Those tales and the building's unique structure are two reasons why not for profit organization "Save the Bowen" wants to restore it.
Its director, Richard Weiss lives in Missouri.
But he felt compelled to transform this rumored haunted building into a bed and breakfast for those looking for a scare...and a place to stay.
"I see the interest in the paranormal and the ghost hunting and everything which I'm the biggest skeptic there is," said Weiss. "But I realize enough to know that's what is going to save this building. The people and the interest in that."
Bartonville leaders like Mayor Rhonda Wolfe are working with Weiss to make it happen.
The village has issued more than $340,000 dollars in tax increment financing money for asbestos abatement work to begin on the vacant building.
"The revenue that it will create for the village will be awesome. We need that," said Wolfe. "We need more business to come. And we need more revenue for the village."
But some people like Tammy Shepperd say the plan won't be an overnight fix.
She works at the business across from Bowen and says the organization has along way to go before the property is ready for guests.
"What people have said about what it looks like on the inside...I think it's going to be a lot of work," said Shepperd. "I would love to see something done with it though."
Weiss plans to begin asbestos abatement in June.
He hopes potential developers "pop up" when it's finished in August.
Weiss says there's enough space inside the Bowen to build a museum, a restaurant, and even a banquet facility.
But it could take up to 10 years to turn the century old property into a tourist spot.