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Top 10 Most Haunted Schools in Illinois

At Mysterious Heartland, we know adolescence can be a particularly hard time in a person’s life, and that most of that time is spent in school. At some Illinois schools, however, homework, grades, and bullies aren’t the only thing students have to worry about. Some locker-lined hallways are stalked by the unseen. Which one will prove to be the most haunted?

10. Yorkville Middle School (Former)

Yorkville, Illinois

Now home to the Circle Center Grade School, the old Yorkville Middle School is said to be haunted by the ghost of a janitor who died of starvation in 1978 after he was trapped in the school’s elevator over summer break. Former students reported feeling as though they were being watched in the hallways even when they were alone. A local newspaper investigated the story and found several inconsistencies, including no record of a death in the building in 1978 and the fact that there is no elevator there.

9. St. Charles East High School

St. Charles, Illinois

St. Charles High School used to be located at the corner of Main Street and Seventh Street, in a building which is now home to Thompson Middle School. During the late 1970s, the city saw fit to construct a new high school along Dunham Road. Sometime between 1978 and 2000, when the school split into East and North, a story began to circulate about the ghost of a girl who had been raped and murdered there by a janitor. Allegedly, the freshman girl was attacked while practicing her flute in the band room, and the deranged janitor chopped up her body and stuffed the pieces into various lockers. Band students sometimes claim to see body parts in their lockers, only to have them vanish before their eyes. Others have heard the faint sound of a flute playing while alone in the room. On other occasions, flutes have gone missing or appear to have been played during the night.

8. Lourdes High School (Former)

Chicago, Illinois

Richard T. Crowe, Chicago’s most respected authority on local ghost lore, taught English and journalism at Lourdes High School in 1972/73. During that time, he heard stories about a nun who haunted the third floor. Tales of the phantom nun had been told for decades. Heavy footsteps were sometimes heard echoing down the empty corridor, and a ghostly specter was seen on more than one occasion. Stitch Hall, an auditorium added during the 1950s, also reportedly experienced this activity. Several years ago, Lourdes closed and John Hancock High School opened in its place. It is unknown whether the ghostly activity has continued.

7. Quincy Junior High

Quincy, Illinois

The middle school years are generally a tough time for adolescents, and for some, the stress can be too much to bear. For students of Quincy Junior High, their angst has been personified in the ghost of a young boy who, according to legend, hung himself in one of the bathrooms after being dumped by his girlfriend. Every year on the anniversary of his death, students and teachers are said to hear footsteps, crying, and mumbling in the bathroom. Students claim that teachers have kept quiet about the boy’s death in order to prevent copycats. Quincy Junior High occupies a beautiful old building that was constructed in 1933 and served as Quincy’s high school between 1933 and 1957.

6. Fremd High School

Palatine, Illinois

Opened in 1961 to accommodate the Baby Boomers, William Fremd High School is reportedly haunted by three ghosts, one of which has roamed its halls since the 1970s. In Kolze Auditorium, seats spring up and spotlights have been known to light on their own. Another nameless phantom is said to sigh and moan in Room 122. The most infamous ghost at Fremd haunts the swimming pool, where a freshman girl died of a heart attack while swimming laps. Students claim the spot where she drowned is always much colder than the rest of the pool. Others have seen a colorful haze hovering over the water. Today, Fremd has the largest student body in the district and is recognized as one of the best high schools in the state of Illinois.

Check out these places and more in Michael Kleen’s
Haunting Illinois: A Tourist’s Guide to the Weird and Wild Places of the Prairie State!

5. Channing Elementary School

Elgin, Illinois

Channing Elementary School has the unfortunate distinction of having been built over what remained of Elgin’s first cemetery. During the 1940s, most of the graves were moved to accommodate a new sports field, but in the 1960s, when construction crews broke ground on the new elementary school, their equipment began to uncover human remains. Since then, faculty and staff at Channing Elementary have reported an elevator that seems to move on its own, footsteps on the roof, dark figures, and even scratching on the walls. Today, a stone monument to the dead buried at the original cemetery sits at a nearby park.

4. Antioch Community High School

Antioch, Illinois

Antioch Township High School (as it was originally known) has served the community from its campus on Main Street for nearly a century, but progressive renovations and additions have rendered the school unrecognizable from its earliest days. Expansions took place in five stages between 1927 and 2002. In 1998, the original buildings were demolished to make room for an administrative office and a media center. With so much history, it is no wonder Antioch High is rumored to be home to some unusual phenomenon. During the 1990s, about a half dozen former students approached Scott Markus, author of Voices from the Chicago Grave, and informed him of an unusual string of off-campus student deaths during that decade. Additionally, a widespread rumor circulating among alumni was that a drama student had hung himself in the auditorium. In one unnerving incident, an art teacher witnessed the locker doors in a basement hallway swing open in perfect synchronicity. That particular hallway is said to bring chills and discomfort to anyone who is unlucky enough to have a locker there.

