bodies were laid out right after the crash, have also allegedly experienced cold spots, strange noises, and shadows. Barbara Pfeiffer Hall and Theater, on the campus of [North Central College], is believed to be haunted by as many as a half dozen ghosts. Naperville Cemetery, though usually peaceful and serine, has also been the scene of strange encounters.
First opened in 1855, the DeSoto House is one of the oldest operating hotels in Illinois. According to hotel staff, guests have witnessed apparitions in old fashioned dress passing through walls where doorways once were. Others have heard voices in the hallway and caught the scent of an old cigar. The Galena History Museum, Turner Hall, and One Eleven Main (a former mortuary turned restaurant) are also believed to be haunted.
Author Troy Taylor has spent more than a decade documenting and offering tours of Decatur's haunted places. High on the list are the Avon and Lincoln theaters, Millikin University, and Greenwood Cemetery. After the Avon Theater reopened in the 1990s, staff began to experience strange events that included hearing laughter, footsteps, and applause after hours. They have also seen the apparition of Gus Constan, who owned the Avon during the 1960s. At Greenwood Cemetery, visitors have caught a glimpse of spook lights, phantom funerals, and the "Greenwood Ghost Bride."
St. Charles is home to a surprising number of haunted places. Al Capone's Hideaway and Steak House, which closed in 2012, was probably the most famous. The Arcada Theater, Dunham-Hunt Home, Hotel Baker, and St. Charles East High School are all also believed to be haunted. The Dunham-Hunt home is one of St. Charles' oldest buildings. According to Bethany Krajelis of the Kane County Chronicle, "Museum [staff] have reported hearing footsteps, seeing moving shadows under doors, and claw marks on the wallpaper, as well as neighbors reporting flickering lights." One former museum director held a séance in the home.
Aside from its position as the political hub of Illinois, it is known for its numerous museums and connections to President Abraham Lincoln, whose tomb is located in Oak Ridge Cemetery. The ghost of Lincoln himself has been spotted numerous times around the old State Capitol. Additionally, the Dana-Thomas Home, Legacy Theatre, Yates Mansion, and the Chesapeake Seafood House are all believed to be haunted. In the 1970s, an exorcism was performed at the Sober Duck, a former disco and rock club on Fox Ridge Road in Springfield that burnt down under mysterious circumstances in 1992. In the Dana-Thomas Home, volunteers have heard humming, the sound of chairs tumbling down the stairs, and has even seen a lady dressed in black wandering the home when no tour groups were present.
Here are the Top 5 most haunted cities in Illinois.