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Spotlight: Peoria State Hospital

Click here to download the entire issue in .pdf

The hospital began in 1885 as Bartonville State Hospital. No patients were ever housed or treated in that building, however, and it was torn down in 1897. The institution was rebuilt and reopened in 1902 with a new name and a new superintendent. Now called Peoria State Hospital, a progressive physician named Dr. George A. Zeller took over the facility and instituted new, more humane treatments for mental illness. During his tenure there, he recorded many stories of daily life, including some that were almost beyond belief. The main story associated with the hospital concerns the unusual circumstances surrounding the death of one of the patients, A. Bookbinder. Dr. Zeller assigned Bookbinder to the hospital’s burial corps, and he performed his job admirably. Old Book, as he was sometimes called, mourned the passing of each and every person he helped inter in the cemetery. When Bookbinder died, Dr. Zeller wrote that four hundred staff and patients observed his ghost mourning at his own funeral just as he had for countless others while he was alive. They even opened the coffin to confirm that Old Book was really dead. His corpse was securely inside. There have been other reports of paranormal experiences at Peoria State Hospital, but none of them are very specific. Recently, the Bowen Building—the main hospital building—has been opened to tours as the owners tried to raise money to restore it to its former glory.

Legends & Lore of Illinois CD-ROMFor an in-depth look at this location, check out Volume 2 Issue 3 of the Legends and Lore of Illinois, featuring the history & hauntings of Peoria State Hospital, 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.

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Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 2 – on Kindle!

Or, order all 12 issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois from 2008 for only $5.00 in a special Kindle edition. Places covered in Vol. 2: Archer Cemetery, Sunset Haven, Peoria State Hospital (Bartonville Asylum), Airtight Bridge, University of Illinois, Calvary Cemetery and ‘Seaweed Charlie,’ Lakey’s Creek, Peck Cemetery, Blood’s Point Road, Old Union Cemetery, Hartford Castle, and more! Plus, read letters from our readers, book reviews, ghostly games, 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.

Order it today on Amazon.com.
Note: Amazon Kindle required.

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.

Order it today on Amazon.com!
Note: Amazon Kindle required.

Don’t have a Kindle reader? Check out all our print-edition books here.

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