Lisa is a writer with a terrible case of wanderlust! She loves to photograph interesting places and provide tips to the casual vacationer.
Some of the most haunted places are located in the Midwest. Joliet, IL, a community located southwest of Chicago and home to 145,000 residents, is rumored to have some high paranormal activity. In this article, you will see a mix of private residences, public buildings, and one historic gravesite.
9 Haunted Places in Joliet, Illinois
- Hiram B. Scutt Mansion
- Frank Shaver Allen House
- Patrick C. Haley Mansion
- A.J. Bates House
- Rialto Square Theatre
- A.C. Clement House
- University of St. Francis
- Old Joliet Prison
- Will County Farm Cemetery
1. Hiram B. Scutt Mansion (1882)
Built in 1882, the Scutt mansion was built for Hiram B. Scutt, a civil war veteran and Joliet's first barbed wire manufacturer. Scutt held 10 patents for his barbed wire. This 4,960 square foot home is on the National Register of Historic Places and is considered one of the more haunted locations in Joliet.
Rumor has it that 2 children died in the home, as well as 3 of it's owners. In 2006, a teen was fatally shot just outside the home. One of it's owners, Seth Magosky, who was working to turn the home into a Victorian life museum, died suddenly and unexpectedly while working in the house only 6 months after purchasing the home. His family took over the upkeep of the home until early 2014. The house was listed for the bargain price of $159,000 and thanks to social media efforts, the sale got national attention. On the day of the open house, over 175 people toured the home and it eventually sold for 3 times the asking price. The current owner is a history buff and is planning to restore the home into it's original condition.
Many paranormal investigations have taken place in the home over the years. Visitors report cold spots, with heavy dark vibes coming from the "doll room", in which visitors feel a sudden urge to leave the room. Others reported hearing voices, felt fingers running through their hair and seeing strange lights/orbs.
Hiram B. Scutt Mansion
2. Frank Shaver Allen House (1887)
Frank Shaver Allen was a local Joliet architect (born in Galesburg, IL) and Egyptologist who built several private residences and public buildings throughout the Joliet area. Most notable is his use of the local Joliet limestone, which you can see in a number of his buildings. His style is Richardson Romanesque and sometimes a hybrid of that style, coupled with classic Queen Anne elements. Some of his most notable buildings are:
- Krakar Residence at 225 N. Hickory Street
- Patrick C. Haley Mansion at 17 S. Center Street
- Joliet Township High School located at Jefferson and Eastern
- His own home at 608 Morgan Street
- A.J. Bates house at 500 Western Ave.
The Allen house's paranormal activity has been heavily documented and made the news in the 1970s when a local reporter and psychics investigated the property. The owners at the time had lived in the home for 10 years and during that time were terrorized by some of the activity. They had reported seeing the spirit of an elderly woman, as well as another woman reportedly to be a nanny that used to work in the home and a young boy, with whom the nanny was in charge of.
A boy who lived in the home reported several encounters with the spirit boy, saying that the boy kept inviting him to be his playmate. Other activity includes doors slamming on their own, hearing screams and voices, and seeing shadow figures.
Rumor has it that F.S, Allen's own spirit is haunting the home, but he had moved to California for many years and had died out there, not here in this home.
Frank Shaver Allen House
3. Patrick C. Haley Mansion (1891)
A Frank Shaver Allen designed home, the Haley mansion was built for Joliet's then mayor, Patrick C. Haley. The Haley mansion looks more like a castle with it's limestone brick façade, archways and turret. Over the years, the home has been a funeral parlor and from the 1990s through present, it a banquet facility. Many weddings take place in the mansion and the garden grounds.
Guests have reported seeing spirits and hearing voices of two different males. Speculation is that both Patrick C. Haley himself and a former funeral director both haunt the mansion.
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Patrick C. Haley Mansion
4. A.J. Bates House (1888)
Located in the Upper Bluff historic district, this home is another that was designed by Frank Shaver Allen. It is a small departure from the natural limestone block used in his other locations; this one comes with a painted red façade and a mix of Romanesque and Queen Anne styles.
Native Jolietans had heard rumors passed down for years about the seedy past of this home. A Dr. Bagosi is said to have done illegal abortions on the 3rd floor of the home as well as other "experiments" on people. In general, people who grew up in the area has always know this to be the "haunted" or "creepy" house.
I have first hand experience with this home, having been inside the home twice. The first time was when the home was bank-owned in 2012 and being shown for an open house. The former owner, who was planning on rehabbing the home, ran out of money. In a desperate effort to try to recoup the cost, he attempted to set the house on fire in the front parlor on the main level. The fire (thankfully!) never took and only a small portion of the original wood floor was scorched.
Overall, the home needed a lot of work between completely gutted sections (the main level kitchen and bathroom) and damage that the former owner purposely caused (wall sconces ripped off the walls, fireplace mantle ripped off the wall and torn original wallpaper). Because of this, the bank was selling it at the bargain basement price of $129,000.
The home was snatched up rather quickly and the current owner is lovingly restoring it. I was able to see some of his work during the Cathedral Area Preservation Association's annual House Walk in September 2012.
Both times viewing the home have left me with some impressions of this house. On the 4th floor (considered to once have been maid/servant quarters) you get the impression that you are being watched. Several times I felt as if someone was staring at me and when I turned to look, no one was there. The Billiard Room on the 3rd floor has the same vibe and I felt a sense of uneasiness in that room.
The current owner will be putting his home on the house walk again in the future after most of his restorations are completed, and I cannot wait to get back in there and see this magnificent home once again!