95th and Kean Investigation (Animal ghosts)

The GRS was the first and only team to have ever investigated this location!

The intersection of 95th Street and Kean Avenue is located at the edge of the Cook County Forest Preserves.  Horse stables and riding trails were abundant in the area at one time and many used to partake of the lush flora and deep calming effect of the forest for horseback riding.  However tragedy has struck to a person and horses having been killed and injured attempting to cross the busy 95th Street that divides the riding trails.  Vehicles traveling eastbound from La Grange Road often struck those who have attempted to cross.  As the cars approach this intersection, they climb a small rise that obliterates equestrians and riders alike.  When the horseback riders are finally seen, it is often too late. 

The first such accident occurred in August of 1975 when a 21 year old woman was thrown more than 50 feet after being struck by a car traveling at a high rate of speed. The injuries to the horse were also so severe that the animal had to be put down. After that a 29 year old woman was also killed after being struck by a car not far from that intersection and most recently a 14 year old mare named Stella bucked its rider off, bounded into Kean Avenue and was struck and killed by a car. 



 Located at: 95th Street and Kean Avenue, Hickory Hills, IL.


Hauntings: At that intersection, some very unusual ghostly occurrences have been reported.  There have been many reports of ghostly animals and riders attempting to cross the intersection after dark; long after the nearby horse stables have closed.  One occasion, a husband and wife were traveling eastbound on 95th Street approaching Kean Avenue when they saw a semi-transparent figure of a horse and his rider crossing from north to south.  As they came to the top of the hill, suddenly there was no one there!  Both had apparently vanished into thin air.

During the time of these accidents, there were only stop signs on Kean Avenue and no traffic control on the much busier 95th Street .  Couple that with the speed limit of 45 MPH, limited visibility, spotty fog in a low lying area just to the west and motorists often exceeding the posted speed limit, the ingredients were there for tragedy.  In recent years, signs warning motorists of horse crossing and traffic lights were added but not before many had perished.

Many people who ride their horses in that area often comment that their mounts become quite agitated near this particular area.  However, another ghost may have spooked their steeds.  Located very near the northern riding trail is a small gravestone dedicated to Felix the firedog.  He was a mascot of a local fire department and never missed a signal fire alarm.  Felix was credited with saving many lives and actually was taught to climb ladders!  Could his ghost also haunt that intersection?  There have been isolated reports of a canine seen in the vicinity during the years when many of these accidents occurred.  Was Felix trying to warn both the horses and riders about the danger of crossing the street?  A small porcelain photograph now adorns the gravesite.

Felix was assigned to Engine 25 near 22nd and Canalport in Chicago which was later demolished to make room for the Dan Ryan Expressway. Felix was born in 1910 and grew to be a medium-sized mutt, not a Dalmatian, mostly brown in color with some black and white patches covering his coat. He served the majority of his career with horse-drawn fire engines but later adapted well to the new fangled engine apparatus. He was attributed to saving lives including those of his fellow firefighters one afternoon when they couldn't find a way out. Felix wandered off, came back barking and led them all to safety! He would also bark furiously if anyone were still alive in a burning building. 

In 1926, while at the scene of a fire, Felix was struck and killed by a car in the line of duty. Felix was waked in the firehouse surrounded by an elaborate $400 floral arrangement. A solid mahogany casket was donated by the owner of Karpen Furniture Company, J.B. Locke. The entire neighborhood mourned Felix so much that the schools were closed so that children could attend the service. Six children, three boys and three girls, served as pallbearers with tears streaming down their face as they walked their friend to his final resting place. Eight automobiles and over 20 firefighters traveled from Engine 25 to the northwest corner of Kean Avenue and 95th Street where the wooden casket was interred. The chief of Engine 25 chose to bury Felix in the Palos Forest Preserve because it was on his way to his parent's home and obtained a special permit to bury him there. A granite headstone donated by the Wunderlich Company reads: "Felix No. 25 C.F.D." 

Eventually a more fitting tribute, a bronze sculpture on a cement pedestal funded largely through donations and former GRS member Darlene Fillis. She was only able to collect about $2,000 for a project costing over $10,000 however the monument was dedicated at a special ceremony on July 19, 1988. The 52-inch tall statue of Felix appropriately portrays Felix four times his size and now stands on the grounds of the Palos Police Department.

The Ghost Research Society first investigated the 95th & Kean Ave. on September 18, 1982. Team members included: Dale Kaczmarek, Stephanie Willis with help from Pat Shenberg of the Illinois Society for Psychic Research.








In September of 1982, Ghost Research Society members visited the site with a gifted psychic, Pat Shenberg,  who was able to tune into the tragic events that had occurred there.  While no apparitions were seen or photographed, it became quite apparent that the area is still psychically charged and will remain so for many years to come. Below is a psychic transcript of that afternoon:

Date: September 18, 1982

Present at investigation: Dale Kaczmarek, Stephanie Willis and psychic Pat Shenberg of the Illinois Society for Psychic Research.

