Am I the only one that is fascinated, but a little disturbed by the number of haunted stories that exist in the Stateline area?

By haunted stories, I don't mean the kind you heard from a friend about their friend/family member/neighbor's house that is haunted, I mean multiple accounts of the same story rooted in history and facts about places in the Rockford area.

Have You Heard About the Hauntings of the Old Wagon Wheel Resort in Rockton?

Having lived in Rockford all my life, I have often heard people talk about the Wagon Wheel Resort, but I had never been there or actually knew where it was located until I got married at Church By The Side of the Road in Rockton. (Shame on me, I know).

Wagon Wheel Lodge, Rockton IL via Facebook
Wagon Wheel Lodge, Rockton IL via Facebook

There is a long history of people talking about the hauntings and mysteries that surrounded the Wagon Wheel Resort. From flickering lights and weird noises to freak accidents and fires, the Wagon Wheel Resort had them all. There is even a rumor that the Wagon Wheel Resort once served as a hideout for Al Capone and that he is responsible for the series of fires that brought the resort to its tragic end.

Haunted Rockford has some great stories about the haunting of the Wagon Wheel Resort, but one thing I had never heard about until today was the resort's "death curve".

Apparently, the curve of road around the Wagon Wheel Resort was the scene of many accidents when it was open. Over 25 people had been killed in the 20 years before the worst accident ever happened on the curve. According to Kathi Kresol of;

The worst accident happened on March 20, 1950 when a car filled with eight people slammed into a petroleum truck.  All eight victims died.  Robert Rinehart, 37 years old, his wife, Patricia, 20 and their 16-month old daughter, Mary Mae died instantly.  There were five other passengers in the car including Robert’s brother, Raymond.   Twenty-one-year-old Betty Miller also had her 19-month old baby David along.  They lived through the initial impact but died on the way to the hospital.

All these accidents and tragic deaths are one of the reasons so many haunted happenings occurred at the Wagon Wheel Resort, but Kathi Kresol says the meeting of the Pecatonica and Rock Rivers that was very near where it once stood might have lent a hand too. Apparently, water can enhance paranormal activity, so just think about that next time you're lounging next to the river in Rockton.

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