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Strange Happenings in Illinois

Mobster ghosts and restless Civil War soldiers

By Rasma RaistersPublished 4 years ago 10 min read
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Valentine's Day Massacre

The address of the place of the 1929 Massacre is 2212 North Clark Street, Chicago Illinois. On the Northside of Chicago on February 14th, 1929 a red brick building and garage housing the S-M-C Cartage Company stood at this North Clark Street address. The garage was also being used as a warehouse for illegal, black market liquor for the Northside Bugs Moran gang. They were mobsters who were in direct competition with Al Capon’s gang when it came to selling illicit bootleg booze during the Prohibition Era. This well known hit was reenacted in part in the well-known comedy film "Some Like It Hot" with Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Marilyn Monroe.

After seven of the Moran gang were gunned down in cold blood the garage became an unofficial memorial. The brick wall against which they were executed was riddled with machinegun bullets. For a while, it became a popular tourist attraction. Then 20 years later in 1949 the front half of the garage was converted into an antique furniture storage business by people who didn’t know its history. They wound up having more tourists than customers and moved on.

Then in 1967, the old building was torn down but the infamous brick wall was saved and used in a nightclub built into a wall of the men’s restroom while other bricks were smuggled out by workmen tearing down the building. A fenced-off lawn belonging to a nearby nursing home was put in where the garage once stood with 5 trees planted on the site. The tree in the middle of the lawn marks the spot where the infamous brick wall stood.

Chicago’s most powerful and ruthless gangster in the 1920’s era was Al Capone. He came to Chicago from Brooklyn, New York with best pal and future cohort in Chicago crime, Johnny Torrio. Johnny Torrio was originally hired by his uncle, Chicago mobster Big Jim Colosimo. Both Al Capone and Johnny Torrio wanted to take over the black market in booze so they knocked off Uncle Big Jim Colosimo and waged a bloody war against other mobs in Chicago.

This resulted in 500 deaths by the time Capone was through in 1930. Having nearly gotten killed in 1925 Johnny retired leaving a 30 million dollar empire in Al Capon’s capable hands. At that time Capone was only 26. Capone had 1000 gunmen, half of the police department on his payroll, local politicians, state attorneys, and lawmakers in his pocket so to speak. So he was able to go about his business with no trouble until he crossed the line on February 14th, 1929 with the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

At that time Al Capone was in Florida. He trusted the job to “Machine Gun” McGurn who was given complete control of the hit. He planned it but stayed away from the event and had an air-tight alibi. “Out of Towners” were recruited for the hit, Fred “Killer” Burke, James Ray, John Scalise and Albert Anselmi, Joseph Lolordo, and Harry and Phil Keywell from Detroit’s Purple Gang.

The morning of February 14, 1929, came and a group of Bug Moran’s gangsters was in the garage awaiting a truckload of stolen liquor from Detroit. They were Johnny May, Frank and Pete Gusenburg, Bugs Moran’s brother-in-law James Clark, Adam Heyer, Al Weinshank, and an optometrist, who wanted to be a gangster Reinhardt Schwimmer. Schwimmer learned too late that it was dangerous to be on the wrong side of the law. While waiting a police car pulled up outside. Five men, three in police uniforms entered the garage with machine guns. All seven of the men waiting in the garage were lined up against a brick wall and pounded by the machine guns. While Capon’s gunmen wiped out the Northern Chicago gang they missed Bugs Moran, who was late. Moran later accused Capone of the vicious hit but there wasn’t any evidence that directly linked Capone to this event however people tended to believe Moran.

The location of this brutal mass killing became a haunted area, the bricks supposedly brought bad luck and eventually, Capone saw the end of his reign. At this location, unusual light and mists have been reported. When no one is around male voices can be heard. There are the sounds of screaming men and machine-gun fire which can be heard by the living passing this place. People who are sensitive develop a sense of real fear as they stand in front of the fenced lawn and animals are frightened too.

The reason the bricks are thought to bring bad luck is that all the powerful negative energy from the killings was soaked up by the bricks. No one is sure what really happened to the bricks from the garage wall. One story is they were sold for $1000 dollars each but those who bought the bricks had a streak of bad luck and wanted to give them back. The other story is that hey were not sold but put in a box along with a diagram showing how they could be put back together. Whatever the real story is it just might happen that whoever finally wound up with the bricks had the worst luck of his life for as long as he lived.

Since people were repulsed by the bloody mass killing there was a lot of political pressure which resulted in getting Capone nailed for tax evasion. He wound up sentenced to Alcatraz Island off the coast of San Francisco, California, for 11 years but only stayed in prison till 1939. Not always having both oars in the water he was forced into retirement.

