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Looking for some plans this weekend? What about a few haunted tours in Illinois?
In this post, I will share with you 8 must-visit and unique ghost tours to experience while in Illinois, whether you’re a visitor or you’re a local!
I’ve lived in Illinois for a few years, and while I think at times that I have seen it all, and done all there is to do in this midwestern state, I get reminded around this time and season, that some things are not exactly discovered all the way.
Exploring the sights of a city is great, but discovering its haunted past through a few haunted tours and ghost stories is definitely a different, and fun experience – whether it’s chilly October or summery-July.
So without further ado, here are 8 of some of the must-visit and unique haunted tours in Illinois you must check out! Clear your calendar put on your comfiest walking shoes, and get ready to dive into some creepy haunted tours!
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Al Capone made Chicago his stomping ground in the 1920s as one of the most infamous historical characters in Chicago history – a gangster, bootlegger, and murderer. The Chicago Gangsters and Ghost tour will take you to some of the most infamous crime scenes where gruesome murderers, sneaky deals were done, and probably the most famous showdown between two gangster rivals happened: The St. Valentines Day Massacre. This tour is a ghost tour as much as it is a historic tour – which makes the tour even more interesting! Join historians for a 2 hour, 1.5-mile walking tour stopping at all these places throughout the Loop downtown, and get ready to step into 1920’s prohibition-era Chicago.
When: Ghost tours offered daily
Time: 4 tour slots per day at the same time every day – 11 am, 1 pm, 4 pm 8 pm
P.S. There is a segway version of this tour if you prefer to experience the tour this way! More on that later…
If you rather hop on a segway and see more, faster than you would walking, then check out the Chicago Haunted Halloween Segway Tour – a tour that offers a 2-hour tour to some of the city’s most notorious historical crime scenes, ghost sighting sites, and other sites that were witness to hundreds of lives lost in the city of Chicago – from the site of the Great Chicago Fire to the tragic Iroquois Theater fire, the haunted Congress Hotel and it’s creepy ghosts that live within the walls, and more! There are tons to see, and on a segway, you’ll be able to see a lot while also taking sights of the city at night. Topped off with your ghost “hunters” dressed up, leading the way to the city’s darkest corners. It’s a fun ghostly experience not to miss!
When: Any time, you just have to check their availability and book a date on their website that works for you.
Time: Times vary between 6:00pm-8:30pm
Step outside of the city, and into Starved Rock country where you can join Awesome Ottawa Tours – a ghost tour company that offers more than just ghost tours and stories, but also historic tours as well. Some of their amazing ghost tours include:
“The Death of Daniel Sheehan” tour: A new tour offered this year, “The Death of Daniel Sheehan” tour offers visitors a look into the tragic death and gravesites of some of Ottawa’s “pioneers” – from tragedies, murders, and creepy occurrences that happen at these sites. This is a historical and ghost tour, for those who are curious about the stories of real people, and how they died as the first “pioneers” of the area.
Our Shining Lives- The Radium Girls of Ottawa, Illinois: a haunted tour that recounts and revisits the sites where girls of the Starved Rock area became poisoned by a luminous watch dial plant that moved into their neighborhood and killed the majority of the population with radiation and contamination from the plant in the 1920s.
“Wine Through Time” haunted tour: An interactive tour that revisits Ottawa’s notorious era of brothers, gambling, and partying, which will include its attendees to step into the role of a person of the time, as they visit the different bars and saloons (that are still open) and hear about the haunted history of the places while sipping on the drinks popular at the time.
Ottawa Obscura Bike Tour: This is another amazing haunted tour option that takes you faster along Ottawa’s infamous sites of death, crime, and creepy ghost sightings. They claim that they have stories that not even Google knows about, which is bold, but definitely alluring! You can bring your own bike, or rent an electric one from them.
Each tour runs for about a 1-mile long tour (around 1.5 hours long).
When: throughout the year, although some such as “Wine Through Time” is typically available from November-February, although they say they can accommodate.
Time: Most of the tours start at 7:00 pm
Speaking of creepy, haunted tours in Illinois, what about a haunted tour through the creepiest roads and bridges to drive through in Illinois?
Maybe you don’t have time for a full 2-hour tour, or you rather explore in your own car some of these haunted sites – I got you.
Download this FREE 3-page long guide of the creepiest roads and bridges to drive through in Ilinois (which I’ve also included maps for a better idea).
Make sure to fuel up first though, in case you need to speed out of there…
Get an expansive haunted tour of Chicago with Windy City Ghost Tour! They offer a little bit of everything, from haunted tales of gangsters and bootleggers to the tragedy of the Chicago Fire, and more. This tour will extend outside of downtown, and into Lincoln Park to continue the haunted tour of Chicago ghosts. On this walking tour, you will also be allowed to go inside some of the haunted houses and sites such as the Lion House inside Lincoln Park Zoo which apparently has been reported to see a woman dressed in Victorian dress standing behind people washing their hands in the bathroom. Get spooky and enjoy Chicago history as well as some Chicago hauntings on this tour!
