The Barnes Mansion in Rockford, Illinois is notoriously haunted, and on October 29th we will have the rare opportunity to explore its terrifying halls.

GoRockford via Facebook
GoRockford via Facebook

History of Rockford's Barnes Mansion

Every time I visit the Burpee Museum on Natural History in Downtown Rockford, I am enamored by the two beautiful Victorian homes that flank it on either side;  the Barnes and Manny Mansions.  What is the history of these homes? What purpose do they serve today? What do they look like inside? Are the homes haunted?

For right now, let's zero in on the history of the Barnes Mansion. According to, the Barnes Mansion was built in 1893 and was by far the finest home in Rockford at the time. It was THE place to be for the fanciest and most fabulous parties, and all of the community's VIPs used to hang out there. In 1937 the building was sold to the Rockford Park District which set up offices on the first floor, and in 1942 the second and third floors housed the original Burpee Museum.

When the Burpee Museum expanded into its current location, the staff continued to maintain the Barnes Mansion to use as office spaces, laboratories, storage, and now, rare ghost tours.

The Haunts of Barnes Mansion

Many past Burpee Museum employees have shared stories about paranormal experiences they have had inside Barnes Mansion including; weird orbs of light, random music playing, having the feeling of being watched, cold gusts of air, doors slamming, and more.

So, now I must ask, are you brave enough to explore the spooky halls and rooms of the Barnes Mansion for yourself this Halloween weekend?

Besides touring the infamous Barnes Mansion, Burpee Museum's Haunted Burpee event will feature special exhibits like:

  • A haunted graveyard
  • Paper skull construction
  • Exploration of bones
  • Eyeball dissection
  • Lung inflation...and more!

Get more information and pre-register for the Haunted Burpee event now, here.

Here's even more spooky Rockford stuff you need to check out...

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