3. Urbana High School

Urbana, Illinois

Built in 1914 and designed in the Tudor style, Urbana High School has undergone repeated renovations in the past 96 years. One of those renovations inadvertently gave birth to a ghost story that has endured at the school for several generations. Between 1914 and 1986, a small area known as “the Tower” was home to two classrooms, one for art and one for music. The Tower is located in the central portion of the school, and was accessed by a narrow set of stairs. During the renovations of the 1980s, the tower was closed because it couldn’t be made accessible to handicapped students. Students at the high school have their own explanation for the closing, however. They believe the Tower was locked up after a love affair between a teacher and a student ended in tragedy. The teacher reportedly hung herself from the indoor fire escape. According to Troy Taylor, the door to the Tower is said to open without cause, and lights can be seen in the windows at night. Once, when staff members called police to investigate whether someone was trespassing in the Tower, they heard loud, unexplainable tapping.

2. Abingdon Middle School (Former)

Abingdon, Illinois

The old Abingdon Middle School at Snyder and Washington streets was formerly North Abingdon High School. During the 1970s, a tornado damaged the building and knocked down its distinctive chimney. Stories of the school’s haunting go back decades. According to legend, a speech teacher at the high school brought her three-year-old child to work one day and left him outside to play on his tricycle while she ran into her classroom to get something. Unsupervised, her child accidentally fell down the cement steps and broke his neck. The teacher was so grief stricken that she hung herself in her classroom. Ever since, the ghosts of both the woman and her child have been seen in and around the school, and a former janitor even reported these sightings to the police. Some storytellers claim that blood stains appear on the steps where the child died. According to writer Michelle Williams, these stories may have their roots in an actual event, which is well-remembered in the community. Today, the school is abandoned and off limits to visitors.

1. Old Milton School

Alton, Illinois

Most recently home to a decorative glass company, from 1904 to 1984 this building served as Milton Elementary School. Locals whisper that during the 1930s, a dark event left a stain on the history of the school. According to legend, a janitor raped and murdered a girl in the gym locker room. Suspicion fell on the janitor after he failed to report to work the next day. Not long after, he returned to the school and took his own life. Since that time, female visitors have experienced very negative feelings in that area of the building, even if they have never heard the story. Up until the school closed in 1984, one educator in particular reported seeing and hearing the ghost of a young girl in her office. Others encountered a more hostile spirit—that of the murderous janitor. A psychic reportedly exorcised this negative presence. Milton School appeared in an episode of SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters on October 6, 2010.

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Haunting Illinois by Michael KleenCheck out these places and more in Michael Kleen’s Haunting Illinois: A Tourist’s Guide to the Weird and Wild Places of the Prairie State! Three years in the making, the 3rd edition of Hunting Illinois is your ticket to adventure in your own backyard. This edition contains 60 new listings and 35 new pictures, for a total of 260 haunted or mysterious locations and 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 from a wide variety of books, articles, and websites. Haunting Illinois challenges you to get off the couch and start exploring our wonderful State of Illinois. Go here to order!

Sorry guys, this page is copyright Black Oak Media, 2011. You do not have permission to copy this for any reason. Please learn how to cite your work.

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Comments

  1. Omg!!!! One time at East High School i saw a dim person running with a white hoodie on and a complete black face!!!! I heard a garbage dumpster thing slam, which made me look back to see the horrifying thing! Now i hear that a janitor worked there!? Well. the next day we went back, and I went to where he was running, and there was a wall! How could he run into a wall? He can’t!!Omg…good information on East though!!!

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    • I go to Thompson Middle School right now. I have never experienced anything like that, but a girl wrote in Thompson Times (our school’s newspaper) about this and no one believed her. I can’t believe this story is actually true!!

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  2. my sister gose to fremd and she was on the swim team and in room 122 and says NONE of that stuff is real

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  3. BUT it dosent mean its fake

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  4. Deb Casey says:

    My husband’s now deceased father was custodian at Quincy Jr high ~28yrs. My husband often assisted him with various tasks and jobs. My husband knows nothing about a previous hanging but states he often felt like he was being watched in certain areas although no one could be seen. An interesting kind of creepy component is that under the gym floor is a swimming pool utilized only short time after school was built.

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    • collinb phelps says:

      i went to quincy junior about 3 years ago and the whole swimming pool thing is kinda scary and i also felt like i was being watched

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    • I was a teacher for a very short time there, one night I was the only one left in the building, finished up entering grades. The only light on the third floor was my room light. I was at the computer when I heard a noise. I looked behind me and the little flag that hung at the end of the whiteboard was vibrating back and forth in the holder. I grabbed my purse and left. I left the computer on, the room door open, and the lights on. I don’t know if anyone else remembers, but that building is PITCH DARK when the lights are off. I forced myself to walk calmly down the three flights of stairs. Also, I felt like I was being watched many times when I was working late.

