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. In our fourth week we explore….
THE ROUNDHOUSE IN AURORA
In 1856, the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad began constructing a limestone railroad roundhouse in Aurora right next to the tracks at North Broadway and Spring Street. When completed, forty service bays to help maintain and manufacture the trains were built in a ring. In the center was a large rotating circular platform to help turn the engines around since they could not, at the time, move in reverse.
This heavy machinery and dangerous steel work was opportune for grisly accidents and fatalities. With the invention of the automobile and the airplane, the railroad industry eventually slowed down, and the roundhouse finally closed in 1974. For twenty years, the massive roundhouse lay abandoned and falling apart; however, there were many tales of the sounds of hammers and phantom trains coming from the ruins. Curious trespassers swore of hearing footsteps, voices and frequently spotted dark entities lurking or walking through doors.
In 1994, former Chicago Bear Hall of Famer Walter Payton and his business partners purchased the roundhouse building and property and renovated it as Walter Payton’s Roundhouse. The complex included a restaurant, brewery, sports bar, comedy club, Walter Payton museum and several banquet and conference rooms. The hallway outside the Stout and Lager conference room has the reputation of being the most haunted part of the building, as people have seen shadowy figures, felt cold spots and heard voices. Now the employees say there’s one more spirit that roams their halls – Walter Payton – and he likes to spend most of his time in the Legends Museum.
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