Big Four Bar & Grill, Carbon Hill, Illinois


     The quaint town of Carbon Hill, Illinois was founded in 1881 when the coal mining industry came bustling into the area. A booming town, as quickly established complete with a school, post office, butcher shop and hotel. On April 22, 1912 a tornado damaged the several parts of the town, causing over $10,000 in damage. One year later on June 13, 1913 a ravenous fire destroyed the majority of the downtown businesses, including the hotel and causing over $20,000.

The remnants of the hotel were leveled and the land sat vacant until 1937, when Porky Ferrari built and opened the bar “Porky’s.” The bar was owned and operated by Porky until 1979, and since then there has been numerous owners. The name may have changed many times, but the one thing that has not, is the paranormal activity that has been experienced here.

     The bar is currently named the Big Four Bar and Grill, and when the owners opened it in 2008, they got a whole lot more than they bargained for. Patrons and staff started sharing “ghost stories” with them, and soon enough they had their own personal experiences to share as well. Over the course of the past 3 years, people have heard the sound of keys rattling, whistling, footsteps, crying, disembodied voices and moans, and their names being called out when no one is there. Lights have been turned off and on by themselves.  Items have disappeared, only to reappear in the later in the same spot that was checked numerous times for the item. People have reported smelling different scents that should not be in the building, including the smell of fresh cut roses. There was one occasion that one of the owners had the bathroom door slam shut behind her and she was locked in by an unseen presence and could not get out. The apparitions of a man and shadow people have been seen on numerous occasions. The hand print of a small child was found on a large mirror, that had just been cleaned was found in the back of the bar. The bar’s security cameras have captured many unusual things on them in the past few years.  

    The Will County Ghost Hunters Society had the privilege of investigation this historic building, and was able to capture some remarkable evidence.  The below photo was taken at 11:23 on April 17, 2011.  The WCGHS had 2 DVR cameras set up in this area of the bar. Dan Jungles was taking pictures toward the restroom of the bar, where a lot of the activity has been reported.  Jason Houck can be seen in the photo taking pictures towards the front of the bar. A shadow person was captured in this photo. The DVR cameras were crossed checked and no one was in this area at this time other than Dan and Jason.

    The WCGHS also had several personal experiences during the course of our investigation.  Including, audibly hearing the sound of keys rattling, which we were able to capture with our audio recorders.

The next EVP Jason and Dan were discussing a shadow that was seen. This is followed by the sound of keys rattling. This was heard by everyone at the time and the source could not be found. One of the claims is the sound of keys rattling, and we were able to experience this and document it during our investigation.

The next EVP, Dan was talking about the rain and the spirit of a little girl sings, “Come inside, I need you too.”

    In the early morning hours of the investigation the WCGHS returned to the main bar area. Pictures were being taken from the front of the bar to towards the back.  One of our investigators, Lloyd Tillman, walked in front of the camera during the sequences of shots. Looking back at the mirror you will see that there are a few flyers hung at the top and on the sided, however an image is seen in the middle of the mirror. We cross check all other photos from the investigation and there is nothing in the area in any other photo.  It appears to be the apparition of a man in a suit and tie. 

Having previously researched the location the image looked uncannily familiar. The facial features and clothing match that of John L. Walker, the hotel’s last known owner.


 Cropped Photo                       Photo of John L. Walker

From mirror                          Last Owner of the Hotel



     The overnight ghost hunting excursion will be led by some of the top professional paranormal investigators in the field today. Upon arrival participants will be treated to dinner.  The history of this historic building will then be presented, followed by a tour of this historic site. The current owners and staff will then share their personal experiences with you.  A brief “How to class on ghost hunting and the equipment we use will be given.”  Participants will be given the opportunity to use state of the art ghost hunting equipment during this ghost hunt.  Some of the equipment we will be using is EMF detectors, Geiger counters, ion counters, noncontact infrared thermometers, ghost boxes, a 16 channel DVR system complete with IR cameras, a thermal imaging camera, and various other pieces of equipment. Will you been the next one capture a ghostly voice or image in this historic bar?