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  5. estrada says:

    i went john hancock high school which was once 8. Lourdes High School (Former)
    me and my friends use to love rooming around at night in the other side of the building known as the nuns part i cant start to begin on all the things we heard frist off one night a group of us went in i was the last one to go in we keept on walk but stayed close becuase is was it night time and had heard tales , well as i was saying we where walk when i decided to look back becuase i felt something was looking at me when i noticed the door was open when i had just walked passed it and it was closed we where so sacred that we ran out of their like little kids……another time was when i was with a friend and hide in one of the room to skip class we where in the room enjoying some milk when we heard someone coming down the hall we decided to hide by the door so no one would see use then it stop we looked and their was no one but we keept on hearing the foot steps they where heavy like a man we thought it was our den but yet no one was their we stayed they for 30min it was the worst their was no one their yet we kept hearing chires moiving and someone talking but we went to every room and no one was their it was so not kool .

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    • maybe it was our old janitor he could be dead by now he was tall and big it was 2 of them there.. you giving me the creaps man that basement was scary i think i really got lost one time down there and ran out all turned around ended up on the other side of the where i was supposed to be.. i hated that school and still do

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      • Paul Kossart says:

        I worked at Lourdes from 1971-1975 as a maintenance man and never heard any of these stories or experienced any of the footsteps, shadows, screams, etc. reported. Maybe I wasn’t playing attention!

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    • r. connor says:

      John Hancock School did not teach you how to spell.

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  6. Sebastian says:

    I went to Hancock high school which was once Lourdes high school and I remember there was a senior lock in, which was a sleep over for high school seniors only, and me and my two buddy’s decided to go and tell ghost stories inside the old chapel room, which is now the drama room in the 3rd floor, and I remember while my friend was telling his story, that we all seen a big black figure walk across the room and then went through the door. Me and my buddy’s were at first in a state of schock, but then after that we stormed out of the room and went down stairs to tell every one what we saw, but of course every one thought it was a joke, but me and my buddy’s know what we seen that night.

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  7. kevin says:

    I go to hancock highschool coach texas told me to put the bating tiss away wen I was in the back room,i seen a lady in a,black dress it scared the shit out of me

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  8. I go to hacock & i had never hear or seen someone im so lucky ^.^

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  9. abingdons is not off limits there is a huanted house there that is really good and the janitor died in the school to im from abingdon ive seen all the sightings

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    • Chris says:

      you see stuff Tyler. email me thurmanator86@gmail.com

      Like

    • gadbury says:

      i went to school at the abingdon middle school and a group of guys and i broke into the top of the building while we were still in school there is an old locker room up there and i used to get a sinking feeling everytime we did. they do use it for a haunted house sometimes but after the teacher/ kid discovery i think they stoped not positive tho

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    • Shelby Twaddle says:

      I helped with the haunted house in abingdon one year. while me, my ex boyfriend, and one of his buddies were setting up the maze on the third floor we had the music turned up pretty loud one minute then the next minute is was turned down and none of us were near the stereo to turn it down.

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    • A. Wanderer says:

      The old school IS off limits! It is a private residence.
      There was no janitor that died at that school.
      Is that where you learned your puctuation?

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  10. i go to this school and they say that its haunted bc my friend sees a little girl crying :O

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  11. stcharlesgrad says:

    As a graduate of St Charles High (now East) in ’97 I can tell you with 100% certainty the story above simply isnt true. An extensive web search shows no record of anyone being killed there . . . ever. I was also a member of the band for four years and haven’t heard this “rumor” until now. Perhaps you could site a few sources for us? Either that, or stop fabricating stories about my alma mater.

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  12. I just graduated from Fremd and I’ve heard of all 3 of those stories! And I can say that the swimming pool does have a spot colder than the rest of it and its creepy. I was friends with the theatre kids too and they all talked about the Kolze auditorium haunting as well.

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  13. I went to antioch high school & this story talks about there being lockers in the basement…not true, there is no basement, and if there is, there are no lockers there!!! There was also never a suicide there. I have had family attending this school for decades, never heard of such a thing! I would like to know where the information is coming from!

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    • When did you attend? I know there’s been a lot of renovations over the years.

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    • michelle dolan says:

      the basement was over by the wood shop that is what everyone called it down there i to have graduated from ACHS in ’93 and have heard alot of this stuff as well

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      • Robert reynolds says:

        I graduated in 83 and yes there were lockers down stairs on the way to wood shop,that was the old part of the school that has since been demolished,nothing haunting just the usual wood shop accidents. I was in wood shop one morning when they had a moment of silence for a female student who had recently died in a car accident.The girls brother and the boy who was driving the car were in the wood shop class with me,a little eerie now as I remember it,but at the time it was just a freaky accident.

