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Showing posts from May, 2020

The Gate

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This is an interesting location. The Gate, or Devil's Gate if you want to really draw attention, is a rusted and crumbling part of the Lake County Forest Preserve district. "Why is there a gate at the entrance to a forest preserve path?" I asked myself. Well, The Gate wasn't always a part of the forest preserve.

The Gate, originally, was the entrance to an all-girl's school in the late 1920's. In the 1960's, the school was closed and the land and its buildings were repurposed for an all-boys summer camp. Soon, that camp closed and a girl's camp was opened on the land. That camp closed quickly... and mysteriously.

Officially, both the boys and girls camps were closed due to financial difficulties. This would be an acceptable answer if the buildings that stood on the land weren't immediately demolished after the camps closed. I'm talking every building razed in an effort to erase that they were even there. Of all of the historical documents I…

Road Trip

“We have to go back.”

“Not yet. We’ve only traveled for two days. You got the entire week off of work for this.”

“Denise, honey, we’re out of money.”

Xavier stopped at the only red light in the small country town in Arkansas. He tapped the steering wheel with one hand and rubbed his forehead with the other. “I don’t know. What do you want me to do?” Xavier reached for his cell phone.

Monitoring the light in case it changed, Xavier opened his bank’s application and put in his password. The light turned green. There wasn’t another car for miles, so Xavier didn’t move, choosing instead to wait for his phone to load. $58.63.

“Okay. So, we’ve got enough money to either make it up to St. Louis and then we live there, or we turn around now, head home, and we may have enough for dinner. You’re choice.” Xavier glanced at his wife, then quickly looked away.

“I guess we’ll have to turn around.”

Xavier made a U-turn in the middle of the empty intersection. “Sorry. This is my fault.”

Denise sh…

Cuba Road and White Cemetery

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When you think of haunted places in Illinois, you think of wooded areas, country roads, cemeteries, and 1920's mobsters. Cuba Road and White Cemetery has all of these elements (except for the mobsters, I found no evidence of mob activity in this area over the years). Cuba Road has dense tree coverage making the road look like a tunnel, while White Cemetery is small and isolated, giving both of these locations an unusual creepy vibe.

They say that Cuba Road is home to phantom cars and a ghostly hitchhiker. They also say that White Cemetery hosts orbs of light and several full-body apparitions. The strangest story about White Cemetery I've heard is that the cemetery is completely unable to be photographed. Supposedly, if you attempt to take pictures of the cemetery, your camera will malfunction or the pictures simply won't come out. I find this to be false (the pictures of White Cemetery are below.) In addition, there is a vanishing house that sits in the woods behind the c…

Manteno State Hospital

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Manteno State Hospital is one of those locations that sticks with a town forever. Despite the hospital's closure in 1985 and the demolishing of most of the original buildings, the small town of Manteno can't seem to come out from the hospital's shadow. Today, most Manteno residents refuse to talk about it.

This could be because of an incident in 1939 that forever tarnished not only the hospital's reputation, but the town's as well. A typhoid epidemic swept through the hospital's grounds in the summer of 1939. At the time, Manteno State Hospital was the largest of it's kind in Illinois with more than 4,000 patients and 700 employees. Due to denial and politics, isolated incidents of the fever spiraled out of control, infecting hundreds of patients and staff and ultimately killing 60.

As the legend goes, patients attempted to escape the hospital grounds when the epidemic hit. Surrounded by miles of cornfields, the patients had nowhere to go. A neighboring far…

Blood's Point Road and Cemetery

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Just a few miles outside Belvidere sits a lonely country road in the middle of vast farmland and twisted trees. Without GPS, you'd never find it, but this is Blood's Point Road. At the eastern end of this road lies Blood's Point Cemetery. Both locations are steeped in local legend that is hard to ignore.

Named for the first white settler in the area, Arthur Blood, Blood's Point Road and Cemetery seem like your average rural locations. That is, until you get into the stories surrounding them. The most well-known story in this area is that of the friendship Arthur Blood's children had with a local woman suspected of being a witch. When Blood found out about the friendship, he forbade his children to see the woman. The woman became so angry that she set fields ablaze. In retaliation, Blood hung the woman from the bridge at Sweeney and Blood's Point roads. She was later buried in Blood's Point Cemetery.
It is said that, at times, the spectral image of the loca…

Axeman's Bridge

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Back in the woods, down Old Post Road in Crete Township, sits an abandoned bridge with an eerie backstory. This is Axeman's Bridge.

Allegedly, sometime in the 1970's a man lived with his wife and two children in rural Crete. With a modest house set back in the woods, away from prying eyes, the family lived in peace, until a rainy summer night. Without warning, the man snapped. After dinner, the man calmly rose from the dining table and walked out to his shed. He returned to the house, axe in hand, moving room to room, and hacked his wife and two children to death.

After the deed was done, the man hung his family's bodies from the bridge that hosted the area's traffic. The police found him hours later, sitting on the bridge next to his hanging family, his legs dangling over the edge while he whistled a somber tune. They say if you venture out into the woods by the bridge, you'll hear soft whistling and the sound of metal hitting metal.

Today, the bridge has crumble…

Bachelor's Grove Cemetery and Woods

I thought about not including this location. I thought, "Ugh, Bachelor's Grove has been done!" It seems like everyone has written about it. Everyone has a story.

Yet here I am, including it. I've joined the hundreds of writers that think they have something new to bring to the Grove table. But this location is so ingrained in my memory, in my childhood, that I felt like I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn't include it, even if it's just in the introduction.

Bachelor's Grove Cemetery is the hidden gem of haunted places in the Chicagoland area, and some say, the United States. To get there, you'll park in the Rubio Woods forest preserve lot, then make your way across busy Midlothian Turnpike on foot. You'll see a chain across the path of the trail that leads to the cemetery if you know where to look.

Back when this was an active cemetery, that path was paved to allow for vehicle access. Now it's a hidden, pitted foot path. Follow this…

Anniversary

I found the hide-a-key inside a fake rock by her back door. I knew she wasn’t home yet, so this was the perfect opportunity. I let myself in and stood in her kitchen in the dark, listening. The house was silent. I made my way to the second floor; To her bedroom. She had a closet she never used. I slipped inside the closet and waited.

I heard her open the front door about a half hour later. She was talking on the phone as I heard her voice get closer. She was walking up the stairs, no doubt to her bedroom to get ready for their night out. I liked surprising her, and this was the perfect opportunity. She wouldn’t suspect a thing. I stifled a laugh as her voice entered the bedroom, still on the phone.

“Yeah...Quick...No, nothing like that...Just one shot...Mm-hmm...Trezzini...Right...8 o’clock...I’ll be right next to him...You’ll see us…”

Who the hell was she talking to? She mentioned where I would be. Just one shot? To the head, perhaps? It was no secret that we were having our issues…