The church was moved due to vandalism that kept recurring. Google Maps shows the church at the bend of Rocky Fork Road, but the last time I was there, it was at the end of Boy Scout Lane.
When I was a young girl, my sister and cousin took me to the church, because they said it was haunted. I remember that we drove directly up to it and when the road ended, it was right in front of us. Keep in mind that I was only about 7 years old at the time, but while we were there, I noticed a grayed out area in the bell tower of the church, even though it was completely black within.
My cousin and sister both saw the apparition, as well, even though no one had been in the church for years. My cousin backed up and drove away, but I turned back to see, and saw flames coming from the top of the church and the wall blackening, even though there was no fire that day.
Later, I learned that the church was part of the Underground Railroad. The story that I know goes like this:
A young African American man went regularly to the Rocky Fork New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church and was helping with the Underground Railroad. There had already been one fire that was deliberately set, so he was sitting in the bell tower, watching to ensure that no one tried to vandalize or burn the church again. However, he didn’t realize that someone had already been inside the church hiding, and set the place afire. He wasn’t able to get out and was burned alive within the house. His ghost refused to leave, even when they moved the church to help with vandalism later.
I have done numerous searches online to try and find information about this phenomenon, but haven’t found anything. I’m afraid there isn’t information because of the secrets of the Underground Railroad. However, I know the story and I know what I saw. If someone could please look into this and try to find out any information, I would greatly appreciate it. Rocky Fork haunts me to this day because I need to know who that man was and why he was there.
A few years ago, I went back with my sister and her son. Everything was completely different. It was no longer right at the end of the road like it was before, but it still felt eerie. We tried to get closer, but they had gated and barred the entrance.
(Submitted by Jessica)
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- Rocky Fork Road
Get Directions »
- 38.94280658329736, -90.23346480793458
- Madison County, Illinois
- Nearest Towns:
- Godfrey, IL (2.7 mi.)
Alton, IL (4.5 mi.)
Upper Alton, IL (5.0 mi.)
West Alton, MO (5.4 mi.)
Portage Des Sioux, MO (5.9 mi.)
Elsah, IL (6.9 mi.)
East Alton, IL (7.9 mi.)
Brighton, IL (8.3 mi.)
Rosewood Heights, IL (8.8 mi.)
Wood River, IL (9.2 mi.)
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