If you’re looking for some spooky places to visit this October, you’ll want to check out these incredibly haunted landmarks in Illinois. From haunted houses to natural wonders, no corner of the state is untouched by paranormal activity.
Ghost hunters unite for the adventures that will surely spook you. Keep scrolling for the creepy details.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Lincoln's Tomb (Springfield)
Located in Oak Ridge Cemetery, this is believed to be the final resting place of the 16th president, his wife, and three of their sons. It was one of the first sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966 and is also a U.S. National Landmark and an Illinois State Historic Site. It is rumored that Abe was buried multiples places before this final plot, and during the construction and moving of the body, those involved reported hearing footsteps and sobbing noises. Visitors still report strange occurrences even today.
2. The Original Springs Hotel (Okawville)
Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, visitors report strange mists, apparations, eerie presences, and unexplained footsteps in the halls at this vintage hotel. Sometimes doors open and close by themselves and music plays down the hall for no reason. There are also reports of a lady in white dressed in clothing from the early 1900s who roams the building. Locals know this is one of the most haunted landmarks in Illinois.
Situated along the Ohio River in a town by the same name, this haunted landmark was the site of much pirate activity prior to the 1800s, after which it was taken over by a robber who lured travelers into the cave with liquor and women and then murdered them. Additionally, nearby, a ferryman who was in league with pirates and slave catchers was murdered by vigilantes and buried head first due to an unfortunate accident at his funeral. It's anyone's guess whose spirit exactly haunts these grounds, but there's a good chance it's one or many of these murder victims.
4. Peoria State Hospital
This creepy building in Central Illinois is listed on the U.S. Register of Historic Places and is believed to be haunted by a ghost known as Old Book. The apparition was once a patient who worked on the burial crew until his own dying day, and strange happenings began the day of his own funeral. When the funeral bearers went to lift the coffin, it flew into the air as if it was light as a feather. Old Book was then seen crying and moaning in his usual spot, only ceasing when his coffin was opened to reveal his body still inside.
5. Jane Addams Hull House (Chicago)
Built by an influential humanitarian as a home for immigrants, this mansion contains several haunts. The most notable is the rumor that Jane Addams once took in a devil child that was born to a cult, though many speculate this is pure urban legend. Visitors and employees of what is now a museum do report a White Lady, though, who haunts the grounds. The house is a Chicago Landmark, a U.S. National Historic Landmark, and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
6. Dana-Thomas House (Springfield)
The home of Susan Lawrence Dana was named a national landmark in 1904. She was a widowed heiress who decided she wanted to host parties and so had a home built by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is believed that she also held seances, rendering the place haunted now. The most activity reportedly occurs on Susan's birthday, her mother's birthday, and the dates of funerals that took place in the house.
7. Cahokia Mounds (Collinsville)
This amazing place is a State Historic Site and a National Historic Landmark. It was once the site of an ancient Native American city from 600 to 1400 that consisted of over 100 mounds. Today, it is believed to be haunted by the spirits of those who once inhabited the land. Visitors report unexplained shadows and orbs while traversing the area.
8. Woodstock Opera House
This stunning piece of architecture is haunted by a woman who killed herself after being turned down for the lead role in a play. Now, a specific seat in the balcony is reserved for her each night, and it is reported that the seat folds down when she is there. Those who have seen her say she is beautiful with long, blonde hair and a flowy gown. Like many of Illinois' haunted landmarks, it is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
9. Chicago Water Tower
One of the only remaining buildings from the Great Chicago Fire, this iconic landmark is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is believed to be haunted by a man who was working the pumps when the fire began and who decided to remain on duty rather than evacuate. He hanged himself before the flames got him, and there are reports that you can still see his body swinging if you look up at the windows late at night.
10. Devil's Backbone (Grand Tower)
Located in the town of Grand Tower, which has been a Southern Illinois landmark almost forever, the area is believed to be possessed due to the amount of people who have died there. One is the spirit of a young girl who haunts the area known as Devil's Bake Oven. She was the daughter of a superintendent at an iron works, and she fell in love with a man her father strongly dissatproved of. She died of a broken heart but still roams the land.
11. Grosse Point Light (Evanston)
Visitors of this important landmark have reported sighting old seafarers who drowned in Lake Michigan. The light was built after many ships had already crashed into the shoreline, resulting in hundreds of fatalities, and now, hauntings. This gorgeous yet creepy structure was made a National Historic Landmark in 1999 and in 1976 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
12. Kaskaskia Hotel (LaSalle)
Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, this hotel originally opened in 1916 and closed in 2001. It is haunted by the ghost of a woman who committed suicide, though some believe her boyfriend pushed her. Staff and guests now report phantom clicking of heels down the hall, the elevator operating on its own, and other strange happenings.
13. Haymarket's Martyrs' Monument (Forest Park)
This place is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The stunning sculpture marks the burial ground of several murdered during the Haymarket riot of 1886. What began as a peaceful labor demonstration became violet after someone threw a bomb. The spirits of those who were killed haunt the cemetery today.
Have you ever been spooked at any of these haunted landmarks? Share your ghost stories with us in the comments!