Bartlett resident Anthony Schliep has lived in the village his entire life and remembers hearing about haunted stories surrounding Munger Road while he was growing up.
Legend says if you park your car on the train tracks on Munger Road, put your car in neutral and sprinkle baby powder on the trunk, you will see fingerprints appear of a boy who was killed on those tracks. Supposedly, a train once hit a school bus stalled on the tracks, killing all of the children inside. As a result, people have reported seeing a ghost train late at night while parked on the tracks.
Schliep, 25, and his friends have tested these legends out themselves.
“This road used to be all gravel 15 years ago, and it was a lot creepier,” Schliep said. “My friends and I have left our car parked on the tracks once but nothing happened.”
Bartlett History Museum curator Pam Rohleder said she’s done research on the “horrible school bus crash,” but couldn’t find any factual information.
She did say, however, a small railroad settlement called Munger existed at those tracks years ago.
In “Wayne Township: A Commemorative History,” Hattie A. Glos writes “Munger Station’s brief history dates back to August, 1888, when the Illinois Central Railroad opened a station called North Wayne and located on what is now Munger Road. Since that time the station was renamed Munger, in honor of a station agent there. On April 15th, 1947, the new station, east of Powis Road, was opened.”
Although the legends might not be factual, unusual incidents have been documented in the neighboring forest preserve.
Surrounding Munger Road south of Stearns Road is Pratt’s Wayne Woods Forest Preserve in unincorporated Wayne Township. The road is hilly and graffiti adorns the speed limit signs.
Two murders have occurred near this forest preserve, and one of them is still unsolved.
In October 2000, a couple walking through Pratt’s Wayne Woods discovered the brutalized remains of 31-year-old John E. Conrad. Autopsy results showed his death was caused by blunt trauma, and the murder went unsolved for three years. It was later alleged that Luigi P. Adamo lured Conrad, who was homeless at the time, to the forest preserve, killed him with a tire iron, robbed him of $8 and later bragged about the crime. Adamo was found guilty of first degree murder.
In August 1982, the body of Lorraine Beize, 21, was found by the railroad tracks near the forest preserve. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled. The murder has yet to be resolved, according to DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to Munger Road, there is a legend surrounding Sunrise Park, which is between Foster Avenue on the north and Struckman Boulevard on the south, just east of Route 59.
According to the Shadowlands.net, in the 1800s, a man in his mid-40s had a house that was right next to a school. Although the official site of the incident is unknown, the legend could be referring to the one-room schoolhouse that stood where the Jewel Gas Station is or the schoolhouse that stood on Route 59 near Smith Road.
Supposedly, parents complained because they not only heard screaming coming from the park near the man’s home, but they also felt a weird, tingling feeling and shortness of breath when they approached the area. Legend says the man’s house was destroyed because of these factors. The story says the man got revenge on the children by killing them and leaving the bones in this little area surrounded by wood.