PEORIA, Ill. — The Peoria Historical Society is once again giving people the chance to explore the darker side of the city.
The society started giving its annual Haunted Peoria Tour, Saturday, starting at the Caterpillar Visitors Center. Marilyn Leyland, a certified tour guide for the Historical Society, said they had to extend Saturday’s tours from two to three due to the high demand.
“We’re running at least two on Saturdays in October,” Leyland said. “They sell out back in June/July.”
Many stops on the tour included passing through Springdale Cemetary for the legend of the Lady in White, Moss Avenue for the tale of Lydia Bradley, the Peoria Public Library for the story of its apparent cursed location and more.
Considering the theme of the tour, Leyland said the reason it sold out months in advance might be due to the endless curiosity appeal of the tour.
“There are skeptics, but there are lots of dimensions of hauntings and spiritual and spirits that you can talk about on this tour,” Leyland said.
Skeptics such as Jim Hall, who attended the tour despite being a self-proclaimed nonbeliever of the haunted history. Hall said he remembers hearing haunted stories about the city from his grandparents, but still remains doubtful.
“You always hear about these spook tours and stuff like that, and I just don’t believe in a lot of that,” Hall said.
However, Hall said he recommends this tour to all Peoria residents it’s important for them to know the history of the city they live in, regardless of if they believe in spirits.
“People need to learn more about Peoria,” Hall said. “It’s kind of like a lost art, but people just don’t know about the city itself.”
The Haunted Peoria Tour is every Saturday throughout the entire month of October.
More information can be found on the Peoria Historical Society’s website.