Spooky Tales: Around Central Illinois

For the final entry of Spooky Tales, here are a few places that are reportedly haunted around central Illinois according to hauntedplaces.org.   Enjoy and have a safe and happy Halloween!

Decatur, IL – The Lincoln

This historic 1916 theater building was built atop the fire-ravaged Priest Hotel that once stood here. It is said that the ghosts of the fire victims still linger in the theater. Red, a former theater worker, is a friendly ghost here. Witnesses have heard his whispers, seen his shadowy form, and caught glimpses of him walking about the stage area. A female ghost has been reported here as well.

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 2.50.08 PM Read the rest of this entry

Spooky Tales: Haunted Chapters

We like to joke that our chapter in Peoria is haunted, as evident through our completely goofy/lame Halloween movies each year, but some chapters are reportedly haunted for real.

Anaheim, CA

The former caretaker is said to haunt this historic Red Cross house in Anaheim. I guess people feel uncomfortable in the room where the children lived and the eyes of a portrait are said to follow you.  Also, according to legend, when a man and a woman walk up the steps to the second floor, the ghost of the house’s original caretaker will push them together if he considers them to be a perfect couple.

Red Cross House (Historically the Residence of John G. Woelke)

Red Cross House (Historically the Residence of John G. Woelke)

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Spooky Tales: Red Cross Nurse Ghost

This week’s tale comes from paranormal.about.com.

“This story takes place in Hollywood, Florida in 1982. It is a true a story, so help me. When my parents moved us from Homestead, Florida to Hollywood in 1971, they sold my grandmother’s trailer and had her move in with us. I had a back bedroom and used a waterbed. My parents took apart my bunk bed and turned it into two separate beds and set them up in one of the front bedrooms. This is the room my grandma took. Less then a year later, she told us she was going to lie down for a bit before dinner. When my mother went to wake her, she had passed on, peacefully sleeping on the bed. Read the rest of this entry

Saving the world one smoke detector at a time

We take life saving very seriously at the Red Cross.  Whether it is CPR training or teaching a child how to respond in a tornado, we do it all… And this month, we took our life saving efforts one step further.

The American Red Cross recently announced a new national campaign to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years. The campaign seeks to increase the use of smoke alarms in neighborhoods with higher numbers of home fires and to encourage all Americans to practice their fire escape plans.

The Red Cross in central Illinois has a series of smoke detector events planned, and we kicked off our fire prevention efforts last Saturday. We partnered with the Peoria fire department and the West Peoria neighborhood association to check and install smoke detectors in neighborhoods that have historically had a high risk for home fires.

Getting ready to head out

Getting ready to head out

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Spooky Tales: Was it Clara Barton?

This week’s spooky story comes from yourghoststories.com and Iowa State University. Was it Clara?

“Along time ago when I was 7 I went to Clara Barton’s house near D.C. I was with my mom, my brother, my godmother, and her boyfriend.

When we got to the house we knocked on the door and a lady came and opened the door. Of course since I was only 7 I could see under the lady’s elbow, and while the lady was still holding the door and talking to adults I could see inside the house.
I saw another lady leaning on the wall. I think she was looking at me or at all of us. She had in some kind of dark (greenish, maybe) clothing and I think her hair was black or something of that kind of color. Read the rest of this entry

Spooky Tales: Haunted Island

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story in the month of October? Even if you find yourself skeptical about all things supernatural, it is still fun to be around a campfire and swapping spooky tales with your friends.  So in the spirit of the season, we are going to share a few creepy accounts of the paranormal that have a Red Cross twist!

Our first story comes from unexplainedstuff.com.

“The small island of Corregidor, where in the early days of World War II (1939–45), a handful of American and Filipino troops tried desperately to halt the Japanese advance against the city of Manila and the whole Philippine Islands, valiantly fighting almost beyond human endurance. According to several witnesses, their ghosts have gone on fighting. Read the rest of this entry

Channel your inner space heater safety dictator

Not going to lie, I have been looking forward to this weather. I love summer and wearing flip flops, but I got these recently…


I know!  Adorable, right? I couldn’t wait until we had highs in the 50’s so I could wear them along with my boot socks.  But with the boot weather also comes lows in the 40’s and 30’s, and I am not ready to turn on the heat yet. So, I plan to use one of these babies this weekend so we don’t freeze.   Read the rest of this entry

Top 10 Songs You Need in Your Life During Fire Safety Month

October! Its a month of spooky stuff, football games and, because it is National Fire Safety Month, fire prevention.  I took a very unofficial Red Cross poll of staff and volunteers across the Midwest, and they ranked the following songs as the best fire songs of all time.

10. Rooms on Fire by Stevie Nicks – “Every time that you walk in a room” in your home remember the two ways to escape in case of a fire. Everyone in the family should know this for every room in your home.


9. Fire by the Pointer Sisters - Fire can “have a hold on you right from the start”, so in case of a fire… Get out, stay out and call 9-1-1.


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#RedCross tweets you may have missed this week. #awesomeness

Whether it is a blood drive, large wildfire, preparedness information or the Ebola outbreak, #RedCross across the country has been blowing up Twitter-sphere this week! Here are a few of my favs that you may have missed.


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Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 8.24.52 AM Read the rest of this entry

What does the Red Cross actually do in a disaster?

This timeline from a very talented volunteer shows the Red Cross disaster timeline perfectly.  His subject matter? The November 17th tornadoes that devastated parts of Illinois.


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