Spotlight: Devil’s Gate

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According to local legend, sometime in the distant past a private all-girls school stood behind the set of iron gates off of a sharp bend in River Road, deep inside what became the Independence Grove Forest Preserve. One day, a maniac broke into the school and abducted several of the girls. He killed each one and mounted their severed heads on the spikes of the gate. Every full moon, the heads reappear on the rusted spikes. In reality, this property, known as the Doddridge Farm, passed through several incarnations as a summer camp. It opened as the Katherine Kreigh Budd Memorial Home for Children in 1926. Between 1936 and the early 1980s, the Catholic archdiocese operated it as St. Francis Boys Camp. The archdiocese then sold the camp to the Forest Preserve, who knocked down all the buildings and converted the nearby gravel pit into a lake. The gate to St. Francis still sits at the entrance to what is now a horse and bike trail.

Legends & Lore of Illinois CD-ROMFor an in-depth look at this location, check out Volume 1 Issue 3 of the Legends and Lore of Illinois, featuring the history & hauntings of Devil’s Gate, the adventures of The Fallen, trivia, and much more! This issue, along with all its color photos and extras, is now exclusively available on CD-ROM. Click here to order all 49 issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois.


Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 1 – on Kindle!

Order all 12 issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois from 2007 for only $5.00 in a special Kindle edition. Places covered in Vol. 1: Bachelor’s Grove, Greenwood Cemetery, Devil’s Gate, Chesterville Cemetery, Resurrection Cemetery, “Cemetery X,” Shoe Factory Road, Ridge Cemetery, Cuba Road, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, and St. James-Sag! Plus, read bonus “personal experiences” and put your knowledge of these locations to the test with challenging trivia questions. Don’t miss these classic issues from the archives of the Legends and Lore of Illinois.

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Legends_and_Lore_of_Illinois_Investigation_FilesLegends and Lore of Illinois: Investigation Reports

This collection consists of 47 haunted locations from the archives of the Legends and Lore of Illinois, arranged alphabetically and by category, with over 60 accompanying photos. Many of these photos have never been seen before. Inside, you will find the history, ghost stories, and folklore of popular locations such as Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Resurrection Cemetery and Archer Avenue, Manteno State Hospital, Lakey’s Creek, and the Peoria State Hospital, plus local haunts such as Ashmore Estates, Chanute Air Force Base, Vishnu Springs, and Peck Cemetery. Learn the real stories behind the legends: misconceptions and misinformation about these places and more are tackled head on.

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Note: Amazon Kindle required.

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  1. Elizabeth Best says:

    I have a reference for a gift to st andrews church in Grayslake, Ill giving the listing as Fr Selseer’s Dodridge farm for boys we wondered if this was the same property ? thank you Elizabeth Best


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