Tinker Swiss Cottage

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Tinker Swiss Cottage is said to be haunted. Witnesses and paranormalists have heard humming and other children’s voices, believed to be because the site used to be a home for terminally ill children. The spirits of the Tinker family are believed to linger in the place as well. Tinker Swiss Cottage has been featured on TV’s Ghost Hunters.

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    Geographic Information

    411 Kent St
    Rockford, IL
    United States

    Get Directions »
    42.2641043, -89.10266810000002
    Winnebago County, Illinois
    Nearest Towns:
    Rockford, IL (0.7 mi.)
    Loves Park, IL (4.5 mi.)
    New Milford, IL (5.6 mi.)
    Machesney Park, IL (6.6 mi.)
    Winnebago, IL (7.1 mi.)
    Cherry Valley, IL (8.1 mi.)
    Edgewood, IL (9.4 mi.)
    Davis Junction, IL (11.2 mi.)
    Roscoe, IL (11.4 mi.)
    Stillman Valley, IL (11.5 mi.)

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    Please note: It is your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before investigating any location listed on this site. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations. Many "ghost hunters" have been arrested because they failed to contact property owners and/or local authorities ahead of time.

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    Comments (10)

    1. Tinker Swiss Cottage is my favority place by far to investigate. We have investigated it several times (maybe 8) and have had activity almost every time. This is definately a must see location.

    2. I heard what I believe was a cat meow, I saw the chair rocking slightly, and saw and heard the doorknob of the closet under the stairs turn slightly. All of this adds up to making me believe that this place is, indeed, haunted.

    3. I’ve investigated Tinker over a dozen times, both at night and during the day. I’ve had unusual experiences on three difference occasions. Unexplained EMF readings where there shouldn’t be, including one that moved as if walking up stairs, On other visits I was not able to duplicate these results or didn’t have them on previous visits.

    4. Just did a quick drive through and even though I didn’t get off, my gf and I saw 3 full bodied apparitions run from just behind the building into the back. I first thought I was three cars but there is no back road and driving alright the place there was no one. Then driving back I find my gf saw the same thing but was scared to tell me until me left. Very exciting to see.

    5. I lived onsite for several years as the caretaker of this site, in the cottage. Nothing ever happened. The site is amazing though and well worth the trip. Be aware this is located in a very “sketchy” area of downtown rockford. Lots of gang activity ibmn this area, random gunshots at nite. My guess woukd be the three full bodied apparitions seen by marco running behind the cottege were in actuality locals running through. The cottage has some interesting things, the chair lincoln sat in ( one of Lincoln’s first law cases was representing the family in patent dispute-the manny reaper). Amazing carvings, murals and a circular staicase carved out of a single piece of wood. The artist who cleaned the murals. Worked as an apprentice on the sistine chapel restoration. There is a cane built out of mr tinkers amputated foot (train track accident, he originally buried his foot in a small casket, dug it up years later and had it built into a cane) well worth the trip. And yes i even have sll the sordid back stories on mr tinker. And yes, there are wuite a few

    6. As a furter note , tinker cottage was never used as a home for terminally ill children. Mrs. Tinker deeded the cottage to the rockford park district, she lived there until she died. The park district than took possession of the property, all of the original contents are still there in place just as they were while the tinkers lived there. Underwear still in the drawer s , letters and notes, bills, everything still in it’s original place.

    7. I was taking a paranormal tour of Tinker Swiss cottage a few years ago, in the middle of the summertime and in the upstairs bedroom, that faces the old railroad tracks, I felt a very, very cold presence settle in on my feet. It had to have been 80 degrees in that room and naturally the house is not air conditioned. What ever presence it was, it just let me know that it was there.

    8. Brenna Beishir  |  

      My boyfriend’s mother was on a tour with on of her friends and they said that they could 2 women talking about how some awful smell. The voices continued about going on and on about a barge carrying dead bodies and how ghastly it smelled. They were shaken and told the tour guide and were told that during epidemics there were barges containing bodies that were being transported away from the cities to be buried elsewhere. Now my boyfriend’s mom is a no nonsense lady and was visibly disturbed. She said the voices were so clear and sounded like just two gals talking in the next room. Her and her friend both heard the voices. She said that she will never go back to Tinker Cottage.

    9. “Sketchy” part of Rockford? How do you figure? Its part of park district and no “sketchier” than any other part of Rockford…actually there are MUCH worse area’s….it is said to be haunted by the tinker family especially Mr. Tinkers niece i believe. One of the tour guides even saw her, a women in white dressed in 1800’s style clothing with a type of bonnets but at the time thought it was an enthusiastic patron until later on when she learned that it was not and noone eles had saw her but her.

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