I-80 Ottawa Roadhouse

Mobsters. They are everywhere. We know that Chicago seems to be the capital for them here in Illinois. One mobster from Ottawa, John Looney, ran Rock Island. He controlled illegal gambling, prostitution, bootleg liquor, a protection racket, stolen autos, and extortion in a swathe along the river extending from Missouri to Wisconsin from the early 1900s through the mid-‘20s. ( Considered one of The 13 Most Infamous Irish Mobsters). He died before the 1950s.

More than Looney was part of Ottawa’s mobster history. D. M. Youngquist, in his book, Ghosts of Interstate 80, states there is an established that is hunted once a year. The employees call him Mr. Derry. It is said that the Outfit Mob killed him and dragged his body to the roadhouse. This took place in the 1950s, and the roadhouse is no longer there, but another establishment is.

The full body apparition is said to smell. He wore a moldy suit jacket. His skin, “The flesh underneath had the give of cheap cellophane-wrapped hamburger.” (page 23). It seemed when he moved (jerked), his skin trailed, catching up to the rest of him. Had also had a mustache.

Mr. Derry is an intelligent spirit. He interacts with a female employee when the establishment is closed. He seems to enjoy scaring the lone girl.

Have you met Mr. Derry?

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