Capone while living in Florida started being haunted by Moran’s brother-in-law James Clark. In 1931 Capone tried to send the entity to the other side through a medium but it didn’t work. Finally broken in spirit and mind he returned to Florida after being released from prison. The entity returned at that time and haunted Capone till the day he died. At the time of his death he was only 48. Capone is buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery and it is said that sometimes he appears to disrespectful visitors who come to visit his family’s plot.

Graveyard X

There is a highly paranormally active cemetery in Illinois called Graveyard X whose exact location is a closely guarded secret. Only those who are truly interested in serious paranormal research and are prepared to put in the time and effort will find this cemetery. Thrillseekers are not welcome and therefore the location remains undisclosed. The cemetery is found in a very isolated area but is still used for burial today. The older part of the cemetery gives off a sinister feeling. A sort of physical energy seems to flow from the area.

At a certain point, it makes one feel as if they had stepped across some sort of threshold. A person senses that something is looking at them. There is no sound not of traffic nor of birds singing. One can only hear the sounds of their own footsteps walking across the grass. The entire rear side of the cemetery is bordered by forest. In the old part of the cemetery, there is an intense energy that is not felt in the newer section. It is definite that what lies among the tombstones in the old section is more than just imagination.

Greenwood Cemetery

Located in Decatur is one of the largest and most haunted cemeteries – Greenwood Cemetery. It was originally established in the 1800s and many of the dead buried there are from the Civil War. During the 1950s it was completely abandoned but since then it has been restored and burial once again takes place here. There is a Civil War section where phantom Confederate soldiers have been sighted.

Barrackman’s steps are haunted by a woman in white and in the area surrounding what used to be a mausoleum people have heard ghostly screams. Other paranormal activity in this cemetery includes a woman in a bridal dress and ghost lights that have been sighted on the hill at the far end of the grounds.

Barrackman’s steps refer to a small flight of stone steps that lead down an embankment; above them are four graves with the name Barrackman. The entity that has been spotted here is that of a woman crying. Normally she’s seen just as the sun is going down and then she vanishes. No one knows for sure if she is in one of the marked graves. The cemetery itself has a very gothic feel to it.

In the area where the Civil War dead are buried, there is an American flag and a stone monument sitting atop a hill. Nearby is a railway line that used to bring Confederate soldiers here for burial. Many still lie in unmarked graves. Among a long line of small identical tombstones, people have sighted the ghosts of Confederate soldiers. At the crest of the hill there is a memorial and on one side is a cannon that points down into the valley below. Many years ago the nearby river flooded during a severe storm and parts of the cemetery’s banks were washed away along with the remains of both Confederate and Union troops. Having been disturbed from their final resting place may account for the high level of paranormal activity here.

Ghost lights have been reported as hovering around the gravestones on the cemetery’s far side. Sightings of these date back as far as to the turn of the last century. There is a place in the cemetery where there used to be a vast white mausoleum which was demolished in 1967. Here one can see the remains of a low lying brick wall that were once its foundations. Within the outline of the foundations are a line of gravestones where lie the bodies that were once entombed in the mausoleum. Even before the mausoleum was demolished people reported hearing unexplained screams coming from inside. At some time the vaults inside were stacked several feet high almost to the ceiling and must have held dozens of bodies.

Greenwood Cemetery is one of the oldest in Decatur and when it was in its prime people would picnic here among the tombstones when they came to pay their respects. Among others, there is the most well-known tale of the “phantom bride”. A young woman in a white bridal gown has been seen walking among the tombstones. The facts behind the tale are difficult to verify but a common version is that on the day before she was to be married her future husband was murdered and in a fit of remorse she drowned herself in the same river where his body was found. Her parents then buried her in her wedding gown.

The Old Lithuanian Cemetery

The Old Lithuanian Cemetery which contains the Massock Mausoleum is located in Spring Valley, Illinois. A couple of fence posts with a rope strung between them is the hidden entrance to the cemetery. The mystery of this cemetery is that it’s supposed to be home to a vampire that resides in the large stone crypt known as the Massock Mausoleum.

Here the three Massock brothers were buried and legends say that the crypt drips blood and that a gaunt white figure has been seen roaming the cemetery. Within the cemetery, there are no more than a few dozen graves and the mausoleum. It completely overwhelms the cemetery. In large letters below its stone roof is the name “Massock”. Many of the graves date back to the 1800s. Also attributed to the Massock Mausoleum there is the tale that within are buried three butcher brothers and one night when kids came to the site to vandalize they felt that the mausoleum was either warm or hot to the touch. Looking up they saw a guy on top of the mausoleum with a hatchet. Legend has it that most likely he chased the kids away.

Anyway you look at its worth exploring only if you believe there’s more to just what you see.

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About the Creator

Rasma Raisters

My passions are writing and creating poetry. I write for several sites online and have four themed blogs on Wordpress. Please follow me on Twitter.

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