UTICA — The annual “Haunted Hike” event at Starved Rock State Park on Saturday, Oct. 27, will have a new twist for 2018 with the introduction of “The Ghosts of Starved Rock’s Past” — with living interpretation on the trail as hikers are led to Starved Rock, down along the sea wall, and to the original CCC shelter by the main parking lot at the park during the evening hikes.
Pre-registration is required for the event by email at DNR.StarvedRock@Illinois.gov.
“The Ghosts of Starved Rock’s Past” hikers will meet with several “ghostly” historical figures, including Father Marquette, the Jesuit priest who came across the Kaskaskia people in 1673; French explorers Henry Tonti and Robert LaSalle, who built Fort St. Louis on top of Starved Rock in 1683; Black Hawk War and Civil War veteran Daniel Hitt, who was the first landowner of Starved Rock; Ferdinand Walther, who developed Starved Rock into a private park and entertainment venue; P.H. Harbeck, the first officer “Starved Rock Sheriff” when the park became the second state park in Illinois (and who wore the badge number of 666); and, a CCC commander from company 1609, who was stationed at Parkman’s Plain (now known as the LaSalle and Tonti Canyon parking lot).
Hikes will head out at 5 p.m. and then again at 6 p.m. Hikers will be led by a CCC recruit of Company 2601, and the famous ghostly figure of “the Pink Lady” — an Edwardian-styled woman from the late 1800s, whose ghostly image is said to have been captured on film by a park visitor.
The “Haunted Hike” hikes are free, but pre-registration is required. Those wishing to attend a guided hike must email the park no later than Oct. 22 at DNR.StarvedRock@illinois.gov.
Children’s craft activities will be available at the Eagles Roost Cabin behind the Visitor Center from 5 to 7 p.m., and Halloween-themed storytelling by famed storyteller Bill Myers is scheduled from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Visitor Center on Oct. 27.