Top 10 Haunted Places in Chicago
Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States with a population of 2.7 million people. The city was established in 1837 and has become one of the most popular cities to visit for tourists. Situated off Lake Michigan in the northern half of Illinois, Chicago is rich in culture and has a wildly devoted fan base when it comes to sports.
Not to mention, they are known for some of their local dishes as well like deep-dish pizza. Yet, the city served as a backdrop for some of the most notorious incidents that ever unfolded in American history. In the 1930s, gangsters have been running rampant and have been making headline news for their dastardly deeds. But are some of the specters of these notorious criminals and others still haunting the streets? We will be taking a look at the top ten places that are known to many in the Windy City.
If you are up to the challenge, you may want to check these places out if you ever get to Chicago. We will begin our list by starting at ten.
Here we go:
10. Wrigley Field
Ho hey, Harry Caray! Who would have thought that the iconic baseball stadium that is home to the Chicago Cubs could be haunted? A good number of die-hard fans that bleed “Cubbie Blue” can probably tell you a few things. Let’s start with missing baseballs that either got hit over the ivy and never been recovered. Some have even said they have reported seeing some entities and felt cold spots as well. Needless to say, these specters may be harmless and won’t cause trouble. So your hot dog and Coke will likely be safe. Plus, they probably shouldn’t be to blame for the long-suffering drought of winning a World Series (to which the Cubs finally won in 2016 after more than a century).
If you are a fan of baseball and adventure, you may want to check out Wrigley Field for a game or even some paranormal activity that might involve the longtime radio personality known for his thick-rimmed glasses and zany calls.
9. Red Lion Pub
There are so many bars in Chicago that you won’t know where to start if you happen to be out and about at night. But we can tell you what might be the most haunted bar in the city is. At least, that is what the locals can tell you. The Red Lion has seen its share of spirits and presences over the years. Some sprits may be including a bearded man, a woman dressed from the 1920s, and a guy dressed like a Wild West outlaw. Some past patrons have told stories about seeing food and drinks flying out of the server trays at random and even being locked inside bathroom stalls without being able to unlock them.
These may sound like harmless pranks from the specters that mill around here on this side of Chicago. So in case you might have spilled a bit of your drink or stained your favorite shirt while you’re eating, don’t blame it on the person next to you and start a fight. Otherwise, it might just be another spirit trying to stir up some trouble from the other side. And it is also the starting place for a haunted tour of Chicago’s most haunted bars and restaurants. So if you are into that sort of thing, why not start here at the Red Lion Pub and go from there. At least that will allow you to sample the many places Chicago has to offer.
8. Site of Fort Dearborn
This is considered to be one of the oldest sites in Chicago that might even be the most haunted. Fort Dearborn was established in 1803. However, it was the site of an incident known as the Fort Dearborn Massacre. US soldiers battled with members of the Potawatomi tribe, resulting in the deaths of 148 people, including a dozen children. It has been said that there are markers near the area where the fort once was standing. Rumor has it that photos taken at the former fort were said to have included spirits. Even today, you may catch some kind of specter photobombing your photos. So if you happen to be in the area and decide to take pictures of where Fort Dearborn used to be, do not be surprised if you picked up a little extra on the camera. It might have been a soldier or the child of one that may have died trying to get out of harm’s way.
7. Hull House
This was the home of one of the most famous social workers, Jane Addams. She was best known for counseling and helping European immigrants adjust to life in America so they could live their American Dream as they saw fit. It was Addams herself that had recounted some stories of paranormal activity in the house itself. She believed that the spirit of the original owner, Charles Hull, was still wandering the halls of the house that was once his own.
However, there may be a curse that is looming in the house as well. A curse of Satanic proportions. It was said that a pregnant woman, a known devoted Catholic, was hanging a picture of the Virgin Mary inside the home as a way of blessing her and her unborn child. Her atheist husband would later tear down the picture only to declare that he would rather have the devil himself present in the house instead of God. As far as some of the activities go in here since that legendary story was told, it has yet to be seen what else might be going on other than Charles Hull patrolling the hallways.
6. Chicago Water Tower
This tower was slated to become a place where water would be pumped from Lake Michigan to supply water to the people of Chicago. However, a tragic incident lead to a change in plans. It was said that the spirit of a man or a silhouette and be sighted at times inside the tower. The man was known for trying to pump out as much water as possible while the flames raged on in the Great Fire of 1871. In a tragic incident that witnessed much of Chicago being burned to the ground, the man’s body was never recovered in the aftermath despite hanging himself once he realized it was too late for him to save himself.
