Fall is almost upon us, but the good news is you don't have to wait for the Halloween season to have a frightfully good time in Illinois.

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Local haunted houses will be opening in less than two months,  but if those are just not enough scare for your taste, take some short road trips to explore the 10 most haunted places in Northern Illinois according to mysteriousheartland.com:

10. Cigars & Stripes - Berwyn, Illinois - Most well known for a match-making spirit credited for bringing together at least one pair of newlyweds.

9. Colonel Palmer House - Crystal Lake, Illinois - According to legend, this was once the site of an orphanage where children were neglected and abused. Crying spirits and sad cherub-faced visions are often reported.

8. Fox Run Subdivision - Geneva, Illinois - Many reports of paranormal activity and visions from the tiny cemetery located at the southwest end of the subdivision.

7. Willow Creek Farm - Shannon, Illinois - Paranormal investigators and mediums have confirmed this is the home to at least seven identified ghosts, and as many as a dozen others.

6. Roadhouse Restaurant and Bar - Oregon, Illinois - Thought to be supernaturally connected to a double murder in 1948, and is often haunted by spirits from the building's past as a gambling house and speakeasy during Prohibition.

5. Rockford University - Rockford, Illinois - Many campus buildings are said to be haunted with phantoms of past students and professors.

4. Elgin State Hospital - Elgin, Illinois - Formerly known as the Northern Illinois Hospital and Asylum for the Insane, which has long housed patients considered criminally insane. Hospital staff continually say they feel like they are constantly being watched, and that it is a terrifying place to be at night.

3. Cuba Road - Lake Zurich, Illinois - Known as the home of phantom cars, a pair of spectral lovers, and a vanishing house.

2. Congress Plaza Hotel - Chicago, Illinois - This building has the distinction of being Chicago's largest and most haunted hotel. Home to many ghosts and paranormal activity, and one of the hotel's rooms is thought to have inspired Stephen King's short story, "1408".

1. Bachelor's Grove Cemetery - Midlothian, Illinois - One of the most famous haunted cemeteries in America. The most controversial story involves several sightings of a phantom house. Another famous ghost is The White Lady, or Madonna, of Bachelor's Grove who is said to be searching for her lost infant and has been captured on infrared photography.

Ummm, can anyone explain why these toys are tethered to an abandoned motel south of Rockford???

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