This is a tour that I have been on, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it! As a local, I got to see Chicago in a different, spooky way, and almost like a tourist visiting a new city. In a creepy way, it was refreshing just as it was creepy and scary at times. No jump scares, the stories are just that creepy.
When: Offered every day in October
Time: 8 pm (tour is approximately 1 hour)
Time to bust out the EMF detector and spirit box to connect with the ghost of Galena’s past, and hop on this haunted ghost bus tour by Amelia’s Galena Ghost Tour, which will take you throughout some of Galena’s most ghostly and haunted sites, and listen to documented and researched and authentic ghost stories from locals who have experienced weird things. Now, if you want to actually walk around the spooky town at night, don’t forget to consider Amelia’s other haunted activities such as Amelia’s haunted pub crawl, which will take you to a variety of pubs within Galena’s historic center, while listening to workers and local’s ghostly tales of encounters with spirits – both drinks and apparitions.
I’ve actually been on the haunted walking tour, which is different from what they offer now, and was super interested in the historic and haunted history this little town has! Definitely spooky, and worth doing if you’re spending a chilly night in Galena.
When: All year round
Time: 6pm, 7:30pm, 9pm
What do you get when you mix in Abraham Lincoln’s hometown and being surrounded by endless cornfields and farms? A recipe for the perfect ghost tour! Springfield Hauntings Tour offers well-researched, creepy, and authentic spooky tales and occurrences from the time that Abraham Lincoln lived in Springfield, before that, and beyond. The ghost tour specifically goes into details of President Lincoln’s interesting stories and activities, such as seances, spiritualism, and of course, the infamous grave robbery and more! This is a walking tour, so come prepared with your walking shoes, as well as an open mind to enjoy it best.
Other notable and interesting tours they offer include Alton Hauntings, Weird Chicago, Haunted Decatur, Haunted Carlinville – all of these tours with the exception of Weird Chicago, are located in Southern Illinois – so if you’re down there or you’re from there, make the intention this fall season to sign up for one of these interesting ghost tours!
When: Every weekend between April-November
Time: 2-2.5 hours long
When you look up haunted places in Illinois, you will most likely run across the small town name of Alton. In fact, it may be considered one of the most haunted towns in the United States from haunted hotels, to old gathering places, and homes, to remnants of the Civil War, disease, and tragic deaths, this town is filled with restless spirits. Alton nowadays invites people from all over the world to swing by, and discover for themselves why exactly they are considered one of the most haunted towns in the U.S. – and wow, do they have a few events to entertain you with! Everything from their famous Haunted Alton ghost tour, actual ghost hunt adventures with tools and special equipment, and events with Troy Taylor, the original author of the book Haunted Alton – recounting all of Alton’s creepy history, haunted houses, haunted history, and people’s experience with the spirit world throughout time in Alton. Some of these events include themes such as Edgar Allan Poe evening, St. Louis Exorcism Evening, Evening with Lizzie Borden, Evening of American Ax Murders, hosted all throughout the town.
You’re in for a real treat with this tour – it’s definitely worth a drive and weekend trip!
When: All year long
Time: 7 pm and above depending on tour (tours run around 3 hours)
The last tour on the list of haunted tours in Illinois takes place in Naperville, Illinois. Join a real paranormal investigator on this haunted ghost tour of Naperville, which claims that you will see or hear something from the ghosts, especially as this year, they are including the use of an EVP audio recorder which will record sounds and any communication coming from ghosts. Take a break from the Chicago ghosts, and see what other spirits wander around Illinois with this tour. This is also a walking tour that will take you through Naperville’s spooky sights at night, will also give the right amount of history tour and hauntings tour, so definitely check it out if you’re interested in seeing Naperville in a slightly different, creepy way!
When: Every weekend in October
Times: Tours begin at 8 pm
Concluding thoughts on the best and most unique haunted tours in Illinois
Creeped out? At the very least, do you think you’ll be joining one of these tours this fall? I know I will! This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the haunted tours offered in Illinois, but it is definitely a good starting point!
Fall and ghost stories just go together very well, and I hope that if you’re like me, and you’re wondering how to enjoy this fall season even more – whether you’re staying in Illinois or you’re visiting – you now have a good idea of what haunted tours you can do in Illinois this October.
Don’t forget to get your FREE 3-page long guide to some of the creepiest, haunted roads and bridges in Illinois, to really get into the full Halloween spirit!
Which one is your favorite tour or the one you think you’ll like to do? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time.
To more spooky travel moments like these,