The tower was one of the few buildings that remained standing after the fire. But the tragic past can only be told even today by many locals and historians alike. Though the body was never found by police (as reported by them), the spirit still lives inside the tower somewhere. Don’t be surprised if you manage to get in that you may not be the only one inside.
5. Congress Plaza Hotel
This hotel was said to be owned by none other than the infamous Al Capone and his band of gangster henchmen. It may have been the sight for some of the most gruesome killings that he has ever pulled off (we’ll be talking about a certain incident that he was involved in coming right up). As a result, some of the spirits of those killed may be wandering the hallways. Even Capone himself might be haunting the place. After all, Capone had run the place and possibly called the shots from some kind of presidential suite.
While it may have been no Alcatraz, it has been a place fit for a king (or a big-time guy like Capone). Aside from the hotel’s sordid past, it was a past site for the World’s Fair, a place that featured some of the best technological advances that were yet to be discovered by the general population. But if you stay here at this infamous hotel, do not be surprised if you meet some suspicious characters in the halls and elevators.
4. The Drake Hotel
The Drake Hotel is yet another hotel with some spirits that have overstayed their welcome. Yet, it was also a place where many of the world’s famous people have spent some time. Some heads of state like Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth II, and even some of The Rat Pack (specifically Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin) were guests here at one point in time. But the stories of how this place became haunted are quite interesting.
One of the spirits that are known to haunt the hotel can only be known as the “Woman in Red”. It was said that during a New Year’s Eve party in the 1920s, a woman dressed in red witnessed her husband cheating on her with another woman. Distraught, she went to the elevator to travel up to the tenth floor only to jump to her death moments later. As expected, she still may be somewhere on the tenth floor or in the grand ballroom of where the party was taking place.
Another story involves a 15-year-old boy who was murdered by two college students in the early 20th century. The parents of Bobby Frank and even the boy himself might be somewhere in the hotel. Even some guests may have witnessed shadowy figures or even spiritual sightings of people wearing period clothing. This hotel also might have a specter of another woman in a dress (this time, a black dress). This unknown woman was said to be the subject of a murder involving a wealthy Chicago socialite.
3. Graceland Cemetery
The cemetery is the final resting place of many of Chicago’s most prominent citizens. However, there is a story that makes this place even more haunted than any other burial place. One of the people buried here was a young girl named Inez Clarke. She died at the age of six after being struck by lightning while playing outside. Her parents requested a gravestone that bore her likeness. Once completed, they requested that her gravestone be encased in glass so she was protected from the elements. That alone makes the story a lot eerier to those who have known what happened to her.
However, the story of what happened on days when lightning struck the cemetery can only be told in such a baffling fashion. It was said that one day after a bad storm, one of the caretakers of the cemetery noticed the statue of Inez missing. However, it was said at one point the statue would return to the glass case where it belonged when the weather appeared to have improved.
2. Death Alley Near Nederlander Theatre
While the Nederlander Theatre may not be a sight of a haunting or two (maybe), the alley was set as a makeshift morgue after a fire gutted the place in 1903 resulting in the death of dozens of people. Despite being considered “fireproof”, the fire swept through the theatre while as many as 2,000 people were inside desperately trying to get out. In the aftermath, more than 600 people were killed (including well over 200 children). Faint cries, the feelings of being pushed around or being touched by some kind of specter have been reported near the place that can only be known as “Death Alley”.
While the Nederlander Theatre still stands as of today, this will be forever known as the site of one of the most tragic events in Chicago’s history.
1. Site of The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
In what seemed to be one of the bloodiest massacres carried out by Al Capone and his band of gangster henchmen, there might be nearly nothing left of what was known as the site of the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. Capone planned to attack an Irish mobster named Bugs Moran. While Moran hid somewhere out of danger, his brother in law and members of his gang were gunned down by Capone’s gang. As a result, it became one of the bloodiest crimes in Chicago’s history. Even as Capone went to prison on a completely different charge, it was said that a spirit named “Jimmy” (or James Clarke, Bug Moran’s brother-in-law and second in command that was killed in the massacre) was antagonizing him up until the end of his life (which meant “Jimmy” followed him to Alcatraz). He even summoned a medium to help Capone get rid of the spirit, but to no avail.
At the sight, it is said that apparitions of a dog that once belonged to Clarke can be seen and possibly heard whimpering as a way to mourn his owner’s death. While Jimmy himself is no longer haunting Al Capone, he might still be looming around the area where the infamous massacre took place.