Scary side of town
New Lenox is known for paranormal activity
by Joe Coughlin

Messenger Woods is just one of the places in New Lenox that has been rumored to be haunted. photo: Joe Coughlin.
October 25, 2007

Scary movies are a Halloween seasonal favorite, but if that isn't your thing don't take a walk, alone after the sun goes down in some New Lenox areas. Some local legends are scarier than the movies.

The rumors and stories about haunted New Lenox are numerous and involve haunted woods, a haunted farm house, a golf course and a headless man asking for a ride.

In fact, Dan Jungles of the Will County Ghost Hunters Society (WCGHS) said as of late he is getting calls about The Sanctuary Golf Course. The Sanctuary was constructed in the early 1990's and during the work there were two Native American bodies unearthed. Jungles said since then strange things have been seen and heard on the course at night.

"Some things have been seen out there like floating orbs or balls of light," he said. "And the sound of drumming, like Tom-toms drums.

"The most recent stuff is going on there. There are neighbors that know things happen out there. A lot of activity around the 18th hole, it seems."

While neighbors might see anything the assistant golf pro at the golf course, John Harvey, said he has never seen or heard anything.

"It's a goofy story," he said. "I'm here pretty late and by myself and nothing goes on."

But the golf course isn't the only thing that has been rumored haunted in New Lenox. Messenger Woods just off of north Cedar Road has been rumored to be a paranormal hotbed.

Jungles said supposedly there were satanic rituals that were going on back in the 1970's. There was a witch that was reportedly buried out there with rocks on top of her and four bushes surrounding her grave.

"What people usually see is a shadow next to their own and when they turn around, no one is there," Jungles said. "And some say they have been touched on the shoulder."

Jungles has been a ghost hunter professionally for five and a half years and been interested in the industry for 16 years. There are 1500 members in the WCGHS and about 250 in the area, he said.

When they go out to investigate, Jungles said he brings about 10 members to record everything with the group's more than $30,000 of equipment.

Jungles said a popular topic in New Lenox is apparitions walking empty streets. He said just recently he received word of a spirit that haunts Maple Road right near the I-80 exchange. He said the person appears in distress and according to research it could be a car crash victim from the 1980's that died in that spot.

The WCGHS gets about 18 calls a year that deal specifically with New Lenox according to Jungles.

"I think every town has it, this type of activity. I don't think New Lenox has any more or less," he said.

Another "man" can supposedly be seen from time to time walking near the corner of U.S. 6 and Gougar Road. Jungles this spirit appears to be a man that committed suicide on a farm at that intersection, which has since been torn down.

And yet, another rumor has to do with a house on Clinton Road where strange lights can be seen as well as chilling air and a complete silence although it is near the highway according to

"It doesn't have to be something tragic, but a sudden death usually causes this," Jungles said. "A sudden passing. The spirits aren't aware they are dead. They will replay the tragedy over and over or it can be people with unfinished business. They need to complete something they didn't do. Or they just don't want to leave loved ones and are scared to leave the world."

Since there will be no haunted house in New Lenox this year, residents can create their own haunted excursions around town. And if you happen to experience something out of the ordinary, Jungles said give him a ring.

"Don't panic and pay attention to everything around you," he said. "Nothing is going to harm you. People are scared of ghosts because they think it is like the movies. It is nothing like that at all.

"I've heard of one (case in which someone was hurt) in the whole time I've been doing this and it is not documented."