There’s a little chill in the air, football season is upon us, and the stores already have out displays for a certain holiday at the end of October. I won’t say the “f-word,” but I definitely will say that this “time of year” has our imaginations going wild and really in the mood for some urban legends. There are tons of urban legends in Illinois, but here are some of our favorites:
1. The Ghost at the English Building, University of Illinois
Before it was the English building, it was actually the women's building, and it had a gymnasium with a pool. The story is that a young girl ended up dying in the pool--either accidentally, or taking her own life to hide a pregnancy. The ghost apparently haunts the English Building.
2. Ghost Lady at Kennedy Hill Road
This story got a LOT of buzz in late 1980 and early 1981. On this rural road, people reported seeing a woman in various stages of dress walking and then vanishing. There were numerous sightings of this person/ghost, but no one could explain it. Some people thought it was the ghost of a woman buried nearby. Others thought it was a mentally disabled person who had run away from home. The strangest explanation was that it was really a man wearing his dead girlfriend's clothing. When it became spring, no one saw this spirit/person ever again, but the story carries on.
3. The Cherry Hill Road Accident, near Oswego
The legend goes that there was a tragic car accident when a young couple on their way to prom lost control of the vehicle. The girlfriend died right away, but the young man was able to crawl out of the car of a few feet and wrote "help me" in his own blood. Teens love this legend, and have spray painted "help" in red spray paint near where the alleged accident occurred.
4. Dug Hill Road
A few men have reported seeing the “boger man” walking the streets. The boger man is about 9-10 feet tall, wearing black pants, a white shirt and a long scarf. It’s unclear if he made the clothes himself, but if anyone finds him, I think he could be seamlessly integrated into Fred Hoiberg’s offense.
5. Homey the Clown
It was 1991 in Chicago, and multiple kids reported this clown going by "Homey" who was cruising the streets of Chicago in a creepy van, ready to lure children into it. The Chicago Police were involved, and they dismissed it as an urban legend. But many people hold that it was very real.
6. The Devil Baby at Hull House
According to legend, a woman gave birth to a child who was fathered by the devil. The child (half-devil?) was disgusting to the mother, so she abandoned it. Jane Addams apparently raised the child in the attic, where it died at an early age. But people reported being able to see a devil's face in the second story of the Hull House.
7. McPike Mansion, Alton
Built in 1869, the house was sold in 1908 to a Paul Laichinger. Lainchinger's ghost is said to still haunt the property. A couple bought the home in the 1990s and concluded it is indeed haunted. The woman reported seeing a spirit of a man through the window as she was outside doing some yard work. She was able to identify him as Laichinger because he was wearing the same outfit as he was in a photo. A paranormal investigation was conducted, and they reported hearing footsteps when no one could have made them. Spooky!
8. Vanishing Man, Egypt
According to this legend, a man boards the bus in Egypt, Illinois. When the bus crosses the bridge, however, the man disappears. According to the story, the person is the same person who died at this bus stop many years ago.
9. The Levee Walker, Quincy
According to legend, when the levee in Quincy was being constructed, one of the construction workers took an interest in another one's wife. The latter construction worker was furious and killed the other guy, burying him in the construction site. So now he walks the levee. Kids who are "brave enough" call out his name and attempt to summon him.
10. Murphysboro Mud Monster
The year was 1973, it was summer in Murphysboro, Illinois, but the town would never be the same. A couple parked near a boat ramp saw a large, non-human figure approaching them making a terrifying noise. They told the police about the incident. Police didn't believe them, but went to the scene and saw large footprints. They came back again and heard a terrifying noise. A few other people reported seeing this matted creature. Since then, no sightings of the Murphysboro Mud Monster have been reported, but the story lives on.
Did your favorite Illinois urban legend not make the cut? Let us know the tale in the comments.