Chicago Paranormal Road - Stretch of Death

Chicago Paranormal Road - Stretch of Death
Stretch of Death

by Edward Shanahan.

Chicago land areas most haunted suburban road is haunted Archer Avenue. It is a stretch of road that runs from Willow Springs, IL to Lemont, IL. This road also contains an area of Archer Avenue that I have for years called the ‘ Stretch of Death ’.

Being a Chicago Psychic / Medium entertainer, a Spirit Feeler, Paranormal Host and Author, I have had the ability to travel to many locations and even outside of America. This has allowed me to experience the paranormal and spiritual at different levels depending on the location and the spirits at the location.

The most experiences along with my earliest experiences have come by way of my history with Archer Avenue in Willow Springs. Matter of fact in 1974 at the age of 16, I received my first driving speeding ticket on Archer Avenue in Willow Springs and I still remember the police station they had back during that time. That is how far back I go with this suburban city.

As stated many of times in articles, my books and books other books authors have included me in, I have always lived within ten minutes of Chicago areas most haunted locations, that being the S.W. Suburbs running from Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery to Burr Ridge, IL. This allowed me the opportunity to explore and experiencing the locations starting in 1974.

Stretch of Death Location:
The area I have named the ‘ Stretch of Death ’ runs from Fairmont Willow Hills Cemetery in Willow Springs, IL to St. James at Sag Bridge Parish in Lemont, IL. You will see why I have named it the ‘Stretch of Death’ with the photos that were taken on 7/2/2016 by me and are at the bottom of the article.

One has to remember, that Archer Avenue was an Native American trail  and much of Willow Springs at one time was very populated by Native Americans and known as Indian Village 23 – Willow Springs. 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 grave sites were discovered throughout the village and destroyed by early residents in the village. Those actions do not make Spirits happy.

North of Archer Avenue is the Des Plaines River and shown on the deer skin map as Spring Lake where the fur trading would go on between the Native Americans and the French traders who traveled the Des Plaines River. Less than a mile north east of that, you will find the Native American Healing Waters. This is just an example of the possibility of way all the Spirit activities in the Willow Springs area.

At Fairmont Willow Hills Cemetery they say around the clock tower there is paranormal activity that can be picked up with paranormal investigation tools. If you open the door you may be in for a surprise with what is there. Music at times can be heard coming from the clock tower.

St. James at Sag Bridge Parish, is also known as Monk’s Castle and yes it is haunted. Just venture in to the back of the cemetery toward the far back fence with the huge Irish headstone, you cannot miss it and an area I personally had a paranormal experience. Bring your camera and meters if you have them.

One encounter with of the ‘ Stretch of Death ’ that will not be forgotten was a Chicago Ghost Tour burning bus.
It became an interesting tour, as I was asked to assist on this tour and I even made the arrangements for something that had not been done before, the ability to actually explore the Saint James Church and Cemetery as a group on the Saturday of the tour as long as it was before the start of the 5pm Saturday Mass. Well the tour host and rental bus were two hours late getting to Chet’s Melody Lounge, a haunted location stop that I would join the tour at.

The problem was the bus transmission and the lack of anyone thinking about having another bus that was running right, meet them and carry on with the tour. Well the bus chugged along after picking me up and I finally said this is stupid and could the driver have a bus meet us somewhere in Willow Springs?

It was arranged as he finally pulled in a 7-11 and put a call in to his company. He then drove to the Willowbrook Ballroom so the host could talk about the paranormal history there and I then talked about the activity I had experienced at the location across the street, known as the Irish Legend.

After leaving that location, the driver attempted to drive west from the Willowbrook Ballroom to Saint James Cemetery. This meant taking the road of Archer Avenue that I have named the ‘ Stretch of Death ‘ do to the road side memorials of those who have died driving that road. The bus finally stopped for good about fifty yards from the driveway to Saint James.

As we sat there, I received a thought message telling me that we needed to get the people off the bus now. So I informed the tour host that we needed to get the individuals off the bus and I will do so, and the host needed to lead them to the driveway of Saint James.

