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The Illinois Legend Of Peabody’s Tomb


As Halloween approaches, scary urban myth stories start creeping back into our lives. This is one of my favorites.

I really enjoy hearing a good scary story. I’m talking urban myths. The kind that are so outrageous it almost makes them believable.

I grew up in Villa Park, which is a western suburb of Chicago. There are so many scary stories from the area.

Here’s one that I will never forget.

It’s the story of Peabody’s Tomb. I’m sure there are other versions, but this is how I remember it. This is how the legend goes.

Old man Peabody was rich. He owned a mansion in Oak Brook.

When Mr. Peabody died, he was placed in a tomb on his property.

The story says, he was so rich that he was buried with all kinds of gold, but that’s not it. The legend is that he had his body parts pickled, put in jars, and placed in the tomb. There is also another version that claims he was placed in a glass coffin, so you could see him, filled with liquid to keep him from decomposing. Either way, It’s pretty darn creepy.

The urban myth continues that Peabody gave his mansion and property to monks to care for when he died. They were also instructed to protect his remains and keep people away from his tomb.

It was said if the monks caught someone on the grounds (usually curious teenagers), they would make them kneel on glass as punishment.

Of course in high school, some friends and I decided we wanted to check it out for ourselves. When we tried to sneak onto the property, a caretaker chased us away. He threatened to call the police, so we took off. We were afraid of getting arrested for trespassing.

We didn’t see any monks or a tomb.

I know it’s an urban myth, but it makes for a great story.

If you want to find out more about the legend of Peabody’s Tomb, check out

Here’s a video a found about it too.

Video: Peabody’s Tomb

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Video: Zany Report with Comedian Bob Zany

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