The November night in 1958 was cold, and the almost full moon cast shadows from the tree branches and the slight breeze caused them to shake. It created the illusion that the branches were reaching toward the group of teenagers as they walked through the woods

Rockford has plenty of skeletons in its communal closet; there are many stories that some people wish would never come to light. But this story is about the actual skeletons that have popped up in our city from time to time.

People may recognize the name Wheeler from road signs around the city of Belvidere. Fewer people know that the road was named after Walton Wheeler, a man who was murdered in 1934.

The evening was warm and muggy, a July night in northern Illinois. The events that unfolded on a back road at the border of Winnebago and Ogle Counties were anything but typical, however.

Thomas Chick was worried. He owned the Chick Hotel for over 14 years by 1902 and knew trouble when he saw it. It was just a feeling he had about the couple that checked into the hotel in the middle of June. They had been staying at the hotel for over three weeks and the only oddness Thomas had witnessed was that Mrs. Holt always carried a small metal box with her.

When the word spread that William Moore and Terrence Donnerie were involved in another scuffle, no one in Rockford was surprised. The men had several altercations in the past that had been witnessed by many of their acquaintances. William and Terrence knew each other from working at the American House, a local inn that included a tavern.

Originally published in The Rock River Times. Sledding has been a past time for children for many generations.  During the late 1800s one of the areas that offered this activity was Rockford’s southwest side on Knowlton Street.  At that time, Knowlton Street ran all the way down to the Rock River.  The river was narrow …

The lighting of the Christmas tree during ‘Stroll on State’ is the official start to Rockford’s Holiday Season.  This event brings the holidays to life for thousands through displays of lights, good food, and markets to shop.  Entire families brave all kinds of weather to see the lighting of the tree and share in the celebration.

The events that took place on November 7, 1948 happened so quickly that witnesses would find it difficult to remember the exact sequence.  There were other details that were abundantly clear, however.  When it was all over and the smoke had cleared, two men lay dead and a young woman was missing.

John Travis served in the Rockford Rifles as a part of the Illinois 45th Regiment.  It was Travis’s job as the Commissary Sergeant to make sure the soldiers had enough rations and supplies.  But Travis took his job further and would run food and coffee to the men on the front lines.  He also assisted in the dangerous job of pulling the injured from the battlefield.

The distinctive limestone house that sits on the west bank of the Rock River is best known today for being a part of the Burpee Museum of Natural History.  The museum is a gem itself and is a must see for visitors and locals alike.



Copyright © 2013-2019 Kathi Kresol, Haunted Rockford Events