Rico D’s Pizza Ristorante – Willow Springs

In the Willow Springs section on the south side of Chicago, along a stretch of infamous Archer Avenue, is a haunted building that stands alone, considering the legendary reputation of the mobster who once owned it. That mobster was Al Capone.

The basement of the building held the illegal alcohol, the first floor is where the bar was (and still is) located and was also the area for illegal gambling, and the second floor was also used for profit, as it housed a brothel.

I first came upon the location back in 2003, when it was a local pizza place called Cavellone’s West. I was shown only the restaurant eating area and the basement. I took a photo of a picture of Al Capone and now, when viewed, there is a pitchfork running across the image.

In the basement one can feel the impressions of emotions left due to fear or acts done upon others. There are brickedup areas sealing off passageways to tunnels that ran to the woods, allowing those inside an escape route when the law came knocking.

It is said that in those woods is an area where Capone’s gang did some of their dirty deeds to others. Individuals have captured on film the many orbs that show in the woods just beyond the location.

The new owners call the place Rico D’s Pizza Ristorante. They reopened the location with a 1920s feel—and the legend of the spirits that call the location home resurfaced. For the first time, in January 2005, I was shown the second floor by General Manager Don Kress. I saw what were bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, and what seemed to be sitting rooms for the gentlemen, and it was like stepping back in time.

I was feeling the spirit side of what was once there. In a closet in one of the bedrooms, I picked up the feeling of one being strangled there. In the bathroom, I picked up the feeling that something happened to a female employee of the brothel by a notso-friendly client. In one area of the room’s floor, I psychically picked up the outline of a body.

On the main floor in the restaurant area, the body of a woman dressed as if she were in the 1920s has been seen by employees. She appeared out of the section of the room where a painting once hung of who some people claim to be Capone’s aunt, and who others claim to be the madam of the brothel.

This female specter spoke to the employees, saying that “they” are happy with the new owners, as “they” feel the owners will bring class back to the place that was there when “The Boss” owned it. Upon saying those words, she walked toward the stairway leading up to the brothel, and as she stepped upon the stairs, she vanished.

Written by — Edward L. Shanahan Spiritual Paranormal Investigator, Creator, The Unexplained World


Taken from the: Encyclopedia of Haunted Places -Ghostly Locales from around the World – Compiled & Edited by Jeff Belanger – Copyright 2005 by Jeff Belanger