Ghostlore of Illinois Colleges and Universities is Now Available


This is it — the print edition Ghostlore of Illinois Colleges and Universities by Michael Kleen is now available on and! Just in time for the fall, you can own a copy of the first book exclusively devoted to Illinois college folklore and ghost stories. Published by Crossroad Press, Ghostlore of Illinois Colleges […]

The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen is Available!


Pemberton Hall is the oldest all-female dormitory in the state of Illinois, and its ivy covered walls are home to one of the most famous ghost stories in Illinois—the legend of Mary Hawkins. Her ghost is said to roam the hundred-year-old building, protecting the young women who reside within. This popular campus legend greets many […]

The Weird and Wild Side of Coles County, Part 1

Leading a tour at Airtight Bridge. Photo by the author.

As and prepare for the upcoming release of the new edition of The Legend of Pemberton Hall, I thought it would be of interest to my readers to share with them the story of how I became fascinated with Coles County, Illinois. Most of you are familiar with Coles County either through my […]

There’s Something About Mary


Creaking wooden floors, stone walls, a forbidden fourth floor–if Eastern Illinois University’s Pemberton Hall didn’t come with its own legend, the students that live there would probably invent one. Pemberton Hall is home to one of the most famous ghost stories in Illinois: the legend of Mary Hawkins. A lot has been written about this […]

An Intimate History of Mysterious Heartland, Part 1


As our longtime readers know, evolved out of a previous website, Legends and Lore of Illinois ( went online in January 2009 and mainly existed to support and promote our monthly digital newsletter Legends and Lore of Illinois. After a number of years, we began publishing other content on the website that wasn’t […]


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