Willow Springs, IL is a favorite suburban town for haunt enthusiasts what with the Willowbrook Ballroom of Resurrection Mary fame, Johnnie's Roadhouse which later became the Stag's Head Inn and just recently is under new management as The Irish Legend Pub & Restaurant, Fairmont Cemetery, and not to mention that one of the most haunted roadways, Archer Ave., runs smack dab through the middle of town.
The question is that is always asked is, "Why is there so much paranormal activity here?" Some say it is because of the fact that Archer Road was an old Indian trail or maybe because of the Sanitary Canal that parallels the roadway where so many Irish immigrants died during its construction. It could also be because of the number of bodies that made their way down the DesPlaines River that also parallels the canal and Archer Ave.
So many bodies that in 1914 a Lemont undertaker by the name of John H. O'Brien decided to cash in. Mr. O'Brien came up with the enterprising, although morbid, idea to run a net across the DesPlaines River in Willow Springs to catch the unfortunate floaters.
The undertakers would receive roughly $25.00 for the service they would perform for the local authorities when they discovered a murder victim. O'Brien had such a good thing going that the town marshal, Benjamin Tomlinson would make a daily trip to the net to see the "Catch of the Day". By October 31, OBrien had netted 14 bodies which amounted to so much extra cash that other undertakers in the area were ordering their own custom nets from Chicago and started a pretty heated fishing contest.
O'Brien's catch number 14 was a male about 30 years old, five feet eight inches tall, weighed 165 pounds, had black hair was clean shaven and was missing his two front teeth. He was wearing a brown checkered coat, blue striped trousers, a blue shirt and black lace oxford shoes. His pockets were loaded down with gravel and O'Brien estimated that he had been in the water for over a month.
Over a month! I think I would have thrown that one back!