by Mindy Kyle
FEATURING A SPOOKY WEST SUBURBAN HAUNT EACH WEEK
What is October without a scary ghost story or two? Well, take your pick. The western suburbs of Chicago are teeming with famous hauntings and spooky histories. Perhaps it is one of your favorite restaurants or museums or a street in your neighborhood. Be prepared for shivers up your spine as we explore these haunted hot spots where the supernatural may reside. Do you believe? You decide. This week we explore….
THE GREAT NAPERVILLE TRAIN WRECK OF 1946: THE DEAD WERE LAID OUT ON 4TH AVENUE
NAPERVILLE–On April 25, 1946, a Northern Pacific train, the Advance Flyer, was heading west from Chicago to Omaha, Nebraska filled with passengers. As they sped down the track, a brakeman noticed an object fly out from underneath one of the cars. To investigate and check for damage, the train stopped at the next station – Loomis Street in Naperville.
On the same track, also traveling west and three minutes behind the Advance Flyer, was the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy train, the Exposition Flyer bound for San Francisco. There were blinking red lights warning the engineer of a stopped train ahead, but he did not see them. The Exposition Flyer rammed into the back of the Advance Flyer at a speed of 85 miles per hour. The diesel engine tore through the last car, slicing it through the middle and smashed the next car with such force, it was crushed and catapulted at an angle up in the air. Forty-seven people died in the accident, most so badly mangled, it was difficult to identify the bodies of the victims. Some never were.
The dead were laid out in long rows on the lawns of the homes along Fourth Avenue, stretching almost a full block from Loomis Street to the station. These violent deaths are thought to be the cause of many peculiar reports on the blocks around the station, including voices calling for help, the feel of an invisible hand touching you, knocking on the doors of the nearby homes and even apparitions walking the streets and disappearing. The Great Naperville Train Wreck of 1946 still ranks as one of the worst train disasters in US history.
THE HAUNTED LOCALE: PART 1: COUNTRY HOUSE