Above is a friend’s picture from a winter visit to Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois. He knew of my interest in anomalies and showed me this photo with a strange pink glow at the bottom of the Wildcat Canyon. He mentioned he’d heard that someone had died falling into this canyon. I thought it might only be an optical effect, but because he mentioned someone died there, I thought I’d look into it.
Starved Rock Park is a beautiful destination, but as it’s name suggests, it had a grim beginning. Its name comes from a story from the 1700s. In a conflict between Indian tribes, a band of the Illinwek fled to this rock after being pursued by another tribe. Trapped on top they were held under siege, and eventually starved to death.
I visited Starved Rock Park last summer myeslf. I even got an orb photo. One thing I noticed was how precarious the paths were. There are few railings, and some very narrow walkways along the canyons and precipices. We had to really pay attention to where we were walking. We stayed there late, almost too late as the sun was started to go down. Deep into the park, I realized we’d better get out of there fast. To be trapped in the park at night would be putting our lives at genuine risk. One misstep could lead to disaster.
Over the years Starved Rock has been the scene of terrible tragedies. Most infamous was the brutal 1960 murder of three vacationing women at St. Louis Canyon. Here is a Time Magazine article that describes the terrible story. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,826120,00.html
Every year at Starved Rock someone falls after wandering from the trail and suffers injury or death. Most recent was a 21-year-old graduate student who leaned against a branch, which broke, and he plunged to his death 80 feet below down the Pontiac Canyon.
In 1991 a 13-year-old boy died after falling 30 feet down the Aurora Canyon while playing with other children.
In 2006 a 14-year-old boy fell 65 feet to his death down Wildcat Canyon after climbing too close to the edge.
In 1999 an 8-year-old girl fell to her death down Wildcat Canyon. The sad story is at this link: http://www.geocities.com/starved_rock/warning.html (Geocities no longer hosts websites, so this link as gone away. It had some really interesting information and I will try to contact the individual who owned the site and ask if I can post some of their information.)
Update: There has been a new tragedy at Starved Rock State Park. The body of a 53 year old woman was found at the park’s river trail at an area known as Eagle Cliff. A curious quote: “Investigators do not believe the woman was a victim of foul play and do not believe she had an accident that led to her death.” This story is below:
Starved Rock body identified as missing Evanston woman
February 7, 2010
Update: Another death at Starved Rock Park. Here is the news story, from July 15 2010. Hiker Dies After Fall At Starved Rock
Update: In our blog comments Terri gave us an important link to a resource connecting to long lost Geocities. Now we have a link to previously unavailable content concerning Starved Rock.
Is Starved Rock haunted? Is this picture above a reflection of the tragedies at Wildcat Canyon? Does something still linger there? When young people die it creates a powerful influence on our surroundings. It’s awfulness creates a residue. Lets hope it really is only a trick of lighting. Otherwise Wildcat Canyon might be a well of souls.