Kathi Kresol

Kathi Kresol has been researching the history of Northern Illinois for almost two decades.  She has published two solo books “Murder and Mayhem in Rockford, Illinois” and Haunted Rockford, Illinois”.  Kathi has also collaborated with other local authors to share several short articles in four books featuring compilations of Rockford authors.

Kathi loves to share the stories she researches in presentations for local organizations and the Haunted Rockford Events.  The local newspaper, Rock River Times has shared Kathi’s stories for several years.  The  column “Voices from the Grave”  has allowed Kathi to share her passion for history with a larger part of Rockford’s Community.  She is always honored when someone mentions reading one of her stories.

Kathi’s main goal in sharing her stories, whether they are true crime, ghost stories, or local history is to honor the lives of the men, women and children who came before.  Some of the stories reflect a tragic moment in these peoples’ lives.  But Kathi also tries to show the courage that the survivor’s displayed as they move forward from the worst possible moment.  She also hopes that these stories illuminate the compassion that the folks of Rockford always have displayed to those who are suffering.

Kathi tries to weave the history and the legends together with personal experiences in sharing the ghost stories.  Her goal is not to convince anyone to believe in ghosts.  She invites folks to  read the stories with an open mind and decide for themselves whether these tales are just interesting legends that have been passed down or true ghostly encounters.  For maybe it is as Einstein once said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.”

Kathi’s main inspiration comes from her four remarkable children and “the guy who brings her coffee,” John. They all support her by allowing her to drag them to historical places, listening to the stories, helping her “look for dead guys”, and putting up with her absences when she disappears to research or write.


Rockford Buzz, an online source of all things Rockford, published an interview with Kathi Kresol on October 31, 2018.

“To uncover what makes local organizations tick , you must go back to their founder. Kathi Kresol is Haunted Rockford. She is the heart of the organization, and everything you see comes from her brain and her passion.
When I got to sit down with Kathi to discuss how Haunted Rockford came to be, she seemed to have an endless supply of stories to tell. Honestly, I could have sat there all day and listened to everything she had to say. The way she tells these stories with respect to the folks who have passed is admirable. They aren’t just things for her to tell and forget, each one stays with her and you can hear in her delivery that she truly cares. Whether they died of natural causes or were victim to terrible circumstance, it doesn’t change her demeanor. She wants to tell their stories and it allows them to live on. “
Kathi Kresol

At Haunted Rockford, we’re very proud of Kathi and happy to share this News with you.

“Everyday heroes are all around us. Parents, emergency responders and teachers come quickly to mind. But what about the small-business owners, conservationists, philanthropists and quiet leaders among us? It’s easy to take for granted, but it’s important to recognize the many ways these heroes inspire us to dream more, do more, be more. So, we’ve found 25 individuals who have left a mark on our regions by inspiring others through acts of courage, vision and passion.” — Northwest Quarterly, Annual Guide 2023.


Photography by Samantha Behling, Northwest Quarterly, 2023. Used with permission.

April 17, 2023 article by Jim Taylor about Kathi Kresol at Northwest Quarterly

Sara Bowker

The paranormal has always been a part of Sara’s life. Since she was young, she has been aware there were spirits about. This fueled her desire to understand the unseen world around her, so she made frequent trips to the local library to research everything she could on ghosts, hauntings, and psychic awareness. She has spent half a lifetime researching various aspects of the unknown and investigating haunted locations. She is Kathi’s partner at Haunted Rockford, whom Kathi lovingly refers to as “her psychic sidekick.”

Sara enjoys creating content, indulging her artistic/creative side, writing, traveling, and exploring haunted locations. When she’s not ghost hunting or podcasting, she can be found spending time with her husband, their two children, a spoiled Boston Terrier and two goofy cats.



Contact Sara

Email:      Bowkersm@gmail.com

Follow on Instagram: @Haunted_SaraB


Samantha Hockmann in front of a picture of Tinker Swiss Cottage

Samantha Hochmann is a historian by trade and also a paranormal enthusiast. She is the Executive Director of Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, a widely known paranormal hotspot in the Rockford community. She also participates with various historical committees and boards in the Rockford area. Sam has been volunteering with the Haunted Rockford team since 2017.

Sam’s love for history started at a very young age, and her interests in the paranormal stem from growing up with a sensitivity to the paranormal realm. When she is not researching in the library or giving tours of the museum, you can find her reading spooky stories and walking through the local cemeteries.



 Contact Samantha

Email:      samantha@tinkercottage.com

Amber Kresol

Amber Kresol (she/her) is a part of Haunted Rockford’s research and tech team. She is a lifelong Rockfordian and a Librarian who has worked at the public library for over 20 years. After getting a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology/Sociology, Amber earned her Master’s Degree in Library & Information Studies at UW-Madison. She spent most of her library career focused on teen services but has recently gone to the “dark side” when she joined the Local History Department in February 2022.

As Kathi Kresol’s daughter, it’s no surprise Amber caught the “History Buff” bug. Growing up with a mom who planned entire road trips around visiting historical places and dead folks, the love of honoring the people who came before us was ingrained in Amber early in life. Her interests involve educating people on Rockford’s history, assisting in research strategies, and participating in exciting community events.

When she’s not sharing her enthusiasm for local history, you can find Amber strolling through cemeteries, cleaning gravestones with 815 Stone Scrubbers, traveling, reading about the death industry, cross stitching macabre designs, or annoying her Wife with morbid facts about body decomposition.


Contact Amber

Email: akresol@gmail.com

Thomas Saunders

Thomas H. Saunders is the technical guy behind hauntedrockford.com.  Tom designed and maintains the website and publishes the Haunted Rockford Newsletter each month.  Tom is a graduate of Rockford East High School.

A family historian in his own right, Tom is the proud older brother of Kathi Kresol.

Please use our contact form to contact Tom if you are having any problems with the HauntedRockford.com website.