Head 2 Head: Lebanon Road vs. Nellie Dunton Home

Lebanon Road vs. Nellie Dunton HomeLocations: Lebanon Road in Collinsville versus Nellie Dunton Home in Belvidere.

Histories: On or around Lebanon Road are seven railroad bridges, some no longer in use. At first glance, there is nothing exceptional about them. All are heavily coated in graffiti — a testament to their popularity for nighttime excursions. The CSX Transportation Line passes over many of these bridges. The Nellie Dunton home is located much further north. According to local memory, a woman named Nellie Dunton grew up there prior to the Civil War and fell in love with an older man, who promised to marry her after the war. When he failed to return, Nellie refused to fall in love again. She spent the rest of her life in her house. Eventually, she wandered into the nearby river and drowned.

Hauntings: The seven railroad bridges around Lebanon Road have been called the “Seven Gates to Hell.” The legend is that if someone were to drive through all seven bridges and enter the last one exactly at midnight, he or she would be transported to Hell. In some versions, the person entering the final tunnel must be a skeptic. In other versions, no tunnel can be driven through twice in order for the magic to work. Like Cuba Road in Barrington, an abandoned property near Lebanon Road has given rise to rumors of a “death house.” A closed road or driveway is alleged to lead to an old house in which a family was murdered. Moreover, a group of Satanists are said to sacrifice animals and children at the location.

Many say that Nellie Dunton died of a broken heart – she donned her old wedding dress and walked into the river. Her ghost is said to haunt her home to this day. Her ghost has been seen by residents of this home, as well as by its neighbors. Ed Beard, who bought the home in 1975, told the local newspaper that he once saw a bouquet of flowers floating in the air. Local children believe that if you see Nellie dressed in her wedding gown, she will try to embrace you and pull you to a watery grave.

Which of these two locations do you think is the scariest? Leave your comments below!

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  1. Jessica says:

    No question the Nellie Dunton home is scarier. Something about driving under 7 bridges and being transported to hell sounds like a bad campfire story. The Nellie story is more believable (if you believe in hauntings) bc if she never got over her heartbreak it’s very likey her spirit is trapped there. Lets just say I wouldn’t want to be in that house at night.


    • Ron anderson says:

      I lived in Belvidere for a while and am familiar with the tale,but I must say,that it is hogwash.Talking to residents and my own observations led me to believe that it is just a nice piece of local folklore without substance.


      • Marcy Giardono says:

        That is not entirely true. I spoke to the neighbors 18 years ago, who were having a garage sale. They told me stories and said the owner has seen her spirit and felt her spirit. I have taken pictures of the house and seen Nellie looking out the window at me (in the pictures).


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