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    • The hallway in question is in the art wing. My source for the stories is a grad from there (class of ’98 or ’99) as well as some Antioch newspapers. Like any school, there are urban legends, however, there are truths about accidental deaths on the site, including one by hanging.

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  14. Brittany koplin says:

    There were elevators at the Yorkville middle school (which at one time was Yorkville high school) maybe they had the schools mixed up….

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  15. I think some of you needed to spend less time looking for ghosts at your school and more time taking advantage of the writing instruction.

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  16. Carrie C. says:

    I have a photography studio in the Milton Schoolhouse and have for the past 10 months. Numerous times, I have been there at nighttime, and have never had any experiences there. Do a little research, the stories cannot be proven!! Sorry guys….just an urban legend!!!

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    • This is a website for folklore and legends/urban legends – so we’re not really talking about the stories as factually true, although some are based on real events.

      Like

  17. Dennis says:

    I was a night janitor for Malta High School in Malta Illinois. I always felt like someone was watching me work. One night I was mopping the hallway floors in front of the boys locker room. From inside the locker room I heard several lockers get slammed shut……. I WAS THE ONLY PERSON IN THE BUILDING!!!!

    Like

  18. ACHS Dad says:

    I just asked my son Dave (He just graduated from Antioch Community High School) if he ever heard anything like that. he told me that one time when his locker was by the room with the exersize bikes in it, him and a buddy walked by and one of the bikes was being pedaled really fast and no one was on the bike. They went upstairs, and came back down and the bike was still going, but no one was on the bike still

    Like

  19. I am kind of shocked that you would put Quincy Junior High as one of the schools when there is a much more haunted place in Quincy, Illinois. At St. Francis grade school a nun amd multiple children died after the lamb costumes caught of fire during a Christmas program.

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  20. I went to the old Abingdon, Il. High School it is not abandoned it is used . It has little resale shops in it and the week of Halloween it is set up as the Haunted School house spook walk.There are other businesses there too

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  21. [Omg im going to Quincy junior high next year!!!!!!!! Its 7th through 8th if you are born in 2001 you surley heard the story!!! Its crazy how a strong beautiful old school has a death record.Some say that they closed and blocked off the bathroom where he died and no staff told where its at.they also say that every boy restroom you can here him cry and moan every sinle night. Wtc!

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  22. I lived in Abingdon in the 60’s and attending the old Abingdon High School and never heard this story before, it’s interesting even if it isn’t true. Some parts of that old school building was creepy though, but I enjoyed attending back then.

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  23. The school in Quincy Illinois Madison gramer school used to be Home in the 1900’s in the house a man came in and killed the girl she had a pet dog the dog try draging the girl doun the steps now I used to go to this school and the story is true back in 2001 i was at that school and every day i felt like something evil was watching me .

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  24. I went to Urbana High School in the 1990’s and I’d heard a little about the tower. This is the first time I’ve ever heard about ghosts at my old high school. Wow! I had no idea about that.

    Like

  25. Mireya Martinez says:

    Can you please review thurdgood marshall middle school it was a Catholic school before a part got in to a fire and nuns and kids were burn.. I use to go their, we use to hear voices by the hall way

    Like

  26. A. Wanderer says:

    I hate to burst your bubble on the ghost story at Abingdon, Illinois school haunting but it is totally FAKE.
    I attended high school there as did my parents in years previous. None of my family nor older residence of town ever heard of any teacher that hanged herself there because her child broke his neck, or for any other reason.
    Also the school has NOT been abandoned. It is now a private residence. The residents rent out,the gym for local auctions.

    Like

  27. The Illinois educational system must be failing horribly. Most of you can barely form a coherent sentence.

    Like

  28. Paul Kossart says:

    Horse hockey! I worked in maintenance at Lourdes from 1971-1975 and never heard any of these stories Mr. Crowe claimed. In fact, I don’t recall Mr. Crowe! I’ve been in parts of the school, convent and Stritch Hall that Mr. Crowe even knew existed and never heard or so ANYTHING out of the ordinary. I think Mr. Crowe might have invented this bull to help sell his book. Pure urban legend from an eyewitness of the time.

    Like

  29. I guess you didn’t read my post,Miss Mary. I thought I wrote mine pretty well. But,in response to my earlier thing,I did hear about the tower and it’s ghosts from some teachers. It’s only been in recent times that I’ve heard a little more about it.

    Like

  30. That’s cool but sometimes sacary and not nice that Girls die because they were abuse also that an boy kill his self only because the Girl cut out With him that’s Kind of stupid.

    Like

  31. Margaret L Rehfeldt says:

    If the Quincy jr high is haunted who was the boy who hung himself and what year need info

    Like

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