“I want to thank all of you who are brave enough to come out and talk about ghosts of Illinois in the safety of the public library.” Lewis said.
Virginia Rasmussen, an audience member, came to the presentation because she can identify with ghostly experiences.
“I actually lived in a haunted house,” Rasmussen said. “I figured we could put up with the ghosts because no one was being hurt.”
Lewis’ speech was a verbal tour of haunted cemeteries, homes and different areas throughout Illinois. The presentation, “Illinois’ Most Haunted Locations,” was reminiscent of Lewis’ series of books “The Road Guide to Haunted Locations,” which he writes with co-author Terry Fisk. Each book explores haunted locations in different states.
Lewis, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology, has been traveling the world for the past 14 years investigating the paranormal.
One stop on Lewis’ tour was Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Midlothian, near Chicago.
“This cemetery gained national fame when researchers were able to capture a photo of a ghostly woman sitting in the graveyard,” Lewis said.
Lewis also told the audience about hauntings at the Ramsey Cemetery in Effingham, the Raven’s Grin Inn in Mount Carroll, the supposed “Portal to Hell” at the seven bridges in Collinsville and the ghost of Resurrection Mary in Justice. He also talked about the Biograph Theater where John Dillinger, the famous American gangster, was killed, and the ghost of Abe Lincoln haunting his former home in Springfield.
Lewis ended his presentation by telling the audience about a haunted house right here in Sycamore. He said the families who lived there experienced strange sounds that could not be verified, and when they went out, they’d come back to find the doors unlocked, all the lights on, and sometimes the furniture would even be rearranged. With the entire crowd in suspense, he gave his final scare.
“I’m not going to tell you where this house is here in town,” he said. “Because tonight when all of you go home and put your heads on your pillows and you hear the wind rustling outside your window, I want you to ask yourself one simple question. How much do you really know about the history of your house? Is it possible that you’re not only living in a haunted house, but you might be living in the very house that I’m talking about right now?”