It used to be an indian trail going from Fort Dearborn to what is now the southwest suburbs. It is said that the original residents made the path there because of a mystical force that was linked to the next world. Paranormal energies would be attracted because of this force which would explain why it is so haunted.
It is true that the Indians used this area as a burial ground. When the French came in the 1600's they built a mission and a signal post. St. James-Sag Cemetery Then the Irish came and built a church named St. James-Sag right next to the burial grounds. In 1850 the old log cabin was replaced by a pale yellow rectory still being used today. It looks over the graves on the hills below
It is said that a priest from there put a curse on the town when the residents didn't attend church on a regular basis. This could have been the reason for the strange things that started in the church in 1847. St. James-Sag Cemetery That was when the "phantom monks" started appearing. One witness was a former rector who, on his deathbed, said he saw ghosts wandering around the cemetery for many years.
A Cook County police officer was going past the cemetery in 1977 and turned on his spotlight towards the gates. He said he saw nine hooded figures hovering near the rectory. He knew that nobody should be in there so he stopped and called out for them to come back. If they didn't they would arrested for trespassing. They paid no attention to him and kept going on their way.
He took his shotgun, left his car and ran into the cemetery. He chased after who he thought were just some kids fooling around. He had almost caught them when they "vanished without a trace." He searched the area looking for signs of the trespassers but he didn't find anyone or anything.
The tale that was likely to have gave the burial ground its eerie reputation was that of a phantom hearse. One that was seen on Kean Road and one near Archer Woods Cemetery.
All the accounts about it are the same, black horses and a glowing coffin of a child. According to the Chicago Tribune, two musicians, that were spending the night at a recreation hall near the rectory, woke up to the sounds of a carriage on the stones ouside. When they looked outside they saw the hearse. It was the first account of the strange appearance but there were many more.
Archer Woods Cemetery is the home of a women in white that appears to drivers passing by at night. She is described as wearing a white dress just walking around near the edge of the cemetery, weeping and crying and covering her face with her hands. She appears for only a short while and then is gone.
The devil made an appearance on Archer Avenue, just west of Loomis Street, who had came to a dance at a ballroom named Kaiser Hall. As the story goes a young woman was spellbound by a handsome and elegant man she met on the dance floor. While they were dancing she casually looked at his feet and screemed! Thinking that the man had made an unsuitable advance at the girl, the other men chased him who left the room quickly. They cornered him near a second-story window at which time he just jumped. When the crowd came to see what happened to him they saw him running away unharmed. They were shocked to see the real reason for the screem. In the concrete where the stranger had landed was the print of a cloven-hoof!
Ghost lights have been seen near Maple Lake located at the north end of Sag Ridge. Maple Lake Because of the forest preserve that is around the area, it has become a place of rumors and dark events.
For a long time the forest preserve has had many stories of black magic rituals and devil worshippers, and they have been the place for real calamities also. In 1991, the body of a seventeen-year-old girl was found floating in the lake. The murderer was caught shortly thereafter, but it put the area in a dark light for a long time after.
It's the reports of ghost lights that attracts so many nightly visitors to Maple Lake. It shows up over the water between 95th and 107th streets and has also been seen at the northern edge, across from the Maple Lake Overlook. They say that a red light has appeared that moves slowly at the edge of the water. It is round and shines a bright red, sometimes so bright that it is reflected in the water.
No one knows what it is, but it is said that a Native American was beheaded near the lake, and is seen as the ghost light looking for his head. Another version of the story is that the headless ghost is of an early settler who was killed by the indians. The light is supposedly his lantern that he uses while in search of his head. Another one tells of a man killed while digging the Illinois-Michigan canal, or that of a victim of gangland violence who was dumped nearby.