Halloween is almost upon us once more! What better time to share some spooky stories than now? Here are 9 spooky stories and legends from around the area to entertain you – share them with your friends this Halloween and see how many of these spooky stories they know!
Three Mile House – Edwardsville
North of Edwardsville on Rt. 159, an old inn called the Three Mile House used to stand. According to legend, the inn might have once been a stop on the Underground Railroad. In fact, it is said that during renovations in 1970, workers discovered underground tunnels and a skeleton. Those who worked in and stayed at the inn experienced a variety of phenomena including moving furniture, lights flickering off and on, orbs of light, shadowy figures, and more. Sadly, the inn burned down in 1985; however, the gazebo still remains intact.
The Seven Gates of Hell – Lebanon Road
To those passing through between Troy and Collinsville, the road is simply a winding pathway called Lebanon Road. To locals, however, Lebanon Road is the stuff of legends. According to the legend, those who drive under all 7 bridges and go through the final bridge exactly at midnight will pass through to Hell. The area is also said to be guarded by ghostly hounds that have glowing green or red eyes.
McPike Mansion – Alton
Alton has been hailed as one of the most haunted cities in the nation. One of the most popular haunted locales is the beautiful yet spooky McPike Mansion. This 1869 mansion has been said to be the site of many strange occurrences including ghosts apparating in the hallways, disembodied children’s laughter, footsteps, and much more. If you’re curious about the mansion, you can partake in one of the scheduled monthly tours and group tours. Find out more here! http://www.mcpikemansion.com/index.html
Mineral Springs Hotel – Alton
There are several other haunted spots in Alton, but if we had to pick just one more, we’d choose the historic Mineral Springs Hotel. It is said that several spirits live in this old hotel, which is also now open for haunted tours. Some have witnessed a number of ghosts including The Jasmine Lady, who can be identified by her floral perfume, George, a man who drowned in the hotel swimming pool in the 1920s, The Drunken Ghost, a former artist who created the mural in the Crystal Room bar but unfortunately died before finishing it, and Cassandra, a little girl who drowned in the pool and has an affinity for playing marbles.
McKendree University – Lebanon
McKendree is the oldest university in Illinois and has seen a great deal of history, including the Civil War. There are several reports of spiritual activity on the main campus. In Carnegie Hall, professors and students alike report the televisions turning on and off or changing channels, eerie feelings, footsteps, and even the sound of desks moving on their own on the top floor. The alumni house across the street is the site of three deaths, including a baby who died from pneumonia – the back room, which used to be its nursery, remains permanently cold. Perhaps the eeriest tale of all is from those who spend time in Bothwell Chapel. There have been reports of the organ playing itself, footsteps, and the sound of running down the middle of the sanctuary, even though no center aisle exists!
Lincoln Theatre – Belleville
The spookiest theatre in the Metro St. Louis region has to be the Lincoln Theatre, situated in downtown Belleville. It has been said that the theatre is haunted by 7 different ghosts, including a spirit that loves playing tricks on people. Witnesses have seen an apparition of a ghostly child run up and down the stairs and a woman in the balcony.
Original Springs Mineral Spa and Hotel – Okawville
Nestled in a little town off I-64, the Original Springs Hotel is a historic building that apparently houses many different specters including a man who died in an explosion in the 1880s, one of the former owners from the 1890s, and at least 7 other spirits of those who died at the hotel from various causes. Guests and workers have witnessed mists and apparitions, felt an eerie presence, and have heard unexplained noises and footsteps. The second floor of the older wing is said to be one of the spots with the most activity in the building. Be on the lookout for a spooky Lady in White wearing early 1990s clothing and a large hat; many have seen her in several spots in the building.
House of Plenty – Highland
The famous House of Plenty wasn’t just known for its excellent food; it was also a well-known restaurant haunted by ghosts. Workers have reported witnessing a mysterious apparition of a man dressed from the early 1900s in the hallways, various objects moving or simply vanishing, eerie feelings, and the sensation of being touched. Though the restaurant has recently closed its doors, the restaurant still experiences some strange goings-on within.
The Bluffs of the Piasa – Alton
Though this isn’t a haunted location, this place has a spooky legend worth mentioning for Halloween. When you travel north along the Great River Road just past Alton, you will see a large painting of a terrifying creature called the Piasa on the bluffs. The findings go back to 1673 when Father Jacques Marquette took note of the painting on his way down river with Louis Joliet. He wrote in his diary that the Piasa “was as large as a calf with horns like a deer, red eyes, a beard like a tiger’s face, a face like a man, the body covered with green, red, and black scales, and a tail so long that it passed around the body, over the head, and between the legs.” Legend says that the Piasa would swoop down and devour the inhabitants until Illini chief Ouatoga and his tribe shot the beast down with poison arrows.
If we’ve inspired you to conduct your own investigation of these spooky places, please make sure that you go on a tour and not by yourself, especially if the areas are non-trespassing zones. You won’t just be putting yourself in physical danger – you’ll also be breaking the law. Besides, we feel that tours are a much better experience!
So which story is your favorite? Let us know on our Facebook wall! And if you find that your house hunt has gotten too scary to handle, don’t call the Ghostbusters – call the Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298!