Fall is a time where folklores, legends, and myths are told. Believe it or not, DuPage has several myths and legends that are still told to this day. Learn more about these unusual DuPage stories that will send shivers down your spine.
Remember, many of these stories are myths and legends that may or may not hold truth to them.
Chicago native Ivan Albright remains one of the most provocative, yet distinguished, artists of 20th Century and American art. Though now known for his art in its entirety, Hollywood's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is what brought him national publicity and prominence in the art world.
Ivan was a longtime Warrenville resident where his “most productive years” took place in the former Warrenville Methodist Church which he used as a studio and gallery alongside artist and father, Adam Emory Albright, and twin brother, Malvin “Zsissly” Albright. His painting of the corrupted Dorian Gray, and many of his works, were donated by Ivan to the Art Institute of Chicago, where they currently reside. The Warrenville Historical Society & Art Gallery has originals and digital reproductions of all three Albright artists in their collection.
E.V. Wilson was a resident from Lombard, Illinois. What makes him interesting was that he was rumored to be a Spiritualist. Spiritualism is the religious practice based on supposed communication with the spirits of the dead, especially through mediums. It was popular in the mid-to-late 1800's with a resurgence during World War I. There were many who felt that spiritualism was a charlatan’s game, and took advantage of grieving individuals. E.V. was adamant this was not the case for him; that he was man of science. He followed something he called nervo-magnetic law of spiritual control. He would call people to the front and without the volunteer speaking, then would tell those gathered all about them and challenge them to contradict him.
E.V. traveled as a guest speaker. He would speak in Chicago and once was a featured speaker at the Spiritual Camp-Meeting in Dubuque Iowa. He would do a morning matinee lecture for 10 cents and an evening lecture for 25 cents. He also wrote a book titled, “The Truths of Spiritualism. Immortality Proved Beyond a Doubt by Living Witnesses”. It was compiled from twenty-five years of experience and thus was 57 chapters and over 400 pages.
E.V. Wilson passed away in 1880 at the age of 62, and is currently buried in Lombard Cemetery.
This area in Glen Ellyn has been many things throughout the last century--a golf course, a seminary, a college, a movie set, and a home to ghosts. Parapsychologist Hans Holtzer tells of "The Seminary Ghost" in his 1993 book, Haunted America. Among the reported sightings was that of a dead priest, who had once been in charge of the darkroom. At the time he appeared, there were unexplained temperature drops in the photographic chemicals.
Running through the villages of Bartlett and Wayne, you’ll come to a road with train tracks running through it, just like so many other roads in Illinois. This story got so much traction that it became a movie in 2011. Legend says that some time ago there was a bus that got trapped on the train tracks while full of children. Unfortunately, the bus couldn’t get free in time, and the train barreled through the bus—leaving no survivors. In the aftermath of this unfortunate accident, drivers reported odd sightings and happenings around the train tracks. The sounds of children crying, yelling, even laughing, people who stop their cars near the tracks have even heard the sounds of a train thundering towards them even though nothing was there. People even claimed to see small handprints on the bumpers. This leads many to believe that the ghosts of the children are attempting to help others avoid their fate, or so they say.
Others tell a lesser-known story about this road, about an evil old man who lived in a home with his dog that was possessed by an evil spirit in the early 19th century. Though the old man didn’t live alone in the isolated house. Legend says that one day a train derailed and struck the house, killing everyone inside except for the evil old man and his dog. Even though they survived the horrible accident, it’s said that their spirits haunt the area. To this day, they say the evil old man and his possessed dog caused all the unpleasant events that have happened in the area since the early 20th century. It’s also said that these two evil spirits are to blame for drawing those obsessed with the occult to the Munger Road train tracks. There’s also a rumor that the spirits of the evil old man and his dog caused the aforementioned train crash with the school bus full of children.
The old Ovaltine Factory was located in Villa Park, Illinois. Closed in 1985 and previously left abandoned, homeless people used to use the factory frequently for shelter. People who went into this location described feelings of being watched and followed, encountered unexplained cold spots, heard voices and cries that came from nowhere, as well as voices that somehow knew their name. Also reported are people who have had large piles of debris thrown at them violently with no natural explanation behind it. Amateur ghost hunters who investigated the Ovaltine factory often times had multiple batteries die on them which were brand new or fully charged.