Equipment used: Two 35mm SLR cameras and portable cassette tape recorder.

Film used: One camera was equipped with 400 ASA color slide film and the other was equipped with Panatomac X black and white print film which is extremely sensitive to the ultraviolet end of the spectrum.

Observations: Pat picked up at least two deaths at that intersection. One girl who was killed and another young man who was dragged by a horse. At least one horse was also killed there as well. She also saw the image of the firehouse dog, Felix, who acted as guardian to warn riders about potential dangers. Nothing conclusive turned up on either film. Apparently either the apparitions were not strong enough to materialize on film or as Pat said, they might have been suspended in a time span of sorts.

Pat: Thereís somebody that was hit on a horse. I think one person died, the other person was dragged. One horse died.

Dale: Do you pick up any time or year?

Pat: 60s I think. Wait; let me look at the cars. Early 60s, Iíd say.

Dale: Do you pick up any names or victims? Male or female?

Pat: I think a girl died. I donít know if the guy died, I think his horse dragged him. A horse died here too.

Dale: Was it a hit and run, or did they stop?

Pat: It would have to be. What I see is the car hitting the horse and the girl falling on the pavement. Right there is where it happened. (Indicating the west side of Kean near the center of 95th Street) The dog is here.

Dale: What kind of dog was it?

Pat: A Dalmatian. The reason you guys keep looking down is because heís running around your feet. The dog.

Dale: Does he always stay here?

Pat: He runs around this open area here and barks at the cars.

Dale: Is he bothered by anything that goes on around here?

Pat: Yes, I think he tries to stop these horses from getting into positions where those riders could be killed.

Dale: People, in recent years, have been seeing phantom horsemen.

Pat: The horse stumbled on the street and the rider fell off and so did the girl. Nobody knows that for sure? Thatís not a historical fact then?

Dale: No, itís on record in the police department. There have been a number of people that have been struck and killed. A lot of riding stables through here.

Pat: The other person that I see was dragged across the street by the horse. One was run over by a car. I donít see how a car could run over a horse, but I guess you can.

Dale: The one who was dragged by the horse, did he get scared of something?

Pat: Yes.

Dale: What of? Did the dog possibly do something?

Pat: No. This dog was a very good dog and his evolutionary scale was that any animal that would come up to him would recognize that he was there to help people or other animals so they would not be frightened by him. They would know that automatically. Just like I knew that. Thatís kind of neat. Was he a Dalmatian?

Dale: I believe so. Heís right down here. (This is before I had done extensive research on the Felix story) How tall of a dog is he?

Pat: Heís about this tall. (Indicating about knee high) Actually heís pulling on my pants. I donít see my pants move, but in my head I do. So thatís weird. How can something move and doesnít move in our dimension? But somewhere it does. Very strange the way those things work. Everything has an etheric body, even my pants do. So perhaps thatís what it was.

Dale: Think I might get anything if I shoot around this area?

Pat: I donít know. Let me look over here and see what kind ofÖ Why donít you go down there and take a picture of me. My dog died once, an Irish Setter, I had. My kids saw the dog die in the street. They came into the house and said, ma the dog is dead. I turned around and said, no he isnít , heís right here. Just like that, the dog was from the street to the house. The soul.

Dale: Does he react to that dog barking there?

Pat: Heís wagging his tail and panting. Here comes some more horses, this should be very interesting now. He went to the edge of the street and followed the horses all the way around the edge of the street.

Dale: Whereís he at now?

Pat: Iíll call him. Heíll come back here.

Stephanie: Heís a protector then?


Pat: Well, yeah, that was his job in life. Tell me when youíre ready. Heís over by Dale now.  Heís over there by you. Iíll get him over here. When I raise my hand, and then take your picture.

Dale: Whereís he at? Sort of off to one side?

Pat:  Right here. (Indicating to Patís right side)í

Dale: Still there?

Pat: Yeah.

Dale: Do you pick up anything out there at all?

Pat: What? Across the street?

Dale: Yeah.

Pat: Just that someone was dragged by a horse over there.

Dale: You donít see anything though, you sense it?

Pat: No, I see it.

Dale: Think I might pick up anything over there?

Pat: I think Iím looking at a time span again. I donít know if you can see those with a camera. I think I actually have to see the vibrations of something; physical energy and I donít see that.

Dale: Iíll give it a shot. Never know.

Pat: Right where the manure is in the street (laughs). If you donít get anything, youíll get the manure. Thatís where the girl was killed and not far from there he was dragged. Young man. I think the apparition that they are talking about is the girl.

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