Paranormal Illinois is Now Available!

Why did hundreds of people line up, in the winter of 1980, bumper to bumper in rural Illinois, to catch a glimpse of a scantily clad phantom along Kennedy Hill Road? Did you know that a ghost of a homicidal mother still haunts the road near her former home? What is the real history behind Independence Grove and Devil’s Gate? When these questions and more are answered, you will never look at the history of Illinois the same way. This painstakingly researched book leaves no ghost unturned.

This book is the culmination of years of research, and it is accessable both to casual fans of the paranormal and anyone interested in Illinois history and folklore (or, what I like to call “folk history”). It’s fun, informative, and greatly entertaining. Even though I wrote the book, I became engrossed in it as soon as I got the preview copy in my hands. It’s not every day an author can say that!

The book is divided up into four sections:

  • Archer Avenue
  • Haunted Colleges and Universities
  • Rivers and Roads
  • The Abandoned

I promise you, you have never seen most of this information before! If you think you’ve read everything there is to know about Airtight Bridge from my previous writing, you are mistaken. Paranormal Illinois is the first and only book to contain the complete story, featuring interviews and first hand accounts by people who were involved with the case. This book also contains a detailed history of the abandoned schoolhouse along Shoe Factory Road, as well as camp St. Francis and “the Gate.”

Paranormal Illinois is available at several fine retailers, as well as a local bookstore near you. If you don’t find it there, ask them to order it! The book is also available online at the following websites: ($13.25 – a really good deal!)
Borders ($14.99)
Schiffer Books ($16.99)

So what are you waiting for? Order it today before it’s sold out!


Pictures from the IGH Open House in DeKalb

Special thanks to Willy Adkins for inviting me to come and speak at the IGH Open House in DeKalb on Sunday. It turned out great, despite the poor weather. It was nice to finally meet Dale Kaczmarek, whose work has been indispensible.

Dale Kaczmarek and I

Kathi Kresol of the Haunted Rockford tour, Chad Griffiths of "PRI", and I

Willy Adkins of "IGH" and Afterlife Paranormal, and I

Diane Ladley of "Haunted Naperville" and I

And, as a bonus, Ursula Bielski, Scott Markus, and I at Ursula and Scott’s book signing at Horrorbles in Berwyn. On an unrelated note, my book Haunting the Prairie is now available at Horrorbles.

Ursula Bielski, Scott Markus, and I

The Story of Emma Jones

“Emma Jones,” from my appearance at the Rockford Public Library on October 17, 2009:


Haunting the Prairie: A Tourist’s Guide – Limited Edition!

Own a signed and numbered limited edition copy of Haunting the Prairie before its official release! Only 20 copies available – $12.95 each

Sold Out!

“If you are reading this, you are part of a small but dedicated group of people who relish in the exploration of the unknown… I honestly hope that you visit the places listed in this book, and always remember, the point is to have fun, get scared, and learn something along the way…” – From the Introduction.

For over a decade, Michael Kleen, author of the Legends and Lore of Illinois and the forthcoming book Paranormal Illinois, has been researching and traveling to mystery spots all over the Prairie State. Now, he has created the most organized and comprehensive guide to haunted and legendary places ever written about Illinois. Haunting the Prairie is that guide.

Haunting the Prairie contains 130 mystery sites and 60 individual illustrations, plus the only bibliographic time line of paranormal and folklore research in Illinois over the past century. In Haunting the Prairie, Michael Kleen not only examines the sites, but also the hobbyists and professionals who have devoted their lives to exploring the strange and unusual in our great state. But that’s not all, this book also contains an extended and exclusive interview with paranormal investigator Larry Wilson about his documentary Strange Williamsburg Hill.

Divided among eight distinct regions and listed by county, each location features a description, directions, and sources drawn from a diverse variety of books and articles where the reader can find out more information.

Haunting the Prairie challenges you to get off the couch and start exploring our wonderful State of Illinois. You might be surprised at what you discover!

Title: Haunting the Prairie: A Tourist’s Guide to the Weird and Wild Places of Illinois
Author: Michael Kleen
Format: 9 x 6 x 0.5
ISBN: 978-0979040146
Publisher: Black Oak Press, Illinois
Number of Pages: 154
Publication Date: January 1, 2010


News, News, and More News

WTVOI’m featured in a couple of new newspaper articles this month, and will also appear on Rockford’s WTVO Channel 17 (digital channel 16) tonight at 10pm central time. Click the links below to read the newspaper articles, or simply go to the “press” tab to read those and past articles. Hopefully a video clip of the Channel 17 piece will be available on their website soon.

Charleston is Haunted
Neil Schneider
Daily Eastern News
October 30, 2009

…As the legend goes, two men passing by the bridge in the morning noticed what they thought was the body of a nude woman about 50 feet from the bridge. As the men approached they realized that the woman had had her head, hands and feet severed from her body.

The men quickly called the local sheriff’s office and from there the investigation began.

Michael Kleen, an Illinois paranormal researcher and author, said that the case is shrouded in mystery.

Read the entire article…

The Science of Spirit-Sleuthing Part III: Local Lore
Stuart R. Wahlin
Rock River Times
October 28-Nov. 3, 2009

Twin Sisters Park is a popular wintertime destination on Rockford’s southeast side. Boasting sizeable twin hills, there’s little question where the park got its name. It is rumored, however, the park is not only popular with those who sled, but with those who are dead.

“Some people claim that this park has attracted more sinister guests,” local writer and historian Michael Kleen said of the legend during a recent talk at the Rockford Public Library. “The woods have been the scene of several murders, hangings and even a drowning. People say that they experience feelings of dread. They see things moving in the shadows. They feel like they’re being followed in the woods.”

Read the entire article…


Streets of Fear – “Bloods Point Road” – now up on FEARnet

When FEARnet contacted me about doing an episode of Streets of Fear on Blood’s Point Road, I was looking forward to working with them, but the schedule was very tight. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find anyone else to be in the video on such short notice, but luckily Kathi Kresol and Forest City Paranormal were more than happy to help out. Nothing usually comes together so harmoniously, but we made it happen and I think the episode really reflects that. You can watch the video below, or click here to go to the FEARnet website.

The Rockford Register Star also ran an article about FEARnet’s visit: “Bloods Point residents mystified by myths

Mysterious America

The Legend of Pemberton Hall – The legend returns!

Since the 1950s, a story has been told to every generation of girls who reside in Eastern Illinois University’s legendary Pemberton Hall, the first all-female dormitory in the state of Illinois.

This story involves an infamous dorm mother named Mary Hawkins and the ghost of a girl who was allegedly murdered in the fourth floor piano room over ninety years ago. Pemberton Hall’s fourth floor has been closed for generations, adding fuel to the legend. Students wonder:

  • Who was Mary Hawkins?
  • What did she really look like?
  • How did she die?
  • How long has this story been told?

Now peer behind the locked doors and find out what really happened on that dark and stormy night at Eastern Illinois University. The answers to all your questions about this famous story are just a click away! This is the most comprehensive account of the legend ever written.

Click the link below to download it for free!  Also, feel free to share this .pdf with your friends!

The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen

The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen
The Legend of Pemberton Hall by Michael Kleen

Citations: if you wish to use any of this in a paper or presentation, cite it in the following way (Chicago style):
Michael Kleen, The Legend of Pemberton Hall (Charleston: Black Oak Press, Illinois, 2008), page#.