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18 Haunted Places in Illinois you need to see

Looking for haunted places in Illinois?

Then this is the go-to list of 18 bone-chilling, spooky destinations around The Prairie State that will keep you awake days after you visit them.

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Greenwood Cemetery in Decatur
Greenwood Cemetery

Best Haunted Places in Central Illinois

Greenwood Cemetery, Decatur

Greenwood Cemetery is among the most haunted places in Illinois, and possibly the entire country.

Recent paranormal investigations detected that unusual activities like horrifying screams and unexplained ghost lights still emanate from the cemetery.

Highlights

  • A devil’s chair: if you sit on it, you will get to make a pact with the Devil and get anything you want for seven years. At the end of the seventh year, the Devil comes to claim your soul.
  • The Greenwood Bride, the ghost of a weeping young woman that haunts the short stone Barrackman Steps.
  • Civil War section, the cemetery’s most notorious haunted spot.
  • Ghost lights that appear on the southern edge of the cemetery are said to be of the spirits of lost souls searching for where their bodies are now buried.

When to Go

The best time to visit Greenwood Cemetery, Decatur, one of the most haunted Illinois locations, is just before sunset and through the night.

Location

606 S Church St, Decatur, IL 62522, United States. Follow Google Maps

Ridge Cemetery
Ridge Cemetery (photo credits: John J Curtis)

Ridge Cemetery

A remote town in Illinois with a mystifying ghost story attached to it, the Ridge Cemetery is a must-visit location for those wanting to visit haunted abandoned places in Illinois.

This 19th-century town of Williamsburg became a ghost town after the railroad was built to the east of the town and all residents moved to live closer to it.

The graveyard, at the highest point of the 810 feet mountain, has however remained.

Incidents of occult activity, rotting structures, and stories of paranormal activities like dark apparitions and strange lights in the area make this an exciting place to visit.

Highlights

  • A girl who went missing and was later found walking toward the Ridge Cemetery told her mother that people living in the cemetery had told her to stay with them.
  • The carcass of a mutilated cow was found without any blood and removed reproductive organs.

When to Go

One of the best-haunted locations in Illinois, the Ridge Cemetery feels the grimmest when visited after sunset.

Location

Hinton, Williamsburg Hill, IL 62571, United States. Follow Google Maps

Here is an overview of more central Illinois attractions. 

The Woodstock Opera House
The Woodstock Opera House

Best Haunted Places in Northern Illinois

Woodstock Opera House, Woodstock

One of the most iconic haunted places in northern Illinois, the architectural beauty of the Woodstock Opera House is breathtaking.

The building has been the city’s pride over the years not only for the Victorian style décor and development of arts in Illinois but also for the ghost stories associated with it.

Highlights

  • The resident ghost Elvira for whom the DD113 seat in the balcony is always kept empty for Elvira to sit. Many times the spring-loaded seat has been seen folded down during a performance.
  • The sight of Elvira roaming in the hallways and looking out the windows of the upper stall.

When to Go

Book a ticket to a play or performance at this haunted Illinois attraction on Groundhog Day, i.e. 2nd February so you can partake in the festivities of the town.

Also, Victorian Christmas which is close to Thanksgiving is a great time to visit Woodstock.

For an overview of more quaint towns in Illinois, click here.

Location

121 E Van Buren St, Woodstock, IL 60098, United States. Follow Google Maps

An abandoned house in Cairo, Illinois
An abandoned house in Cairo, Illinois

Best haunted places in Southern Illinois

Cairo

Once slated as the economic hotbed of the Midwest, Cairo soon succumbed to racial unrest.

The arrival of free slaves caused racial tensions to grow during the early 1900s and with Jim Crow, massive unemployment, incidents of lynching, and police brutality, the town eventually became a haunted Illinois location by the 70s.

With a total population of 2,000, Cairo has become a ghost town that still has traces of White Supremacy at its worst.

Here is an overview of more interesting southern Illinois cities.

Highlights

The ruins of abandoned and crumbling brick and mortar Victorian-style structures showcase a harrowing racial past.

When to Go

If you are vaccinated and have the certification, you can visit this haunted Illinois town from early May to late June and from late July to early October.