I told the individuals, instead of sitting on the bus waiting for the second bus to come, I would help them cross to the other side of Archer Avenue and they can walk the fifty yards to get to the driveway of Saint James and start the tour then.

I followed the last tour passenger and as I walked on to the driveway to join everyone else, there was a loud crash heard from the direction of the bus. A car driving west and coming around the curve hit the corner of the driver back side of the bus and then drove the car across the road in to the edge of the woods.

The shaken driver staggered out of his car and the bus driver for whatever reason was standing a distance away and behind the bus. Within seconds of the bus being struck by the car, the bus went up in flames and burned right down to the ground.  All of us were safe, many shaken because we all knew if we would of stayed on the bus, we would of been dead.

The tour host was shaken and stood at the beginning of the driveway in tears looking at the burning bus that we were just in. I decided the best thing to do was get the people up by the Church where it was warm, since it was the early part of December.

The Pastor of Saint James was not pleased as no one was showing up for his 5pm mass, as the Willow Springs Fire Department shut down the Stretch of Death, Archer Avenue. I did mention that he did have a captive audience of about 30 people with that being us. He was not amused. It ended well and everyone  was safe. The amazing thing is that they said they did have a unique experience.

With the photos below, you will see why I have named it the ‘ Stretch of Death ’. The photos were taken on 7/2/2016 by me and it is very sad feeling one picks up at the locations as you can see the love for the individuals who have passed on this stretch of road. All these images were taken in an area less then fifty yards.

Roadside Memorial #1

Roadside Memorial #1

Roadside Memorial #2

Roadside Memorial #2

Roadside Memorial #3

Roadside Memorial #3

Roadside Memorial #4

Roadside Memorial #4

Laying on side of road near memorials. Very sad.

Laying on side of road on my walk toward the memorials. Very sad to see on a road.

Feel free to share this article with others.

Edward Shanahan
Best Chicago Psychic – web site of Edward Shanahan
Edward Shanahan on Twitter.


Leave a comment
  • Rather than a hyped up nickname such as the Road of Death, you should publicize it as a bad place for drunks and idiots to be going over the limit. The new camp ground and RV pump station at Bullfrog Lake, where they destroyed the habitat, is attracting quite the range of lost people that have no business with a driver's license. On just on occasion, I witnessed one such fool, stopped across Archer, out from 95th St, with no idea as to which way to go, with traffic in both lanes screeching to a halt. Road of Fools may be more appropriate. If you can't drive it, park it.

  • In reply to Ponygirl:

    Stretch of death is not hyped as it is what the name states. Not a bad place either, I have experienced bad place. Just an area that has had it shares of death do to accidents.

  • fb_avatar

    Hello, I have recently visited some places by Archer Avenue that intrigued me for a very long time. I was very disturbed after some information I had come by, and that is how I came across your article when I was researching. I am not extremely knowledgeable on these subjects I would be very happy if you could take a look at the photographs I collected because I have been very disturbed by what I had found. You can reach me on Twitter @DaviesSierra or Facebook as Sierra Rose Wheaton.

  • fb_avatar


    My son was tragically killed by a reckless bus driver speeding then jumped the curb where my son stood. My questions to you are does his spirit still go there off and on. Would there be any paranormal activities going on.? I have a picture that was taken four years at his friend's house and there was a fuzzy light over his friends and me. Does it mean my son was with us? You can email me at

  • Hello Noneillah,

    Sorry for your loss.
    Anything is possible, I, nor anyone truthfully could not say yes or no to your question about your son, by way sitting at their computer or cell phone. Some will push the concept that they know, but it is just a song and dance they are giving you.

    All loved ones cross over, no spirits are stuck here. Some do visit at times. But your son did cross over. Before you go to sleep at night, with your thoughts, ask your son to come to you in your dreams.

    Your loved ones who have passed, are also your first level of Spirit Guides.

    Edward Shanahan

Leave a comment