First-hand shops, second-person horror and haunted secondhand stores are just some of the products that can be found at some of America’s most haunted places.
But are they really the hauntings they claim to be?
According to researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, yes.
Urbans own ghost hunters have spent the past decade hunting down and cataloguing the real-life, haunted second hand stores.
To date, more than 1,000 ghostly properties have been catalogued and analyzed, including over 500 haunted stores.
In the video above, host Nick Stahl looks at the evidence for second- and third-hand haunted stores in Champaign.
The most notable example, however, is the Urbancastor, an independent bookstore that was built in 1885.
The store was the only place in Champagne where a ghost was known to haunt.
The building was a ghostly relic of the 1890s, when Champagne was still a ghost town.
Urbrans owner, Harry and Florence Tilden, decided to preserve the building as a first-hand haunt.
“It’s really about the spirits,” Harry Tildens told Stahl.
“They’ve been here for so long and it’s been so well preserved.”
The owners of the Urbranastor had a plan.
When the building was sold to a developer, they decided to restore the building and add a new entrance, a gift shop, and a second floor.
This second-floor store would feature a second-room where a family could relax.
It’s the first time anyone has restored the building.
The owners also took the chance to add a second window to the building, which would allow visitors to see out the window.
In order to maintain the spirits, the shop also has a bell tower that doubles as a lantern, and the windows were originally made of black walnut, so they were able to see in from the outside.
The Urbanas own ghost hunter, Frank Stahl, says the second-story window is “one of the most haunted windows in Champagnantown,” and he’s also one of the owners of Urbanchor.
“The second-store was designed as a gift for the store’s owner, but it was also intended as a window for a family member to come inside the store,” Stahl said.
Stahl has been hunting haunted stores for almost 20 years, and he says he’s never seen anything like it.
“We’ve found a total of six or seven of these second-shelves in Champagnes case alone,” St.ahl told Stollers host.
“Every year, I go out and I see them again.
I’ve never seen something like it in Champagos history.”
When asked what he thinks makes a second store different from a real one, Stahl was hesitant to name names.
“I can’t tell you,” he said.
“But I can tell you that the second store is not a haunted store.”
Stahl and his team have identified over 500 ghostly property that were never built and are now considered legitimate ghost shops.
Some are even listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but they don’t have the same cachet as a real-world haunted property.
Stoll says that is because the Urbs are “so well known for their second hand-goods stores.”
“We are very proud of the fact that we’ve done our job,” he added.
The only real issue with these second hand businesses is that they’re hard to track down.
Stalkers are not the only ones that are scouring Champagnans haunted streets for ghostly relics.
There are more than 70 businesses in Champaginians neighborhood that are either haunted or have ghost stories, and they have no clear way to prove they’re real.
“A lot of these businesses are kind of just rumors that we know of,” Stoll said.
But they’re a source of hope for the owners and the owners themselves.
“These businesses are very much in the shadows of what’s really going on,” Stolla said.