CHICAGO HAUNTINGS FOR TEENS
Chicago Hauntings For Teens written by Jim Graczyk, Research Assistant for the Ghost Research Society. The new series of books, Hauntings For Teens Series, has its first edition from author Jim Graczyk.
The following is an entry that appears in the book and is used
by permission from the author and Ghost Research Society Press.
© 2013 Jim Graczyk
which translates to ďwild onion,Ē was actually the original name for
the city of
It was now the year 1779, and a
French Canadian trapper and trader by the name of Jean Baptiste Point du
Sable established the first trading post. He didnít stay here long and
sold off the post in 1800 to another French Canadian named Jean Lalime.
A few years later in 1803, the
Americans started pushing west and eventually founded
This entire region was isolated from
the rest of the country. There was an Indian trail that cut through this
territory leading down to
About a year later in 1804, John Kinzie
arrived and bought the land from Jean Lalime. He established himself and
became self-appointed civilian leader of the new fort. Soon Kinzie,
established good communication with the local Potawatomi Indians, and
even began selling and trading them goods. Somehow, Lalime and
Kinzieís friendship fell apart and they became bitter enemies. This
was possibly due to Kinzie being more successful among the locals.
Eventually, their feud escalated into a terrible fight and Kinzie
stabbed Lalime to death. Kinzie, who also was wounded, left the fort,
but eventually returned. No charges were ever brought up on this
A few months went by, and the
outbreak of the War of 1812 brought about the first threat to the fort.
Word made its way to the fort that
The handing out of the supplies
didnít happen quickly and took what seemed days to begin. Meanwhile,
the local Indians started to get restless and encamped outside the fort.
Captain Heald, who was in charge, realized he would have to deal with
the Indians if they were going to make it to
It was now August 12, and Captain
Heald held council with the Indians. An agreement was made for exchange
of the fortís goods and then they would grant safe conduct for the
All this talk about the surrender of
the guns and ammunition didnít go over well with the soldiers. Instead
of turning over the supplies, they decided to dump all the ammunition
into the nearby well, and pour out all of the liquor they had left. This
made the Indians angry.
Another council was called that
evening. The tribal chiefs agreed to leave the settlers alone but they
would have to abandon the fort. Though officers of the fort disagreed,
Captain Heald went ahead and offered to surrender the fort.
Throughout the evening and into the
night, the settlers packed up their wagons and passed out any ammunition
they could carry. They were going to move out in the morning and make
their way to
In the morning, the caravan of
wagons, soldiers, civilians, women and children began their trip out of
the fort. Soldiers lead the way, followed by the wagons. A group of
Miami Warriors followed at the rear. Nobody trusted the Indians and
believed the safe conduct passage.
The Potawatomi had provided escort
with around 500 Indians. The Indians led them away from the fort and
toward a small range of sand hills. Thinking that the Indians would meet
up with them around the bend, the contingent moved on. The Indians
placed themselves on a slight elevation while the settlers were closer
to the shore.
At about what is now 16th and
What had followed after the
surrender was plain savagery. Tomahawks were tossed, killing the
fortís officers. Mrs. Heald took multiple wounds but was spared her
life by a friendly chief. Now after being cut down to less than half the
number of settlers that started out on this journey, the garrison
surrendered and was promised safe conduct. The death toll was 148 lives
lost and of the dead civilians, 86 were adults and 12 children.
In this devastating battle, Captain
Heald was wounded twice and his wife seven times. She was even going to
be scalped but was rescued by Chaudonaire, a St. Joseph Indian who knew
her. Chaudonaire had to give up a mule, and bottles of whiskey for her
ransom. Captain Heald was not so lucky and was taken prisoner by a local
Kankakee Indian. The Indian saw both Captain Heald and his wife in a
horrible state and felt pity, so he released them. Chaudonaire and a few
others then paddled along the coast and made their way to Mackinac. The
British commander there sent the settlers to
John Kinzie and his family also
managed to survive. This was possibly because the friendship they
established with the Indians. Kinzie would return to the area about a
year later. Things had changed quite a bit and he couldnít get his
trading business going again. He soon found himself working for his
competitor, the American Fur Company.
The rest of the survivors from the
massacre either died soon after or were taken as slaves and sold to the
British. The British bought and then released them. The fort was burned
down. All the victims remained where they fell and just decayed. It was
not until a year later that replacement troops arrived and found the
burned down fort and skeletons.
The deceased settlers then were
given the proper burial they deserved. The fort was rebuilt but in 1836 it
was abandoned since the
The haunting of the old fort is said
to involve the troops that were killed by the Indians. This is the area
of what is now Wacker and
Soon after the discovery, people started to see ghostly apparitions fleeing across an open lot on the site. The reports claimed that people who passed by saw pale figures moving about the area. Some of these figures have been seen running around in some form of fright. Their mouths are wide open, as if yelling for help, yet nothing is heard. The apparitions are said to be dressed in early settler clothing, and have been seen around the east side of this present-day intersection. This site is currently a parking lot along the railroad tracks by 16th and Indiana
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