Location

Cairo, Illinois 62914, United States. Follow Google Maps

McPike Mansion, a haunted location in Illinois.
McPike Mansion (photo credits: Black.Doll)

McPike Mansion, Alton

Founded in 1803, Alton is a historical town whose main attraction is the McPike Mansion.

The mansion is pretty famous for its ghost stories in Illinois.

Built in 1869 by Henry Guest McPike, paranormal investigation reports have found that the house is haunted by the ghost of the former owner Paul Laichnger and his domestic help Sarah Wells.

Highlights

  • Flashlights dying out without no reason, flickering of the lights, and a strong smell of lilac in the attic (a perfume Sarah wore).
  • Orbs of light or figures might get captured in photos despite them not being in the shot.
  • Disembodied laughter of children, disappearing objects, scraping of doors, and unexplained footsteps.

When to Go

Since Alton is one of the most haunted places in Chicago, Illinois, it’s best to take a tour of the mansion during pre-Halloween days in October when the city hosts ghost hunting events.

Where to Stay

Check out Beall Mansion, a boutique B&B.

For an overview of more boutique hotels in Illinois, click here.

Location

2018 Alby St, Alton, IL 62002, United States. Follow Google Maps

Aux Sable Cemetery. This is a haunted place in Illinois.
Aux Sable Cemetery (photo credits: Kenneth Spencer)

Aux Sable Cemetery

If you are courageous enough to be pranked by a ghost, then Aux Sable Cemetery is the best haunted Illinois location.

Situated in Alton, IL, the stories from this 19th-century haunted cemetery are not for the faint-hearted.

Highlights

  • Ghost of a young female who pulls pranks on visitors.
  • Electric windows of your car might automatically roll down and the doors might get unlocked automatically.
  • Mysterious mists and fires.
  • A satanic trail where cult practices were allegedly carried out in the 80s.
  • Native Americans were buried here so it might be obvious who may prank you.

When to Go

Nighttime is the right time to visit this Illinois haunted attraction.

Location

Brown Rd, Minooka, IL 60447, United States. Follow Google Maps

The Old Slave House is one of the most haunted places in Illinois.
The Old Slave House (photo credits: HaarFager)

Hickory Hill

Once the dream home of the illegal slave trader and breeder couple John Crenshaw and Sinia Taylor and their five children, the Hickory Hill mansion is definitely on the list of the most haunted places in Illinois.

The mansion was built in the “Pseudo-Greek revival” architecture, typical for that time. The first 2 floors where the family lived were decorated lavishly but the upper floor has witnessed many horror stories.

Highlights

  • An attic consisting of 12 tiny rooms and a hallway with whipping posts meant to punish the slaves.
  • Auditory and tactile activity during the day like shuffling feet and whimpering cries.

When to Go

Though the mansion is one of the most haunted places in Illinois, visitors are no more allowed inside as the structure has become unsafe and requires urgent repairs.

Location

The Old Slave House Museum, 4325 Crenshaw Ln, Equality, IL 62934, United States. Follow Google Maps

Most Haunted Roads in Illinois

7th Avenue Dead End in Sterling, IL

Famous for the ghost of a wailing woman killed on the railroad tracks, the 7th Avenue Dead End is truly a haunted road in Illinois in every sense.

Established in 1856, the town of Sterling was an industrial hub that became famous for its hardware manufacturing.

Companies like National Manufacturing and Franz Manufacturing created great business for the town.

For ghost hunters, the road can be really exciting to experience paranormal activity.

Highlights

A weeping woman who is searching for her children who had gone missing.

When to Go

The best time to drive or take a walk on 7th Avenue Dead End would be in the evening or at night as there are greater chances of spotting paranormal activity at night.

Location

7th Avenue, Sterling, Illinois 61081, United States. Follow Google Maps

Dug Hill Road

Whether or not you believe in spirits or ghosts or any paranormal entity, the story of the Dug Hill Road will still make you consider it among the most haunted places in Illinois.

The road is tucked between the Trail of Tears and Brown Barrens in Southern Illinois.

