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During our visit to Springfield, Illinois, we took the tour, Lincoln’s Ghost Walk: Legends and Lore. This attraction was not sponsored, but our visit to Springfield was sponsored by Visit Springfield, and we were hosted at other area attractions. Incidentally, we received a coupon book from Visit Springfield, and we used a coupon for this tour. I highly recommend stopping by their downtown office. In fact, this tour starts at the statue right in front of the Visit Springfield office. Here is the address: 1 S. Old State Capitol Plaza. Now let the tour begin!
Meeting Up for Lincoln’s Ghost Walk
We really weren’t sure what to expect. We followed the instructions in the brochure provided by Visit Springfield and saw that the meeting place was at this statue of the Lincolns in front of the Visitor’s Center. You can see the Visitor’s Center in the background.
There didn’t seem to be many people around at first, and we arrived about 20 minutes before the tour was to start. We parked across the street and walked over to the Old State Capital Plaza area. By the time we crossed the street, other people sauntered towards the statue. We soon noticed a gentleman who was with the tour. This tour is provided by Springfield Walks; this touring company has several walking tours available. He collected the money and coupons, and soon after, our costumed guide arrived. We needed six people for the tour to happen, and we had twelve. Game on!
One thing to note about this tour–this is not tour about witnessing paranormal activity. You are not visiting locations that have a lot of reports of unexplained phenomenon. You are here to hear stories about the Lincolns. And what great stories they are!
Walking in Lincoln’s Footsteps
After some stories in the Old State Capital Plaza, it’s time to take a walk. The Lincoln Home is a few blocks from downtown, so be aware that there is some walking. I turned to Jeff during the stroll and commented about walking to the Lincoln home the way he must’ve walked many times. It’s cool to think that you are on his daily route to work.
Along the way, the sun continued to set. I snapped this picture of the current Illinois State Capitol.
As you approach the Lincoln Home site, you’ll make some stops to hear stories about the churches in the neighborhood associated with the Lincoln Family. The stroll was lovely, even on a summer night in July.
Stories Near the Lincoln Home
When you get to the actual National Historic site, you’ll hear some tales from the comfort of this grouping of benches. You can see the Lincoln Home in the background. Our guide was a fun storyteller, complete with impersonations and voices. My theatre-teacher self was thrilled!
We also visited this site during the day as part of the National Historic Site house tour given by the National Park Service. If you do that tour, you’ll start on these benches, too. I’ll have a blog post about that soon!
After some fun stories here, including stories about the White House in Washington, D.C., we walked closer to the home. One thing that I think is cool is that Lincoln’s neighborhood has been preserved as well as they can to resemble the street when the Lincolns lived there. Yes, it’s a historic site, but you can walk along the street anytime.
People walked their dogs, and other tourists strolled along that evening. You can’t enter the house or Visitor’s Center, but you can stroll along the streets. This reminded me a little of Colonial Williamsburg. You can read about our adventures in Colonial Williamsburg here.
Here is a spooky night view of the Lincoln Home. Ha!
I want to point out that this tour is not scary in any way. The stories may dabble in the macabre, but nothing is frightening beyond your own imagination. Most kids will not be scared; probably the larger issue is whether your child can listen quietly so not to disturb others on the tour. The tour company does suggest that your child be a least seven. Kristin has been on many ghost tours across the country, but she is probably an anomaly. She ranked this one as the least scary.
Returning to Your Car After the Lincoln Ghost Walk
The tour does end in front of the Lincoln Home. You then walk back to the starting point on your own. This wasn’t really a big deal. We did walk by some people on the way back that were a little loud, but I never felt unsafe or anything. There was also a visible police presence. We simply retraced our steps back to the car.
We enjoyed the beauty of Springfield in the evening. Even if you don’t do the ghost walk, I think you should consider strolling along Springfield after dusk. Springfield is one of those cities I could see myself calling home. We loved it!
I took one last shot of the Old State Capitol before we drove back to our hotel. This was our first night in Springfield, and we’d had a busy day. We needed to rest up for the next day’s adventures!
If you’d like to read about more ghost tours, click below!
The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Ghosts and Gravestones: San Diego/Whaley House
Ghosts and Gravestones: Savannah/Andrew Low House
Wow, what an interesting tour. I am glad it was ranked as the least scary! LOL
What a cool tour. I love doing walking tours. I learn so much.
Ooh, this tour sounds awesome! I like that the neighboring streets were left much as they were in Lincoln’s time as well, so you can really get the full experience! Feeling safe is key when returning to your vehicles, as I’ll have my kids with me. Thanks for the write-up!
Wht a great walking tour! I bet this time of the year they get really busy! If I ever visit, I would love to do this! Thanks for sharing!!
My husband and son would love this!
Walking tours are a great way to learn and be active in a group. Thanks for sharing this one .
This sounds like the perfect trip for us. We love the history behind it, but also the spooky fun. Thank you for sharing!
We love these kinds of tours!
I had no idea this tour existed and now I’m all over it!
It’s a great one!
I love historical tours. This sounds like a lot of fun! Great post!
That’s really neat, especially for the fall season! I have never heard of this and we live in Indiana.
I’ve never taken a tour like this; it sounds fun!
Walking tours are so fun…especially when the macabre is added in 🙂
What a fun walking tour. Seems like this would be really fun with teens. Thanks for sharing with us!
I’ve always been fascinated with Lincoln’s life and wish I knew more. I didn’t know they offered this tour. I supposed I need to spend more time in Illinois, other than just driving through. I’ll bet the stories were so interesting! I always find it kind of surreal to be in the place that great people once were. Glad you were able to experience this, and thank you for sharing it with the rest of us!
I’m fascinated by Lincoln, too. I love learning more about him and his time period.
I think this looks like a cool tour to go on. Tell, me though… did any of the legends include Lincoln hunting vampires? 😉
Ha! No, not on this tour. 😉
What a great tour! And good to know its kid friendly 😉
Walking tours are so fun when you get a good theatrical guide! Sounds awesome!
Great tour. Looks very interesting my grandkids would love it.
This sounds like a great tour! I have never been on a ghost tour that would be awesome
Sounds like an amazing tour. We will need to put it on our list of things to do.
This sounds like fun. I LOVE history, and I grew up in Illinois, with a lot of Lincoln history. I would enjoy this.
That sounds like quite the experience! I’ll have to remember it!
How fun! I think ghost tours are a great way to learn the history of a city! I’ve participated in many, in the US and in European cities. I try to include one in every place that I visit, as often as I can.
I think they’re great, too. I always look to see if a city offers ghost tours!
This sounds like a lot of fun!
so much fun! my family would absolutely love this adventure 🙂
What a fascinating tour to take. I’m surprised we didn’t check Springfield out when we lived in Missouri or when we lived in Illinois. Thanks for sharing the experience with us.