“Sometimes, people will see what they call shadow people or basically just, you know, shadows up on the second floor,” explained Steve Litteral from the library of the Tinker Swiss Cottage.
Pieces of history hang on the walls, haunting Rockford’s own Tinker Swiss Cottage. Litteral says a new report listing Rockford as the number three most haunted city in Illinois, specifically calling out the cottage, lends credibility to what people tell him they see mysterious things all the time in his tours, but scary doesn’t quite describe it.It’s the feeling of being watched, and the stories that give you goose bumps.
“In this house, we did have at least eight funerals that we know of,” said Litteral, the Executive Director of Tinker Swiss Cottage.
“When people come here they have one vision of what it’s going to be like, but then when they walk in, it’s like ‘oh, it’s not really that creepy at all, it’s very beautiful,’ but it just has a long history. And with a long history, you usually have people that hang out and don’t pay rent,” said Litteral.
Other spooky sites mentioned in the report, including the historic Faust Hotel, Rockford’s Coronado Theater, and even Rockford University.
Not listed was Camp Grant. It’s a historic site that paranormal expert Kathi Kresol says is perhaps the most notorious for ghostly encounters. A museum and restaurant sit on the old Camp Grant grounds, which fell victim to the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918.
“Within a two week period, over 2,200 of them had gotten sick and died,” explained Kresol, who runs a group called Haunted Rockford.
According to Yolanda Wisensel, co-owner of the Camp Grant Museum and Command Post, not all of the dead men have left.
“I got up and went over here and looked down the hallway, and when I did, there was young man that went running right across there,” says Weisensel.
And while ghostly encounters can be startling, Kresol says there’s nothing to be afraid of.
“Sometimes, they just want to be acknowledged that they were ever here,” explained Kresol. “And they served a purpose, and these men and women sacrificed for our country.”
To see the report in its entirety, and to see which Illinois city was ranked as the state’s most haunted city, click here. The list was compiled by Rockford’s own Michael Kleen, a former mayoral candidate.
Kathi Kresol will be the featured speaker at Friday’s paranormal tour of the Tinker Swiss Cottage. Click here for more information on that, and check out this link for Kresol’s personal website which includes tour information.
The Coronado Theatre also has paranormal tours for adventurous guests. Click here for information on one coming up October 29th.