Go to the Chicago Botanic Garden for a really unusual night time path walk, this weekend or go next weekend to see the Model Railroad Garden turn ghostly for its seasonal farewell.
Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns
For a different Halloween experience you can still snag a ticket to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Jack-o’-Lantern celebration. That is if you and your kids don’t mind going late. Tickets still available tonight, Oct. 22, from 10 to 11 p.m. and Sunday Oct. 23 from 9:30 to 11 p.m.
More than a thousand pumpkins, all hand-carved as Chicago places, Halloween characters and garden “oh, ohs” (think Willis tower, Dracula and Venus flytrap) plus Day of the Dead-style artwork, will line a festival path. The path also passes Halloween dressed characters and goes through the Model Railroad garden where there are ghostly trains. Goodies can be bought on the Esplanade before taking the path. More food is available at the Fruit and Vegetable Garden.
Best plan is to buy tickets online ahead of time and bring the confirmation with you. The website says “sold out” but a call to the garden revealed that some tickets were still available at this printing. But tickets may be purchased at the Garden’s Information desk if still available.
Tickets are $14 adult members, $16 nonmembers, children ages three to 12 are $12 and $14, free to children age 2 and under. Parking is free to members. Nonmember parking can be bought in advance. Visit Night for 1000 Jack-o’-Lantern for more info.
Trains, Tricks and Treats
Or celebrate Halloween at the Botanic Garden next weekend, Oct. 29-30. The event marks the last chance to visit the Model Railroad Garden this year. Expect more than the usual trains. It will be decked out with spider webs, ghosts and goblins. Look for tiny trick-or-treaters and even bats in the scenery. Families can dress for trick or treat and find treats and treasures along the way.
Adults $ 6, seniors $5, children 3–12 yrs $4 age 2 and under, free. Members get $1 discount. For other information visit Trains. The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, IL 60022. For other information call (847) 835-5440 and visit CBG
Springfield, Ill. is the former, and supposedly current home, of Abraham Lincoln and wife Mary.
Haunted places and history go together like peanut butter and jelly so this October combine the two with a visit to a town rife with haunting figures from Illinois’ and the country’s past.
Think Springfield, Ill., former home and, if rumors are correct, still current home of the 16th President of the United States and his wife.
Unaccountable footsteps and voices have been reported at Lincoln’s Tomb, an Illinois historic site in Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery. Sightings of Lincoln have also been reported there.
In addition, Lincoln has supposedly been seen at his home and at the Old State Capitol. The Lincoln home, part of a four-block National Historic Site maintained by the National Park Service, is said to also be haunted by Mary Todd Lincoln.
Another wife reluctant to leave home is said to be Catherine Yates, wife of Richard Yates, governor of Illinois during the Civil War. She is supposedly behind otherwise unexplainable hi- jinks at the Executive Mansion.
However author and Springfield expert Garret Moffett does two haunted tours. “Lincoln’s Ghost Walk: Legends & Lore,” a 1.5 hour tour, and “Haunted Dead Walk,” a 2.5 hour tour, are every October Friday and Saturday night.
For more October haunts visit ghostly ideas. Have a Happy Halloween, or a happy haunting happening.
Photo by Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Light houses, B&Bs that have taken over old houses and battle grounds are prime haunted sites
This Halloween think beyond the neighborhood haunted house if looking for a real ghostly experience.
There likely is an old hotel, B&B, Civil War battle site, lighthouse or other likely spot within a day’s visit that is still occupied by a former living being. Indeed, it is difficult to find a county or parish in the United States that does not have a documented haunted site.
Here are a few of the places visited during my many travels where either a shiver or unexplained uneasiness convinced me the place was haunted or ghostly presences were documented by eyewitnesses. Places range from open-to- the-public and restricted hours to guests and by appointment only.
Many turn of the last century homes have become Bed and Breakfasts so it’s no surprise that some are haunted by former occupants. You probably know of some in your area.
While visiting Penn State for a travel book, I stayed at the 1880’s Reynolds Mansion in Bellefonte, Penn. Popular with college parents and alumni, the B&B has good food, friendly hosts and a bedroom with a resident ghost. I almost took that room but when encountering an uncomfortable feeling, I opted for another room.
A place where I didn’t stay because I already had accommodations in Memphis, was the mid 1800s Georgian style Magnolia Manor in Bolivar, Tenn.
When exploring on my own while the people I was with were checking out other rooms in the mansion, I felt a presence on the stairs and an emanation connected to a bedroom at the top of the stairs. Later I learned that yes, that bedroom did have a resident ghost and one that sometimes took to the stairs.
I hope to return to the area so I can stay there.
Battle grounds are notorious haunted sites. The one where I felt soldiers were still present even though their remains were supposed to have been moved was at Manassas in Virginia outside Washingto D.C. Sightings of Civil War soldiers have been well documented and Jim Burgess, Manassas National Battlefield Museum Specialist is happy to relate a few stories to visitors.
It’s been said that all the lighthouses on the Great Lakes are haunted. However, some have better documentation than others.
Sites where ghosts still linger really can be found throughout the country. If none of the places mentioned here are near you or your next destination, type in ghosts and your location in your web browser then check them out.
Even though Halloween is a fine time to search for a haunted site, you will find ghostly locations throughout the year.