I was surprised that I was only familiar with three of the eleven different secrets the suburbs hides.

The Chicago Suburbs are full of secrets. I can't wait to share this with my friends so I can dazzle them with my super awesome knowledge.

Thrillist.com spells them out quite perfectly. Seriously suburbs, what's your deal.

1. There’s 24-karat gold pyramid in Wadsworth

Eric E via Yelp
Eric E via Yelp

Someone tell me when the house goes on sale. I must have it. I've always wanted to visit the pyramids, this could be my chance!

In 1977, Jim Onan decided that he wasn’t going to settle for some ordinary house, so he went ahead and built an insane 17,000sqft gold pyramid, complete with “triple pyramid” garage (gotta have that). Once his six-story pyramid domicile was fully built, he realized that something was missing... so he dug a moat around the perimeter of the home (to protect himself from Hyksos invaders, obviously), erected a 64ft statue of Ramses II, and covered the entire home in 24-karat gold. Thankfully, you don’t need to trespass to get a closer look at the spectacle. Tours of the home are available.


2. There's a missing terminal at O'Hare

How did I not know this? Out of all the times I've flown out of O'Hare. Yeesh, I'm disappointed in myself. I can't wait to check it out next time I'm at the airport!

Chances are you’ve never flown out of Terminal 4 at O’Hare... unless you happened to fly international in the late ‘80s. Terminal 4 was a poorly designed international terminal that existed briefly from 1985-1993. When the new and improved international terminal was finally opened, it was named Terminal 5 in order to avoid any confusion.


3. The Chicago suburbs once held 425,000 German prisoners in POW camps

Ugh? Really?

Crazy but true: during WWII, more than 425,000 German prisoners of war were held right in our backyard. While POWs were held at camps in Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Highwood, and Glenview, Fort Sheridan acted as a main hub. Some prisoners were German-Americans, but roughly 370,000 prisoners of war were actually flown in from overseas.


4. An entire circus is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park

I think my grandmother is buried here. I'm going to have to check it out.

In a section called “Showmen's Rest” at Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, you’ll find the final resting place for victims of the 1918 Hammond Circus Train Wreck, guarded by elephant statues. Because so many of the victims’ real identities were unknown, the section is dotted with headstones bearing stage names like “Baldy” and “Smiley.”

5. Prohibition lasted for 116 years in Evanston

And another reason why I never went to Northwestern University.

In 1855, Northwestern University decided that, in order to protect the moral fortitude of students, the sale of liquor should be banned within four miles of the campus. This went on until 1972.


6. The Costco in Melrose Park used to be an amusement park called Kiddieland.

I never went to Kiddieland, but I do remember their commercials.

The amusement park got its start in 1929 when Arthur Fritz began offering pony rides as entertainment for families suffering during the Great Depression. In 1977, ownership was transferred to Fritz’s descendants. Long story short, both sides of the family got in a fight and the landowners blindsided the park owners by failing to renew their lease, allowing the 80-year-old park to be torn down and replaced by a Costco. While the park itself may be long-gone, the famous Little Dipper roller coaster lives on at Great America and the Kiddieland sign has found a new life at the Melrose Park Library.


7. The most well-known Chicago suburb, Shermer, IL, doesn't actually exist

I should have watched more of these movies, or maybe read a map.

The fictitious suburb was featured in all of John Hughes’ films, including Pretty in Pink,The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. While Shermer, IL may exist in name only, it’s pretty obvious where Hughes found his inspiration. His hometown of Northbrook was originally called Shermerville,and Glenbrook North High School is located on (you guessed it) Shermer Rd.


8. Bachelor's Grove in Midlothian is one of the most haunted locations in America

This one is totally serious! Growing up I lived a block or two away from Bachelor's Grove. SO FREAKING SCARY!

Thanks to an abundance of strange apparitions and incredibly creepy photographs, this abandoned cemetery in Midlothian is said to be one of the most haunted locations in the country. Yet even if you don’t believe in the supernatural, Bachelor’s Grove has a pretty creepy history. The cemetery was reportedly used as a *cough* “dumping ground” by the mob in the Prohibition era. Since the ‘60s, there have been countless reports of vandalism -- some even going as far as digging up graves and removing bodies. According to the Tinley Park Historical Society, there’s also been evidence to suggest that satanic rituals routinely took place in the cemetery. These days Bachelor’s Grove is home to a new, more terrifying group: suburban kids trying to scare themselves late at night. TERRIFYING.


9. 8215 W Summerdale used to be home to one of the most psycho serial killers in history

I've seen so many documentaries about John Wayne Gacy. Absolutely bonkers.

In the ‘70s, famed local “Killer Clown” John Wayne Gacy murdered 33 young males in his home at 8213 W Summerdale and buried all but four of them in his crawlspace. The home was eventually razed in an effort to locate the four missing bodies and the property remained vacant until 1988, when a nice young lady decided to purchase the property, change the address to 8215 W Summerdale, and build a home for her retired parents. Now if she’s not a shoo-in for “Daughter of the Year,” we don’t know who is.


10. There are real, live elk in Elk Grove Village

destillat, Think Stock
destillat, Think Stock

Who told me this? I feel like I just learned this!

Obviously, elk are not native to the area. They were shipped in from Yellowstone National Park in 1925 and have lived in Busse Woods ever since.

11. Wild South American birds live across the street from... the Bensenville police station?

Captain Jack will get a kick out of this one. He's a huge bird watcher!

The Wild Monk parakeet (aka Quaker Parrot) may be native to temperate South American countries such as Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina, but they’ve called the Chicagoland area home since the ‘60s. According to experts, backyard bird feeders and the birds' inherent communal nature have helped them survive the harsh Chicago winters. While you can find the birds throughout the Chicagoland area, there are a few larger colonies, such as the one across the street from the Bensenville police station.

I mean seriously. There is no way you knew about all of these secrets in the Chicagoland suburbs. I can't wait until the pyramid house goes up for sale! I want that!