Marshal Welch an officer was ambushed and brutally shot dead by Union Army deserters on Dug Hill Road in 1865.

The Marshal had arrested them a few days back but released them soon after the peace treaty was signed. In a revengeful attack, they killed the Marshal in cold blood.

Highlight

Sound of gunshots and pounding of horse hooves on the same spot where the Marshal was killed.

When to Go

Any time of the year would be good to visit the Dug Hill Road to experience a nightmare-inducing incident on this haunted road in Illinois.

Location

Union Precinct, IL 62952, United States. Follow Google Maps

Bloods Point Road in Boone County, IL

Another haunted road in Illinois that makes our list is the Bloods Point Road in Boone County.

If you want to experience a nightmare-inducing ordeal with lots of ghoulish vibes, this is the road that you need to travel.

Of all the roads in Illinois, the Bloods Point Road is the most active when it comes to paranormal activity.

Many instances of murders, accidents, and lynching have happened on the road which makes it the most terrifying route in Illinois.

Highlights

  • Vintage cars are known to mysteriously appear.
  • Beulah’s decomposed ghost that has caused people to fall sick on a single sighting. She had murdered her children and then hung herself on the Bloods Point Bridge.
  • Spirits of dead kids whose school bus fell off the bridge might push your car off the bridge if you put it in neutral.
  • Phantom dogs with glowing red eyes.

Location

Bloods Point Rd, Flora Township, IL, United States. Follow Google Maps

A heron in the Poplar Creek Forest Preserve
The Poplar Creek Forest Preserve where the shoe factory road runs through (photo credits: Nate Kauffman)

Shoe Factory Road, Hoffman Estates

Do you know what’s most interesting about abandoned factories? They always have a creepy legend attached to them.

That’s what this Illinois haunted attraction is famous for.

The Shoe Factory Road is infamous for the paranormal incidents which attract ghost hunters and investigators from all over the country.

The stone building and the farm near the Poplar Creek Forest preserve are both believed to be haunted.

The factory was used as a school and later became a residence but by the early 70s, was abandoned. Several terrifying stories have come up in the past few decades.

One such story involves a farmer who killed his family and buried them at the center of the circle of trees near the barn.

Highlights

The ghost of a child playing with a knife with which he killed his family may appear sitting on the steps of the building.

Location

Shoe Factory Rd, Hoffman Estates, IL, United States. Follow Google Maps

Kennedy Hill Road

Witness the mysterious beauty of a phantom woman who has been on the Kennedy Hill Road for decades.

One of the most fascinating and scary ghost stories in Illinois, the Kennedy Hill Road is inhibited by the ghost of a young woman who roams in the cornfields along the road with just black underwear cladding her bottom and a scarf on her neck.

The woman is probably Ann Bergman who had been murdered in 1962 along with her boyfriend.

Highlight

  • The Phantom lady wearing different stages of clothing and sometimes nothing while roaming the cornfields where earlier there was an ancient cemetery.
  • A mentally disabled girl.
  • Ghost of a cross-dresser who wears his girlfriend’s clothes.

When to Go

You should go to this Illinois paranormal site during dawn or dusk at any time of the year.

Location

Kennedy Hill Road, IL, United States. Follow Google Maps

Graffiti paint
The Acid bridge is covered in graffiti

Lebanon Road, Collinsville

For those who want the real deal for their Halloween celebrations, a trip down the Lebanon Road would surely give you the thrill and chill you want to experience.

The 40-year-old legend of this haunted location in Illinois says that if anyone drives under all the bridges on this road during midnight, they go straight to hell through a portal.

Apparently, the road is guarded by Hell Hounds.

Highlights

A strange and cold feeling while passing over the graffiti-covered Acid Bridge that connects to the East Kirsch Road. Teenage boys who had taken acid lost control of their car which fell into the shallow creek. All of them died.

When to Go

Midnight during October or on Halloween Day would be the best time to experience spooky vibes on this route.

Location

Lebanon Rd, Collinsville, IL, United States. Follow Google Maps

Abandoned shops in main street Abingdon
The population of Abingdon decreases every year (photo credits: carlfbagge)

Haunted Schools in Illinois

Abingdon Middle School

Nightmare tales of haunted schools always appeal to ghost lovers.

