There is a restaurant and tavern in Clarendon Hills that is reportedly one of Illinois most haunted places. The Country House is a two story building erected in 1922 as a place for locals to congregate for drinks, food, and good conversation. The Country House has gone through a number of ownership changes over the years and is currently owned by two local residents who purchased it in 1974. The history of The Country House adds an eerie twist to the culture of Clarendon Hills because of its fascinating history and continuing story.
It’s the late 1950s, and the story begins like so many others – with a bartender and a pretty blonde. On this particular evening, the woman visited her regular establishment with her young daughter. After a few choice words with her lover, a fight erupted that greatly upset her. The bartender rebuffed the woman’s advances, going so far as to refuse to watch her daughter because he had to finish his shift. The woman was so hurt by the exchange and the actions of her lover that she left in huff, with her daughter in tow. Unfortunately, the roads were as uncaring as her lover and she collided with a tree a short distance from The Country House. While she might have perished in the accident on that fateful night, she lives on through her daughter and the legend of The Country House.
Twenty years after the accident – in 1974 – a strange and eerie legend was born that lives on to this day. Many of the strange and unexplainable things first observed during the renovation are still witnessed to this day. In the bar area, the jukebox has been known to turn itself on in the middle of night. In one report, a worker left the bathroom while working late during the renovation to the sound of the jukebox playing music. When he entered the bar area he noticed a gorgeous blonde in a red dress in front of the jukebox. He approached her to ask her to leave when he noticed there was nothing but air between the bottom of her dress and the floor. The shutters in the bar area are also affected because they open and close as if they have minds of their own.
The haunting isn’t limited to the bar area alone, many visitors have experienced things in other areas as well. In the restaurant, waiting patrons will hear their names called to be seated and approach the hostess. When speaking to the hostess, she denies ever calling their names. Occasionally people will hear footsteps in the dining room and upstairs even though no one is moving. In the kitchen, pots and pans clash and clang as if possessed by some otherworldly spirit. There are even been reports of crying babies, pounding on the walls, and the smell of fresh flowers. In some rare occurrences, people have reported seeing a young, pretty, blonde woman sitting at the upstairs window. It has been said that from her perch above the street she beckons male patrons in to The Country House.
Some people speculate that the destruction and rebuilding of a place she knew and loved caused the young blonde to begin haunting The Country House. The phenomenon has even been confirmed by psychics, who have verified the presence of a ghost of a young woman. Regardless of the reasons, the ghost is just as much a part of The Country House as the foundation it’s built on and that’s ok with the owners, patrons, and staff… so long as she stays friendly.
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