halloween g5a7c2d7e6 1280Ghost seekers will be excited to learn that Illinois now ranks fifth in ghost sightings in the U.S. A new study conducted by CardsChat.com that claims to have collected every reported ghost sighting since 1972 has found that Illinois has the fifth highest number of spirit sightings in the past 50 years. The group reported a total of 62,482 ghost sightings across the United States-showing at least 2,398 of those were at locations across Illinois. Other Midwestern states that made the list include Michigan at No. 4, Ohio at No. 3 and Indiana at No. 8. In 2012, Illinois sightings hit their highest number since 1972 with 3,697 reported sightings. However, that number has dropped in the last decade, going from 1,297 reported sightings in 2016 to only nine reported sightings in 2020. According to votes taken by participants in the study, the DeSoto House Hotel in Galena was voted as the spookiest spot in the state. Illinois not only has spooky places, it also has some scary ghost stories.

One of the most famous ghost stories in Illinois is the story of the “Resurrection Mary,” a story which fits into the broader category of urban legend known as the “vanishing hitchhiker” myth. The story takes place on the roads near Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, located a few miles southwest of Chicago. Since the 1930s, several men driving northeast along Archer Avenue between the Willowbrook Ballroom and Resurrection Cemetery have reported picking up a young female hitchhiker. This young woman is usually wearing a white party dress and is said to have light blond hair and blue eyes. There are other reports that she wears a thin shawl, dancing shoes, carries a small purse, and possibly that she is very quiet. When the driver nears the cemetery, the young woman asks to be let out. The woman then disappears into the cemetery never to be seen again.

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, as Illinoisans get ready to celebrate Halloween dressed up as ghosts, they may be just as likely to run into the real thing.

HalloweendecorationsHalloween is that special time of year for families and children, and many go all out to make the most of the spooky holiday- some even starting the decorating process in the spring and summer. With all the work people across Illinois put into their displays, it is no wonder that Illinois is so highly ranked nationally in states that decorate the most for the holiday. Many residents put in a personal touch, including bats over windows, ivy that slinks over walls, spooky spiders, a bubbling cauldron or even some crumbling tomb stones.

While many residents take great pride in their costumes and decorations, many do not know the length some of their neighbors go to for the holiday. After analyzing more than 1,000 Halloween decoration search terms on Google, a study by Lombardo Homes says 41 % of Americans start decorating for Halloween in the first week of October. The survey, which polled 998 homeowners, also found that Illinois ranks second for states that decorate the most for Halloween. In keeping with the state’s many patches of farmland, the most popular Halloween decoration in Illinois is a scarecrow. The top five states that decorate the most are Utah, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas and New Mexico. According to the study, the average person in Illinois spends $145 per year on Halloween decorations and costumes for themselves and their family. In addition, the most popular Halloween costume in Illinois is a witch. Whether you are an adult or a child, Halloween is a magical time in Illinois and there are so many different ways to have fun and express your creativity.

To check all out the full results of the study and compare your spooky season to other states, view the full study.

49761728407 fe387f46b3 bThis year, the state of Illinois was recognized by the Springfield Historic Sites Commission with the 2021 Historic Preservation Award to honor and recognize efforts to preserve historical buildings in downtown Springfield.

The state has made a strong effort to preserve many old buildings in Springfield, including the Illinois State Armory, Old State Capitol dome, former State Journal Register building and the Chase/Marine building. This recognition comes as Central Management Services continues to optimize the state’s real estate portfolio and redevelop several properties for the state to use in the upcoming Capital Complex Master Plan for 2050.

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DavidDavis MansionA beloved annual celebration in Bloomington will reach a lofty milestone in July. The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site will be celebrating the 25th year of its Glorious Garden Festival on July 16-17.

First hosted in 1997, the Glorious Garden Festival brings local residents and tourists to the Bloomington-Normal community to take part in garden-themed events and to share gardening knowledge.

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Allerton Park and Retreat Center 48765753422Located in Monticello in the heart of Illinois, Allerton Park and Retreat Center contains 1,500 acres of woodland and prairie areas, a 10-acre meadow, sculpture gardens, hiking trails and a historic mansion. Originally built as a private residence by artist and philanthropist Robert Allerton in 1900, the park was donated by Allerton to the University of Illinois in 1946.

Robert Allerton was born in Chicago on March 20, 1873. As a young man, he decided to forego entering his father’s business in farming and banking, instead opting to dedicate his life to the pursuit of art. Eventually, he took over the management of some of his father’s holdings in Monticello, naming the area “The Farms.”

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