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.
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