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Witchcraft in the Woods: History or Myth?

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From Even More History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern Illinois by Bruce Cline and Tracey Todd Bragg. Rhoda Penn Calbreath was born on December 6, 1826, some 134 years after the Salem Witch Trials. Yet, prior to her death in 1876, she found herself face to face with the eyes of a witch, in the […]

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Chesterville Cemetery in Chesterville, Illinois

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Chesterville is a small Amish and Mennonite community that consists of no more than a few dozen houses located a couple of miles away from Rockome Gardens. If you are traveling from the direction of Arcola, you will have to cross the Kaskaskia River twice to get to Chesterville cemetery, once on Route 133 and […]

The St. Omer “Witch’s Grave”

Coles County

By Michael Kleen St. Omer Cemetery and the small, defunct village of the same name probably would have been forgotten a century ago had it not been for one unusual family monument and a misprinted date. As is often the case in Coles County, these peculiar circumstances gave birth to an obscure but enduring legend. […]

Top 10 Tales of Witchcraft in Illinois

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While many historians have been quick to dismiss tales of witchcraft as “superstitions of the past,” these stories have been told in the Prairie State throughout its history, from the very first French settlers until the present day. This month, we at Mysterious Heartland have scoured newspaper archives and dusty volumes to bring you some of the […]

Spotlight: St. Omer Cemetery

Spotlight

St. Omer Cemetery is home to an unusual family monument that some say looks like a crystal ball on top a pyre. According to local lore, Caroline Barnes, one of four people buried under the massive stone, was put to death for practicing witchcraft. It is said that no pictures can be taken of her […]

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