Posted on: October 31, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Sarah Tesher

By Sarah Tesher, Freelance Contributor

If a “humanoid figure” covered in gray hair leaps out in front of your car as you drive through the woods a couple blocks north of the Moraine Valley campus, don’t assume it’s just some shaggy Lit professor.

You could be encountering the feral werewolf baby of Palos Hills.

Moraine Valley’s Palos campus is just off of one of “the most haunted regions in the Chicagoland area,” Tony Szabelski, a well-established ghost tour guide and paranormal investigator, told The Glacier.

According to legend, late one night in the 1950s, a young couple was driving with their baby unsecured (due to seat belts not being normalized during this time). Unfortunately, the young family got into an accident in which the parents died instantly.

“Kean Avenue was very dark back then,” Szabelski explains.

The unsecured baby in the backseat managed to survive, and he ended up being raised by wildlife in the forest just off of Kean Avenue and 101st Street.

Photo by Sarah Tesher
The werewolf baby is said to be buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery on Kean Avenue.

In the following years, there were many reports of a young child running around alone, and further on, a young adult with a hairy gray coat. Assuming the furry man was the child from the car crash, people started referring to him as “the werewolf baby.”

Late ghost hunter Richard T. Crowe writes about the werewolf baby in his book “Chicago’s Street Guide to the Paranormal.” The book includes interviews with people who had encounters with the werewolf baby. According to Crowe, there were multiple sightings of this feral baby in the decades of the 50s through 70s.

No one knows for sure if the werewolf baby is still alive today, but if so, he would be 70 years old. An unmarked grave in the corner of Sacred Heart Cemetery is rumored to be the werewolf’s final resting place.

Many believe in the extraordinary nature of animals to sense the paranormal, and with the Palos Hills Riding stables just across the street from Sacred Heart Cemetery, drivers not only might witness the creature through their car windows, but the horses have surely gotten their ears perked for the werewolf baby.

The “wild child” has been spotted by picnickers foraging for food, and in the late 1970s, he was said to have “upset horses ridden by equestrians along the bridle trails,” according to the Palos Patch. 

“A Lyons woman told Crowe of seeing a humanoid figure covered with hair leaping in front of her new truck while driving down Kean Avenue near Sacred Heart Cemetery. The truck almost cleared the beast-like creature, but clipped the passenger mirror,” reports the Patch. 

The werewolf baby is not the only haunted legend based near the Moraine Valley campus. The Archer Avenue Triangle, bordered by Kean Avenue, Roberts Road and Archer Avenue, is the site of several different paranormal and spooky stories, including Felix the Fire Dog and Resurrection Mary.

Szabelski said he gives ghost tours and talks about the supernatural not only during Halloween season but throughout the year. He points out that “not all ghost stories are dark and evil.”

He said he would love to come to Moraine Valley sometime to give a talk.

“This is a huge passion for me,” Szabelski said.