Chicago area paranormal one time Speakeasy / Brothel Roadhouse 'Story' of a Little Boy Child Spirit, is just that.
by Edward Shanahan
The story of the Little Boy Child Spirit that remains, is just that and the reason why when I do Chicago Paranormal Nights and being the Paranormal Host at the location, I explain how the story of the little boy child spirit came about by a past owner at the Chicago land area paranormal location known as a one time Speakeasy and Brothel, that now has documented paranormal activity at the haunted location that today is known as 'The Irish Legend' in Willow Springs, IL.
In the 1920's it was a Speakeasy and Brothel. It was called 'Oh Henry's Roadhouse' back then and is right across the street of what is now the Willowbrook Ballroom originally built in 1921, the ballroom was called the Oh Henry Ballroom and is home to the Resurrection Mary haunts stories today. During the 1950's an illegal gambling casino that occupied a space in the lower level of the Willowbrook Ballroom was shut down.
The roadhouse was not your typical brothel as many seem to think it was, as Willow Springs had many typical brothels and speakeasies during the probation era and some locations in the area were still providing Ladies of Personal Pleasure in to the 1980's. While walking through the brothel area it is explained why this location would of been different then the others. During the prohibition era a gangster named Edward Zion lived in a house just east of Willow Springs Road on Archer Avenue, he was an experienced West Side gunman, a saloon keeper and a freelance bootlegger. In 1926, those of the Capone gang gunned him down in his back yard
One of the things I inform those participating in the Chicago Paranormal Nights along with the History / Supernatural tours I hold on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at The Irish Legend, is that there never was a 'Little Boy Child Spirit' that when alive, had his own room in the brothel and those participating in the tour fully can see why and understand the fact why a child would not have had his own room. I was surprised that a paranormal author included the information of the little boy child spirit in a recent paranormal book, as the author knew about the creation of the little boy child spirit story and when and how it came about.
This building has been the home of many establishments, including 'Oh Henry's Roadhouse' / O'Henry's 2 / Cavallone's West / Rico D's / Frankie's Roadhouse / The Stag's Head and now The Irish Legend.
The Spirits of this building decide who stays and who leaves as owners by who makes them happy. That is the feelings that other Spirit Feelers and I have. I have seen over the years owners come and go. There has been a couple individuals become owners of the location in past and then they embellished the stories of the spirits of the location, and one was that of the little boy child spirit and that did not make the spirits of the location happy as you could feel it when you entered the building and it was not just the spirits that may be in the building, but also the spirits of the land.
What you may not hear on the bus ghost tours that visit the location.
This location sits on land that those who are Spiritualists or those who have the ability to tap into the Spiritual side would call the land sacred or Spiritual land, do to the fact this land and much of Willow Springs, IL was populated by Native American Indians and known as Indian Village 23 - Willow Springs.
Archer Avenue is the road in front of the building and was an Indian trail. A map that was painted on deerskin showing the Des Plaines River area during the Potawatomi occupancy outlines the woods behind The Irish Legend as Chief Cagmega's Ridge / Potawatomi Ridge Trail.
What also adds to the possibility for the reason of this whole area's paranormal / spiritual activity is that during the 1890's and early 1900's, Indian burial mounds and gravesites were discovered throughout the village and destroyed by early residents in the village. Those actions did not make Spirits of the land happy.
There has even been an Irish Natural Witch who came into the building a few years back when one of those owners was telling far-fetched stories about the spirits of the location. She felt and knew the spirits where not happy, so she placed a spell, to protect the building and the spirits within and those spirits who travel through, from any other owners who embellish the stories of the Spirits of the land. The owner at the time only lasted about 6 months after her visit. Interesting that an Irish Witch came to the rescue of the spirits back then and today stands there is an Irish Pub.
How the story came about by a past owner, I know as I was the paranormal host then and left.
There was a Chicago paranormal book called 'Voices from the Chicago Graves' and then the book 'Encyclopedia of Haunted Places' and neither book mentioned a little boy or spirit of a little boy that once lived at the brothel, I am included in both of these books.
The creation of the little boy spirit story by the owner came about at the time the paranormal book 'Encyclopedia of Haunted Places' came out, as it carried the paranormal information about the Ashbary Coffee House (that location is about a mile away), and the spirits of a family that remained at that location from years past. Once the owner read that in the book, he created the story of the little boy spirit. I then pulled out of the location and stopped assisting the owner as his paranormal host.
What happened was the owner started pushing a story of a little boy whose spirit that was part of the building and lived there while it was a brothel. The owner claimed a little girl spirit from the Ashbary Coffee House more then a mile away would travel from there to play with the little boy spirit at this building. There was never a little boy spirit that lived at this building, as it was a brothel and speakeasy in the 1920's and not even enough room in the brothel area for the women to even live there on a regular basis.
It is said allegedly the owner became obsessed with telling the story and believing it, the more he told of it, allegedly the less the public seemed to believe him as they knew from the past history of the spirit activities and that the location was a speakeasy and brothel in the past, not a child's playground. Nor were the spirits of the location happy (as felt by the Irish Natural Witch), soon after wards he no longer was the owner of the location. The owner would set up children blocks on the stairs and take a group of people to another location in the building, when they came back the blocks would be moved. It must of been the little boy spirit! I wonder if anything was ever mentioned about how one could enter that area from another part of the building or even from outside?
The owner that followed him pushed the same little child story and allegedly more outrageous paranormal stories. He did not last long at all, it is said that he ran the business to ground.
That owner even tried to run a ghost tour there after the electric was shut off, a Willow Springs Police Officer came knocking on the establishment's door the night of the ghost tour because the owner was not allowed to run a business without electricity in the building. The establishment never re-opened. Another victory for the Spirits of the location and protection from those who do not believe and the reason I did not become involved with that owner.
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