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Weird Illinois: Your Travel Guide to Illinois' Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets Hardcover


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Weird Illinois: Your Travel Guide to Illinois' Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets + Weird Wisconsin: Your Travel Guide to Wisconsin's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble Books; 1st edition (April 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076075943X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760759431
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 9.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This book shows you all of the interesting, strange, spooky, and downright weird places in the state!
Kurt A. Johnson
It's one of those great coffee table or bathroom books that I bet people would pick up and glance at and then go buy for their own library (that's what I did).
Eric Rogers
I was born & raised in Illinois and reading this book taught me things I never knew about my home State.
Pat Grell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jan Peczkis on August 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Owing to the fact that most Illinois people live in the Chicago area, and that is where I am from, my review is limited to this region.

Famous buildings discussed include the Hull House. One of the unusual buildings featured in the book is the replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and located in suburban Niles. One of the eye-catching restaurants included is the Superdawg. It is a 1950's-style hot dog stand, located at the corner of Milwaukee and Devon, on the far northwest side of Chicago. First opened in 1948, it features the likeness of a boy and girl hotdog perched high above the restaurant. (I remembered it from my 5 year-old self being driven to my grandmother's burial in 1960).

Some crime scenes are included, notably the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and the site where John Wayne Gacy, dressed like a clown, murdered over 30 men and older boys, and buried their bodies in his basement. It is said that it took a mysteriously long time for grass to begin growing again at the site.

A number of cemeteries are featured. But ghost stories also originate from other areas associated with death, especially mass death. When a large airliner crashed at O'Hare Airport in May of 1979, killing over 270 people, there were reports of strange lights in the field at night, and knocks on the doors of locals. No one was there when the owners came to the doors.

The authors missed a chance to include the Our Lady of the Angels School fire of 1958, in which 92 children and 3 teachers perished. The school was subsequently rebuilt, and is no longer a Catholic school. But, over the decades since the tragic fire, there had been, from the new school building, occasional reports of mysterious sounds of children screaming.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Clayton J. Gibbs on September 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I love all the 'Weird' books, especially the 'U.S.' and the 'Weird New Jersey' book, but amongst the other states, this one is a real treat. First off, it's well written by expert Troy Taylor. Secondly, the pulse of the book never ceases. From the start it grabbed me and had me turning pages, when usually these books are something you pick up and put down, just because there is so much to digest. there are some great ghostly tales and other-worldly visits that make this compilation stand on top of my stack of 'Weird' books.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Josh Collins on September 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book by Troy Taylor is awsome. If you live in Illinois, and are into the things that go bump in the night, then this book is for you. Troy has written some great articles in the past about Illinois, but this one does it. There isn't an area in Illinois that isn't covered. If you live anywhere in the state, chances are, there is some part of this book that covers a topic in your region.

This book isn't all about ghosts. It covers strange statues, weird landmarks, local haunts, strange roadways and more. Definately a great addition to any history buffs library, and to anyone who lives in Illinois.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lance Kreitzer on October 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the book and it was an easy read, Short stories and local history. It made me want to go visit some of the sites written about. I didn't know Illinois had so much to offer.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Crabigail Cassidy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was born in the Chicago area and raised there. I became familiar with the rest of the state when I was going to school and as an adult who spent much of my life in Illinois, too. I can say with a certain sense of surety that this book offers a unique pov regarding what is strange, neat, and or quirky in Illinois. It also approaches its subjects with not only authority but with humor as well.
While there is a great amount of neat things to see, do and investigate in Chicago (SUPERDAWG, MT. CARMEL, RESURRECTION and ST. JAMES OF THE SAG cemeteries, Bachelor's Grove, the site of the St. Valentine's massacre, the University of Chicago), the rest of the state is loaded with oddball sites in places like Spingfield, Bloomington, Metropolis, Collinsville, Decataur, Starved Rock and the really creepy and haunted Alton. This book may not have it all, but it certainly comes close. It is a great armchair guide, but it is also a superlative tour guide for anyone interested in doing something out of the norm or mixing up the mundane with the strange and odd.
A brief comment on the 'Weird' Series in general. I travel a lot, often to the same geographic regions. I also currently reside in three states. Because I enjoy this series so much, I have read Weird US, Weird Florida, Weird Virginia, Weird California, Weird Maryland and Weird Missouri. While the authorship may change slightly from book to book because experts are used to hone in on a specific state or region, this series is so thoroughly consistent and keeping with the 'weird' theme that the only thing that ever changes is the location. If you like one book in this series, you will like them all.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald M. Tuskey on March 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had bought a copy for myself about a year ago and loved it. When my friend was having a birthday this February I purchased a copy for him too. When I presented it to him he was very pleased as it turned out that he had seen it before and had considered getting it. As people that live in Illinois it's fun to read about strange things we know about as well as many things that are new to us. Since each "Weird" thing presented is a short read in itself it's a great book to have lying around for "fill in" reading.
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