My elementary school memories are filled with spooky stories and how an urban legend story started in the P.E. girl’s bathroom. A classmate would lure girls in the bathroom to make them chant "Bloody Mary" three times in order for her to show up in the mirror. The bathroom would be dimly lit, and she would make us look at the mirror and do the chant. The lights would come back on, and my friend would pretend to be possessed by Mary herself. The experience was a little traumatizing.
Here are several stories around Southern Illinois chilling us to the bone.
Redford Cemetery-Newton, IL
If you are taking a drive you might see a cemetery off the beaten path in the middle of the woods menacingly sitting in the dark. The darkness from the history lures over the trees. It haunts people who dare to step foot on the grass. A black family and a man buried out in the woods who weren't offered the courtesy of being buried hover over the cemetery boundaries. Supposedly, Jay Wheeler's grave who was born October 20th, 1865 to ? and died at the age of 48 lurks at the edge of the cemetery and near the tree line. Some people have seen orbs of light moving around at dusk. Would you want to visit here?
Green Lantern Road-Olney, IL
Now, this story was said to be a complete hoax, but you can be the judge of that. Say you are driving down the road and you see a scary man in the middle of the road. What do you do? The legend is so old that nobody really knows what happened to the man, but if you travel down this road late at night you will see a green shining lantern. The light will quickly float behind your car, your car lights will shut off, and the car will die. Then a man in a trench coat ends up holding the lantern and walks out in front of you to the cemetery and disappears in the woods, magically your car starts up again. It's said to be a hoax because there was a oil well shack in the woods and there was a green lantern in there. It would swing back and fourth to scare people. It was hung there to scare people. So, if you ever want to go for a walk, don't go down that road!
Edward Dobbins Masonic Lodge #164-Lawrenceville, IL
A lodge usually doesn't seem that scary, right? This building was three different churches in the past and turned into a mortuary for about 50 years. What is chilling to think about is the current dining room was the old embalming room. This building was built in 1880, no wonder it has so much eerie vibes. Apparently, Abraham Lincoln attended as he practiced law in a building down the street. Several ghosts have been seen walking around in the lodge or having meetings. Betsy Reed is known to hang out around this area along with a tall man dressed in a black suit. Betsy Reed was known to be the first woman to be sentenced to death in Illinois. She was believed to be a witch. One of the important pieces to this story is an underground tunnel with an opening exists right under the alter table. Human bones and bits of fabric have been found. It's believed it's where some of the many spirits that haunt this location emerge from. The tunnels are thought to be apart of the Underground Railroad and run under the building making their way to the river. Would you want to explore those tunnels?
Macke Cemetery-Marshall, IL
Approaching a cabin in the woods as it sits silently where several murders took place a number of years ago, you might wake the Hachetman. The legend states a man known as "Hatchet Man" went crazy and killed his whole family. He chopped them up individually and threw their bodies in a well behind the cabin. Some believe that it's just him that haunts the cemetery or the spirits of his family that will not rest in peace. Two stone wolves sit on each side of the steps leading up to the cemetery. If they are not seen on their usual spots, they are out roaming the area protecting "Hatchetman." Also, there is an iron fence at the back of the cemetery. If you grab onto the fence and say Hatchetman three times, he will come out and chase you. We don't recommend doing this because you would not want to be chased by a killer ghost!
Asbury Chapel -Mount Carmel, IL
On a rainy prom night, a couple took a drive out by a church and ran off the road. It took a sharp curve. The road had no guardrails, and the car veered off in between a field of trees. The girl passed away from the crash and her spirit will not rest in peace. She has been seen running in the field of trees with her prom dress still on. In order to lure in the girl ghost, you have to flash your car lights three times. Then, turn your car off and back on. Flash your lights three times again and she will appear! Also, the old rusted car was believed to still be there stuck in those trees, and it either deteriorated or someone ended up doing something with it. Would you want to drive by a old chapel and see a ghost girl running towards you?
Wow! These stories will go on forever to haunt us and cause us to have nightmares. Or like me, be traumatized. If you are brave enough to tour these places, we know some guides and tours available. Contact Crawford County Illinois Ghost Hunters Society for more information on Facebook. Take a tour if you dare. These urban legends could still be active. We never know. People will add on to the story and it will continue from one generation to the next. We don't know what we create when we add to the story.
What is your favorite ghost story? Does your town have an urban legend or a famous ghost? Let us know down in the comments or on our social media!