Springfield Ghost Society

Bartonville State Hospital Cemetery

Located near Peoria, Illinois

Bartonville Cemetery - click to enlarge

This is one of the cemeteries resulting from the Bartonville State Hospital. Can anyone tell what SGS member Ken Lowery seems to be looking at?


The construction of the Bartonville Insane Asylum began in 1885 and was completed in 1887. After the completion of the massive buildings, it was said to have had flaws in the structure. The buildings were never used and were torn down. Apparently the structures were built over abandoned mine shafts, causing destruction to the buildings after the shafts began to collapse.

The asylum was rebuilt and opened in 1902 under the direction of Dr. George A. Zeller. He was considered a pioneer in the mental health system. The patients lived in 33 buildings referred to as the "cottage system". There were no bars on the windows and no restraints used on the patients. This was not a practice used for mentally ill patients. This was implemented under the direction of Dr. Zeller.

Because there were so many patients who had no family to claim them upon their death, Dr. Zeller created cemeteries on the property to bury them.

There are many stories of ghosts and other paranormal activity related to the patients of Bartonville.

Bartonville closed in 1972 and is no longer in use.

A word of caution - Bartonville is now private property and trespassers will be prosecuted!

To read a more in depth history of Bartonville and the alleged hauntings click on Bartonville Insane Asylum

Investigations Page