The Abingdon Middle School is one of the many haunted schools in Illinois that has spooky legends associated with its past.

A teacher who had hung herself after witnessing a kid falling down the stairs on a tricycle is extremely haunting.

Highlights

  • Squealing of tricycle tires, yelling and screaming voices.
  • Both the woman and the child roam the corridors together.
  • Bloodstains were on the walls in every room and over the staircase where the woman hung herself and the child fell and died.

When to Go

The school building is not in use and it is unclear if access is allowed to the floor where she had died.

Location

600 W Martin St, Abingdon, IL 61410, United States. Follow Google Maps

St. Charles East High School
St. Charles East High School (photo credits: Ahsagitarius)

St. Charles East High School (St. Charles, Illinois)

The story of a St. Charles High School freshman girl being raped by a janitor while she was practicing the flute in the school’s band room got circulated.

After raping and killing her, the janitor cut her body into pieces and stuffed them into different lockers.

Since then, flutes have gone missing from the band room on many occasions.

Highlights

  • Sudden sighting of body parts inside the lockers which vanish in an instant.
  • Faint flute sound coming from the empty band room during day and night time.

Location

1020 Dunham Rd, St. Charles, IL 60174, United States. Follow Google Maps

Statues where the Lincoln - Douglas debate was held in Alton
Alton is also the place where one of the Lincoln – Douglas debates was held (photo credits: ksablan)

Old Milton School, Alton

The Old Milton School was built in 1904 and formally closed in 1986.

This Illinois haunted location was turned into a factory and has the story of a schoolgirl named Mary associated with it.

Mary was found inside the girl’s locker room, all battered and bloodied.

This apparently happened when she was leaving for home after completing a seasonal bulletin.   

Highlights

Sound of footsteps and figure Mary’s ghost may appear if you pay a visit.

Location

1320 Milton Rd #3a, Alton, IL 62002, United States. Follow Google Maps

Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park in Chicago

Best Haunted Woods in Illinois

Lincoln Park Zoo

Built on a cemetery with 35,000 buried dead, the Lincoln Park Zoo is a congregation of spirits from the 1840s and 1850s which makes it a major destination on the list of haunted locations in Illinois.

With as many as 12,000 bodies supposedly still under the zoo, there’s enough thrill and terror for a paranormal investigator at this site.

Highlights

  • Ghosts wandering in the park wearing Victorian-era clothing.
  • A female ghost near the Lion House whose reflection also appears on the mirror in the ladies’ restroom.
  • Slamming of doors and flickering of lights.

When to Go

You can visit this haunted Illinois location between 10 am to 5 pm.  It is free to visit. Here is an overview of more free fun things to do in Illinois.

Location

2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, United States. Follow Google Maps

Spike buck in Robinson Woods Forest Preserve
A Spike Buck in the Robinson Woods Forest Preserve (photo credits: Raed Mansour)

Robinson Woods

Many ancient legends and folklores are associated with these haunted woods in Illinois.

The Robinson Woods which once belonged to Alexander Robinson (Chief of an American Indian Tribe in the 1800s), supposedly have dark spirits lurking in the tree trunks while some spirits are not even of this world.

For those daring enough to venture into these woods, there’s a whole world of ghastly spirits waiting for you.

Highlights

  • The left side of the Robinson Woods has extremely evil vibrations that are sure to give you the haunts.
  • Ghostly shadows, strange noises, lavender and violet scent in the dead of winter, ectoplasm mist, and red or white orbs.
  • The spirit of Alexander Robinson who saved American lives during the Massacre of Fort Dearborn.
  • Sound of Indian tom-toms and wood being sawed near the burial mounds.

When to Go

You can visit these woods all year round between sunrise and sunset.

Location

Lawrence Ave, west of N East River Rd, Chicago, IL 60656, United States. Follow Google Maps

Conclusion

With a list this extensive, your paranormal adventure trip might get more excited and terrifying while searching for the most haunted places in Illinois.

For better planning of your trip, you can find tour guides who will help you gain access to such locations that normally aren’t accessible.