(Back to Illinois Haunted Index, Paranormal Chicago > Enjoy a Haunted Mansion)
Cigars and Stripes Hammer Hed Lounge -
6715 West Ogden Avenue
Berwyn, Illinois 60402
Phone: (708) 484-1043
The city of Berwyn is located about 8 miles from the Chicago metro area – about an 18 minute drive. The Cigars and Stripes Hammer Hed Lounge is on Route 66, the famed highway which runs to the West coast.
Cigars and Stripes Hammer Hed Lounge has been described as "The hip lounge and comedy club." It is located in a two story 1920s building which offers its customers a Bar and Pub Area.
The Smoke Shoppe * Game Room and Beer Garden * The Hammer Hed Wrestling Museum.
Seems like a great place to go and relax in an informal atmosphere, which offers comedic/musical entertainment, great beer on tap and a lovely tobacco shop which offers great cigars, a variety of brands to choose from. Also a delicious grilled menu to go along with the beer makes it a great place to eat! For a chuckle or two, they also offer The Hammer Hed Wrestling Museum, pictures of the owner's former life as a wrestler! Plus, the entities staying there offer unique entertainment, and even help in courtship via a positive energy!
The building was built around 80 years ago, sometime during the 1920s, on this prime location for an entertainment bar; on Route 66. The place experienced the roaring twenties, the mob-era (not that far from down town Chicago), Prohibition, the Depression, World War 2, plus all the time between the '50s - 2000. Through 80 years of history, an entity or more may have decided to hang here for whatever reason!
There is strong reason to believe that the establishment that existed in this building in the 1920s was on the visitation list of Al Capone and his crew, who probably offered "protection" for a slice of the profits, a common source of allowance money for the various mobster groups. There were 4 recorded deaths at the bar, which may have been Capone's handiwork.
history of manifestations/MANIFESTATIONS:
Five years ago, the couple who own the building began to renovate this 80 year old structure. The Paranormal activity began to flow and was definitely noticed by owners Ronn Vrhel and his wife, their patrons and their employees.
1) The First Floor...
a) While working upstairs in the game room, the couple heard noises downstairs of a big party going on. When investigating the noise, they found an empty downstairs; perhaps just the entities celebrating the renovation of their favorite earthly place, or perhaps just an impression of a grand party of the past.
b) Reported in a story by Debra Solomon, in The Gazette: While performing his comedy routine on the stage in the lounge, Dave Black, who also is a paranormal investigator, had the feeling of being watched, and sensed "strange goings-on" in the paranormal department. Some entities were catching his routine along with the living in the audience! This sparked an interest in investigating the building.
c) In the lounge, the spotlights which shine on the stage have a mind of their own and have turned on by themselves, as have the lights throughout the downstairs.
d) Around the time Ronn and wife were going through the hard work of renovating the building, Ronn was feeling tired of being in business. Ronn explained in Debra Solomon's Gazette article, "A while back I was talking about getting out of business. It seems like some of these things really started to happen then. I get the impression that 'they want me' to stay, and are looking out for us in some way."
2) The Bar area...
Several entities enjoy staying around the bar area. Who are they?
Theories: Perhaps a mob soldier that Al Capone's enforcer might have eliminated in an act of what they called "protection"; Killing someone from a rival gang who crossed the line by buying a drink in Capone's territory? Perhaps the entity of the man who dropped dead at the entrance of the lounge around 30 years ago. Perhaps a former owner, an older woman is here also. There is a strong possibility that the former owners, Rose and Joe, of The Starlight Lounge in entity form have come along with the bar which was sold to Ronn and removed from their business, to be used in this lounge not far away.
a) At least five customers have seen a shadowy form hovering or walking down the hallway at the rear of the bar area. Ronn explains, "People describe it as having no arms or legs - just a shape. They see it go around the corner."
b) Entities: Getting their chuckles/Just going about their business:
Many customers and bartenders have reported seeing glasses falling off shelves.
The phone lifting up by itself, or dropping off the hook, and rings anyway.
Bottles falling, and martini shakers being flipped in the air in front of them, Martini shaker tops have also rolled down the bar by themselves, providing entertainment for people sitting there.
There seems to be what is described as a "hot spot" which is popular with couples, where an entity liked to sit at when alive at the bar. This spot is where Rose when she was alive liked to sit and talk to people.
Ronn one day couldn't find his rather large ball of keys; something not easily lost. He looked everywhere for them without success. A short time later, as he stood by the bar, the ball of keys suddenly flew down from nowhere, hitting the corner of the bar, with enough force to send them flying down the length of the bar where the owner grabbed them!
3) The Basement Area...
Not quite sure what kind of activity happened in the basement, but something intense. Dave Black of Supernatural Occurrence Studies, Inc. and his investigative team did two investigations of the building. It was the second investigation over night that paranormal activities were strongly noticed.
a) Heard footsteps coming down the basement stairs.
b) Experienced very intense sensations in the basement. Supernatural Occurrence Studies investigators found a very cold, intense spot in the basement. Dave himself went over to check it out. "I went over there and it was so intense that my eyes started watering and I was having difficulty breathing. I had to put my hand on the stool to stay upright. We all felt it."
Verdict: Yes, this place is still haunted.
1) Dave Black and his team from Supernatural Occurrence Studies did a second, more in depth investigation, an over night stay. They set up their equipment to register temperature changes, as well as camcorders, infrared cameras and tapes, in areas where paranormal activity had been reported. They returned a few hours later to evaluate the results.
Tape recordings and EVPs were most interesting. The machines picked up knocking sounds, voices whispering and talking between people. Howling and screaming and a distressed voice saying, "No, no you can't!!!! All results are still being evaluated. More EVPs are planned in the future on the team's next investigation here. There were also drastic temperature changes in some of the reported haunted "hot spot" areas, about 30 degrees difference from the normal readings found in other parts of the building.
The two most pronounced hot spots were found in the basement and the bar area
2) A Spiritual Advisor, by the name of Lee Murphy, a psychic who has helped the police in their investigations and has worked with clients for many years was invited to walk around the upstairs game room, the main floor and basement. She made some observations. There are a lot of stories connected to this building.
Several areas are "charged with energy," especially the bar area and the basement, which supports the findings of Dave Black's group of investigators, SOS
She had some impressions from the area at the bar where Rosie liked to sit most often. Rosie's energy was strongly felt, a positive, helpful force which wants to help foster loving relationships - An entity who loves matchmaking! People who are drawn to this area and meet others have gotten married or their relationship improves.
She saw a male entity who had died instantly upon coming in the doorway to the place, almost 30 years ago.
Another female entity likes to stay near the rear of the establishment. It is a former owner, an older woman who liked to worry about the people in her life. She may be one of the entities interested in helping the current owner and the patrons who come here.
More study of the facts of these hauntings discovered by Supernatural Occurrence Studies, Inc. on their second investigation will bring more light to why these hauntings are happening.
Information sent to us by Cigars and Stripes Hammer Hed Lounge and their Web Site.
Supernatural Occurrence Studies, Inc.