Everyone in Illinois knows about some of the major haunted houses in the state, and most happen to be up near Chicago. However, here is a small list of paces that are actually haunted that will be perfect for all of you thrill seekers out there (disclaimer: do not trespass on private property or on public grounds that have closing hours).
1. Aux Sable Cemetery - Minooka, IL
This cemetery located in Grundy County is said to be haunted by the spirit of a little girl. This little girl is known to be a prankster and is most known for lowering electric car windows when the keys aren't in the ignition. Take a drive down to Minooka to test this theory for yourself!
2. Resurrection Cemetery - Justice, IL
Resurrection Cemetery is known to be the haunting place for a spirit known as "Resurrection Mary." Resurrection Mary is the most well-known spirit in the Chicagoland area and she's been around since the 1930s. Apparently, in the 1930s, she was at a ballroom dance not far from this cemetery. She left the event after getting into a fight with her boyfriend and, somewhere within the two-mile hitchhike between the cemetery and the dance, was hit and killed by a motorist. She is now known to haunt the area and lead people to Resurrection Cemetery. Many people who go to the Willowbrook Ballroom, the place where Mary was before she died, have reported seeing her dancing. The most common reports are from men who say they offered her a ride home, but when they went to the address she gave it would lead them to the gates of Resurrection Cemetery, where she would disappear and leave them scared and confused. Though, other eyewitness accounts tell different stories of how they met this seemingly innocuous spirit.
3. Kaskaskia Hotel - LaSalle, IL
Kaskaskia Hotel may not be a super popular haunted destination, but it's worth checking out. Back in the 1920s, an unnamed woman committed suicide, although others say she was murdered. And in 1948 another woman committed suicide at this hotel by jumping off the roof. Employees often report the hotel opening and closing its doors when nobody had called it as well as hearing footsteps when nobody else is around.
4. 7 Gates to Hell - Collinsville, IL
There are seven railroad bridges in or near Collinsville that many people claim to lead to Hell. The theories are that you have to drive under all seven bridges, with the seventh one being driven under at midnight, and then you will see either a portal to look into Hell, Hellhounds, or will be transported to Hell itself. There is no solid evidence behind any of the theories, but there are paranormal sightings at a few of the bridges. Including the supposed spirit of an African-American boy who was hanged by the KKK and a man who was hanged because of a fight over a woman. It has also been reported that Satanic cult groups perform rituals at some of the bridges. You can find more information about the individual gates and the urban legends surrounding them here.
5. Congress Plaza Hotel - Chicago, IL
Known as one of the most haunted hotels in Illinois, this place is rumored to have been the inspiration for Stephen King's short story, "1408". The sound of rollerskates being used, strange organ music, disembodied moans coming from a fifth-floor elevator, and a one-legged spirit all haunt this hotel. It's also been reported that people tend to disappear from photographs taken at this hotel as well. On the twelfth floor, it is even reported that there is a room so haunted that it had to be permanently closed and sealed over with wallpaper. Sounds like my kind of vacation spot, to be honest.
6. Bartonville State Hospital - Bartonville, IL
After reopening in 1902, this hospital made a new system for burying their dead. Many were shipped to their families, but there were still lots of patients who came unnamed so they were buried with numbers on headstones in the older cemeteries. The hospital eventually accrued four cemeteries, and the newer cemeteries contained named headstones for the deceased patients. The first documented supernatural occurrence was reported by Dr. George A. Zeller, a man known to be the head of the hospital at the time. He claimed that over three hundred staff, as well as himself, all saw one of the recently deceased staff members weeping at his own funeral. Other, more recent, ghostly sightings have been reported by trespassers (the estate eventually closed and became private property). Unfortunately, the building is now demolished despite the efforts of people trying to raise money to save it. However, the cemeteries are still around.
7. Greenwood Cemetery - Decatur, IL
Greenwood Cemetery has been known for multiple cases of paranormal events. Stories of a bride, lost Civil War soldiers, a weeping woman, and even orbs that surround certain areas of the cemetery. One of the most infamous stories is of Confederate soldiers being buried in a mass grave that was dug in haste. It is theorized that not all of the soldiers who were buried were actually dead, as one of the reported sightings was from a man who claimed a Civil War soldier tried asking him for help.
8. Devil's Bake Oven - Grand Tower, IL
In southern Illinois, just off of Highway 3, there is a large rock point that juts out above the Mississippi River. This is known as the Devil's Backbone. Just south of that lies a large rock hill known as Devil's Bake Oven. This area is rumored to be haunted by a woman who supposedly died of either heartbreak or of some unknown illness. The story states that her father confined her to their house (now demolished) to keep her away from a suitor he did not like. The ruins of the house can still be found today just a short distance away from the Devil's Bake Oven. Many reports claim that the spirit of the woman was seen walking along the rock paths in the area and then disappearing. After disappearing, she would moan and weep, and even blood-curdling screams have been reported.
9. H.H. Holmes' Murder Castle - Chicago, IL
What is presently a seemingly harmless post office used to be the home of the first known serial killer in the United States. During construction in 1893, Holmes hired multiple contractors so nobody but himself would know the floor plan. He ensured that his home had all sorts of odd construction plans, like stairways to nowhere, windowless rooms, hallways with no rooms, and even hallways built at an angle. These designs were all meant to confuse his victims and trap them in his house. When caught, Holmes confessed to 27 murders but it is speculated that it was actually over 200 murders. Most of these murders took place in the basement of the establishment, which is where current workers report seeing and feeling unexplained things.
10. Mineral Springs Hotel - Alton, IL
Although it is no longer a hotel, the Mineral Springs Hotel is still open to the public as a store. When it was used as a hotel in the 1910s and even the 1920s, it had multiple mysterious deaths that are still unsolved to this day. Some of these deaths include a possible murder-suicide, multiple "accidents" caused by multiple lovers' quarrels, and even a deceased artist whom many theorize has no clue he is dead. The list of deaths and their causes is long, but you can read more about who haunts this place here.
Some of these places are more well known than others (and for good reasons), but they are all known to be haunted. Take a look for yourself at what supernatural phenomena these places have to offer!