Halloween: the time for all little ghosts and ghoulies to go from door to door, echoing the phrase “Trick-or-treat.” Sure, it’s fun for the little ones, but what about the older ones?
There are, of course, haunted houses, scary movies or maybe a “shocktail” party where you can tell ghost stories. There are plenty to tell. Remember “The Hook,” who was supposed to be lurking in the forest preserves or ”Resurrection Mary,” who wandered the roadway by Resurrection Cemetery in Justice?
Or, maybe you made the trip to seek out Peabody’s Tomb.
Peabody’s Tomb, located on the Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St. in Oak Brook, was a not a place you’d venture to only on Halloween, though that was a popular time to do it. Yes, I and some of my friends did take the trek to find the tomb, which one could only do at night. It was somewhat a rite of passage.
So here were the four of us, whose names I will not mention to protect them from being teased. The plan was to drive onto the field. We girls would stay in the car and the boys would find the tomb and then come to get us.
But the plan was short-lived as our fearless friends came running back, jumped in the car and sped off. They were being pursued by what we believed to be a farmer with a shotgun.
It was only many years later I learned that it wasn’t a farmer but a monk, because the property was owned by the Franciscan friars. Legend has it that if you were caught you would be subjected to having to kneel on broomstick or some object. The alternative was to be arrested. We were subjected to neither, since we didn’t get caught. We also never did see the tomb.
Well, I finally got to see Peabody’s Tomb — as an adult and in the daylight. Some of the fun was gone as was the mystique, but I did learn about Mayslake, the estate built by coal magnate Francis Stuyvesant Peabody who died in 1922, shortly after the estate was built.
It was sold to a Franciscan Order and now belongs to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. I’ve been there several times for events and just to remember a dark and scary night. Had we been caught, we probably would have had to say five Our Fathers and five Hail Marys as penance.
Now that’s my scary Halloween story, and it’s the truth.