We were planning on resting and laying low today, recovering from our awesome weekend at the Chicago Ghost Conference….but around 2 o’clock we decided we couldn’t just sit around any more, so we decided to go on the hunt for some things we’d always wanted to see!
Turns out that one of Mickey Cohen‘s bodyguards is buried in Woodstock, Illinois! Johnny Stompanato, a strongman in the LA mafia and lover of Lana Turner, was from the small town. Stompanato was stabbed by Lana Turner’s daughter, Cheryl Crane, a crime that was later ruled as self defense. His body was taken back to Woodstock after his passing and he was interred at Oakland Cemetery.
The cemetery is old and beautiful, and also the final resting place of Dick Tracy creator, Chester Gould.
Unfortunately, Scott and I were not very successful in locating either of the graves (if you have directions to where they are let us know!)
We did however find lots of great old graves, and even saw some great wildlife.
(can you believe this picture is real?? I still can’t and I took it!)
They even have a small pet cemetery with a bunch of sweet send offs for fur babies!
It was a great place to spend an afternoon. It was very restful and there were plenty of other people and their living pets walking around too.
After the cemetery we headed into downtown Woodstock, which is super cute, and also where they filmed “Groundhog Day!”
After a walk around the town square and some much-needed hot coffee, we headed over to the Stickney House.
The Stickney House was one of the locations covered by Scott in his book, “Voices from the Chicago Grave.”
Built in 1856 and located in the Village of Bull Valley. George Stickney, his wife Sylvia, and their family were the original residents. The house was built without any 90 degree corners. The Skickney’s were spiritualists and believed ghosts could become trapped in such spaces. Of the 10 Stickney children only three survived into adulthood. The family held many séances in the house trying to contact the children that passed away. Some believe that perhaps it was Sylvia’s inabilities as a medium or cultists who moved into the house in the 1970s that have caused the home to become very haunted.
The house has gone through much renovations since we last saw the house. Thanks to the local historic society and the Stickney Foundation. The interior and exterior are both being restored to the houses original state, and I have to say, it looks fantastic! Note in the photos below the continued use of rounded edges – even the front door itself is curved.
From the Stickney House, we were directed to the small cemetery down the road where the family was buried. It was starting to get dark, but as we stumbled around by cell phone light, we eventually found the family. A few of the tombstones were missing, and some of the others were damaged, but overall they were in great shape considering their age.
There was an oddly large amount of traffic on the road, considering how far out of town we were. Still, we decided to do a small EVP session at Sylvia‘s grave.
We haven’t reviewed our recording yet. Once we do, we’ll definitely let you know of any findings!