Devil's Backbone and Bake Oven

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The Devil’s Backbone, a rocky ridge about a half mile long, sits adjacent to the Devil’s Bake Oven, a larger rock about 100 feet tall near the river’s edge. The formations have been used as landmarks, lookout points and hiding places throughout history. River pirates used it as a hideout in the 1700s and early 1800s. Later, the Bake Oven was the site of an iron works and the homes of its officials, and the setting for a ghost story. The superintendent’s daughter fell in love with a man of whom her father disapproved, and he forbade her to see him and confined her to the house. She pined away for weeks and finally died of despair. Her spirit is said to linger at the site of her house. Witnesses have seen her misty apparition and heard moans, wails and screams. Their house was demolished and its wood was used to build a railway station, but afterward her ghost continued to appear.

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Geographic Information

Brunkhorst Ave
Grand Tower, IL 62942
United States

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37.64210765331864, -89.51453590401803
Jackson County, Illinois
Nearest Towns:
Grand Tower, IL (1.4 mi.)
Altenburg, MO (4.0 mi.)
Gorham, IL (5.5 mi.)
Frohna, MO (5.9 mi.)
Old Appleton, MO (11.3 mi.)
Alto Pass, IL (11.9 mi.)
Pocahontas, MO (11.9 mi.)
Murphysboro, IL (13.0 mi.)
Longtown, MO (14.3 mi.)
Harrison, IL (14.4 mi.)


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  1. Live nearby and end up there at least once a year and have slept there. A wonderful area to camp or picnic. Never heard or saw anything unusual.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.