Dresden Area Full of History and Ghosts [VIDEO]
Workers at Abyss Haunted House, which is in the old Mule Barn, have reported hauntings they did not design.
Dresden Cemetery, on Hansel Road in Channahon, dates back to 1847. The cemetery is full of stories, surrounding the move of graves to the new St. Mary's Cemetery in Minooka. In some versions, the ground was spoiled, in others, a giant flood blew out the side of the mountain and bodies and coffins were everywhere. In each version, though, a child's grave or a child's body was unable to be located and it is he or she who haunts the area.
Historically speaking, there is some truth to the flood story. Thomas Comerford, one of the early settlers of the area, was trying to bury his wife, but could not so because of a rainstorm.
"There was this huge rainstorm when they were trying to bury her and the grave kept filling up with water," Michelle Houchens, Three Rivers Library Historian said.
So, in 1914, Comerford bought land in Minooka and began construction on St. Mary's Cemetery. Others followed suit in burying their loved ones in the new location.
Whether or not the story of the small child is true, the cemetery and the mule barn across the street have a reputation of being haunted. Paul Niemeyer runs Abyss Haunted House. He and his cast have watched people get spooked at Dresden Cemetery.
"There are so many times that we have sat out here at night and watched people walk up the hill with a flashlight," he said.
They then hear a shout or a scream and the people run back to their cars and leave the area in a hurry.
"That happens like three or four times a week every week," he said.
Niemeyer has first-hand experience of the ghosts in the Mule Barn, which is the last surviving one of its kind along the I & M Canal.
"The mule barn here was built in 1834, and it was one of the original mule barns on the I & M Canal," he said. "It's the only standing mule barn that's still left."
Niemeyer tells stories of encounters with a male figure in the mule barn. The alleged ghost has been seen by Niemeyer and some of his haunted house cast members. The ghost does not speak, but does disappear into walls. Niemeyer will tell his ghost tales on "My Ghost Story," on the Biography Channel on November 5.
Abyss Haunted House is open 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday and to 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. They also have a lights-on experience from noon to 6 p.m. on those same days. The price is $5 during the day for a less scary experience and $17 for the full 11,000 square foot haunt.