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 ARCADA THEATRE IN ST. CHARLES, ILLINOIS
When St. Charles’ Arcada Theatre was built in 1926, they had grand plans for the entertainment venue when they installed 1,009 seats in a town of roughly only 5,000 people. Upon their grand opening, their dreams came true as patrons came in large numbers from the city and surrounding towns to see silent movies and vaudeville acts. Many legendary stars have graced their stage, including Judy Garland, Liberace and the Von Trapp Family Singers. Today, the Arcada Theatre is still one of the Midwest’s top live music venues attracting some of the world’s most notable performers.
The theatre basement carries even more history where a network of tunnels and rooms may give credence to the rumors they were originally used as part of the Underground Railroad assisting to transport slaves to Canada. Years later, they were said to have been used as a brothel and by bootleggers to transfer alcohol discreetly and also believed to be one of Al Capone’s favorite hideaways. Rooms with multiple locks circulated stories of Capone secretly keeping bodies within their walls.
This colorful history and the whisper of a woman who once hung herself from the theatre balcony could possibly be behind the footsteps, banging and disembodied voices heard by employees and patrons when no one else was around. The stage floodlights have been known to turn on by themselves, and human figures have been seen then suddenly disappear. So, if you find yourself enjoying a show at the Arcada, best check out who is sitting next to you.
THE HAUNTED LOCALE PART 1: COUNTRY HOUSE
THE HAUNTED LOCALE PART 2: THE GREAT NAPERVILLE TRAIN CRASH OF 1946
10 TRENDS IN WEST SUBURBAN HAUNTED HOT SPOTS