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Books


Ghostlore of Illinois Colleges and Universities. Hertford: Crossroad Press, 2015.

Ghostlore of Illinois Colleges and Universities by Michael KleenOn a dark and stormy night on a college campus near you, a young coed is about to make a grisly discovery… or so the legend goes. At colleges and universities across Illinois, students tell ghostly tales, from beloved librarians who refuse to go home, to sad specters suffering from a broken heart. Join Michael Kleen as he explores the history and mystery behind haunted college dorms, libraries, classrooms, theaters, and more. In this one-of-a-kind book, current and former students and faculty tell their tales of mysterious encounters at their beloved alma maters. Kleen scours every source to bring these stories to light in the first book exclusively devoted to Illinois college lore. Why do ghost stories continue to have such an appeal on college campuses? What are the scariest stories from universities in Illinois? Is there any truth to the tales? These questions and more will be answered in Ghostlore of Illinois Colleges and Universities. With a foreword by Elizabeth Tucker, Professor of English at Binghamton University and author of Haunted Halls.

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Haunting Illinois: A Tourist’s Guide to the Weird and Wild Places of the Prairie State, 3rd Ed. Holt: Thunder Bay Press, 2014.

Haunting Illinois by Michael KleenThis new edition of Haunting Illinois contains a listing of 260 mystery sites, with more than 120 photos and illustrations. Divided into eight distinct regions and listed by county and town or neighborhood, each location features a description, directions, and sources drawn from a wide variety of books, articles, and websites. In his introduction, Michael traces the history of legend tripping in Illinois, from the boys who chased after the Diamond Island Phantom in 1885, to the paranormal investigation teams and tours of today. Haunting Illinois challenges you to get off the couch and start exploring our wonderful state of Illinois. You might be surprised at what you discover!

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Legends and Lore of Illinois: The Definitive Collection. Rockford: Black Oak Media, Inc., 2013.

Legends and Lore of Illinois by Michael KleenPublished in 49 monthly issues over the span of four years, the Legends and Lore of Illinois presented Illinois ghostlore in an exciting, informative, and occasionally controversial format. While providing important historical background on your favorite haunted places, the Legends and Lore of Illinois also featured the fictional adventures of a group of paranormal investigators known as the Fallen. With an eye on the fun, mysterious, and macabre, “Leave science to the scientists” was their motto. Will they unlock the secrets of the unknown, or will they unwittingly unleash shadows from the darkest recesses of our imagination? For the first time in print, enjoy every last issue of the Legends and Lore of Illinois in one definitive collection. This collection also contains a bonus location: Southern Illinois University. Get ready to explore infamous places such as Bachelor’s Grove, Airtight Bridge, Resurrection Cemetery, Winston Tunnel, the Seven Gates to Hell, Manteno State Hospital, Axman’s Bridge, and many more! What adventures await you inside?

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Tales of Coles County, Illinois, 5th Edition. Rockford: Black Oak Media, Inc., 2013.

perf5.500x8.500.inddThe 10th Anniversary edition of Michael Kleen’s classic Tales of Coles County, Illinois combines both the original book and the Legends and Lore of Coles County, with updated content and additional legends. First published in 2004, Tales of Coles County, Illinois takes an entertaining look at local history through vivid historical fiction. When four students from Eastern Illinois University are stranded during a violent storm, they seek shelter with an elderly couple who give them more than they bargain for. After one night, the four will never look at Coles County the same way. In the Legends and Lore of Coles County, Michael Kleen reveals over a dozen hidden stories from the from the area’s past and present, leaving no stone unturned. What is the history of Coles County’s ghost towns? When did a poltergeist terrorize one rural family in Pleasant Grove Township? What is the real story behind the “Mad Gasser of Mattoon”? The answers to these questions and more can be found in this definitive volume.

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Paranormal Illinois. Atglen: Schiffer Publishing, 2010.

Paranormal Illinois by Michael KleenWhy did hundreds of people line up bumper to bumper in rural Illinois to catch a glimpse of a scantily clad phantom along Kennedy Hill Road? Did you know that a ghost of a homicidal mother still haunts the road near her former home? What is the real history behind Independence Grove and Devil’s Gate? When these questions and more are answered, you will never look at the history of Illinois the same way. This painstakingly researched book leaves no ghost unturned.

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