Archer Cemetery

Download this issue! Archer Cemetery – Justice, IL
By Michael Kleen

Read about this location and more in Legends and Lore of Illinois: The Definitive Collection

Read about this location and more in Legends and Lore of Illinois: The Definitive Collection

Ursula Bielski is one of the few credible folklorists to have examined this site in detail.  As she pointed out in Chicago Haunts (1998), Archer Woods is easily passed over in favor of the more famous haunts that dot the area. In the past, she assured her readers, Archer Woods Cemetery was one of the most notorious of the local cemeteries as a result of its resident specter, a lonely, sobbing woman.

Like the sobbing woman of Bachelor’s Grove, it is likely that this spirit is in search of a lost child or lover. These apparitions are so common that they warranted their own category in Trent Brandon’s Book of Ghosts (2003).  According to Brandon, the sobbing woman of Archer Woods Cemetery is known as a “Broken Heart” because “the feelings of guilt have become so overwhelming that this ghost believes that it must suffer forever to make up for her child’s fate.” (pg. 87)

What links Archer Woods Cemetery to the other locations along Archer Avenue, besides the predominance of ghostly women, is the appearance of a terrifying black hearse pulled by a team of mad horses.  The vehicle has no driver.  If you have read Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 1 Issue 12, the connection to St. James-Sag should be readily apparent.

What happens next? Click here to download the entire issue (.pdf) and find out!


Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 2 Digital Edition

Order all 12 issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois from 2008 in a special digital edition for your favorite e-readers. 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.

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  1. This was one of the first cemeteries we (LAPS) visited in 2007, It very eerie at night, even driving around it gives you the chills. On our first investigation we caught some very good EVPs, so we continued to go many times after that. I remember one night my buddy went to urinate near the bushes (away from the burial ground) and something hisssed at him, he called my name so I went and quickly pulled my EMF meter out. The EMF was going crazy, so then pulled my digital camera and started taking pictures while my buddy was doing an EVP session. We got some wird misty pictures that you can see on my myspace. Another time we near an area that is rumored to be a place for witchcraft, it was around september and it was chilly. We noticed this particular area was warmer for no apparent reason, almost as if there was a log fire! I pulled my temp sensor and it showed a higher temperature in that area. Yet in another ocassion we noticed an insence smell in the same area, we did some EVPs and got a drumming sound that came from no where! I still cant believe we caught this wird EVP to this day! Later talking with Ed Shannahan from the we learned that this area was habited by the indians, and was a possible indian burial ground. That would explain the warmth of a fire pit, the incense we smelled and the drums we caught on an EVP. I hope you enjoyed this story of real personal events. Manny from


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