In December 1897, the residents of the small farming community of Sag Bridge on the Drainage Canal (now known as Lemont—a suburb of Chicago) were greatly disturbed over the discovery of the skeleton remains of nine Indians. They were found by local excavators in the area. Scientists from Chicago arrived on the scene and examined the bones. Upon examination, Professor Dosey estimated the bones of the Indians were several hundred years old. One of the skeletons was a man over seven feet tall.
Nine years prior to this discovery, other skeletons were dug up in the same area. They were immediately reburied. The people in the neighborhood believed the spirits of the Indians haunted the place and insisted that the bones be reinterred. Stories spread that phantom Indians on horseback road through the village of Sag Bridge at night and frightened the residents. Both men and women stated they witnessed the roaming spirits.
The Sag Bridgers claimed the same ghosts were at it again. The hauntings were making some of the women in town nervous and almost ill from fright. Several of the skeletons were reburied again, while others were taken to The Field Museum in Chicago for additional research. It was spirits of these skeletal remains that the people argued were making trouble and haunting the village. The Kelly brothers, who dug up the skeletons, said their house was haunted and that they would have to move out!
Makes a person wonder what they might find if they walked the banks of the old drainage canal now—or what ghosts they might stir up from the past. Another interesting stop in the area is the old St James (SAG) Cemetery and Church. A story in the September 1897 Chicago Tribune told the tale of one of the first ghost stories about the cemetery. Two musicians, Professor William Looney and John Kelly (there’s that Kelly fellow again—always dabbling with ghosts!) finished their musical act around 1:00 in the morning and decided to stay in a small building overnight. About an hour or so later, Looney was awakened by the sound of horse hoofs on the old gravel road. He stood up, looked out the window, and saw a carriage ride towards him. He watched it come up the road that is now Archer Avenue, approach the gravel entranceway, then stop and turn around. He saw what appeared to be a young girl in a white robe that materialized out of nowhere. She climbed into the carriage with the driver and they turned back around. Just as they passed the archway, the mysterious carriage vanished into the night!
The Field Museum
1400 S Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
St James at Sag Bridge
10600 S Archer Avenue
Lemont, IL 60439
Paranormal Activity Surveillance Team www.pastparanormalteam.com
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Debe Branning [email protected]