If you like to be a little spooked every now and then, then Chicago is the city for you! Sure, you could watch some scary movies and read some horror novels, but going to walk around supposedly haunted grounds is unlike anything else. And, because of its big and bustling history, there are plenty of spooky spots in and around Chicago where you can get a taste of the heebie-jeebies.
If you live in our luxury Chicago apartments, then you’re sure to be close to at least a few of these spooky spots! Then, after you’re well-and-truly terrified, you’ll be able to hurry home to our 100% ghost-free apartments where you'll be safe and sound!
So, let’s gather around the figurative campfire, and we’ll tell you about some of Chicago’s most haunted places.
4 Haunted places in Chicago you can visit
John Hancock Tower
You’d think that one of the spookiest places in Chicago would be a cemetery or age-old burial ground, but one of the most haunted places in Chicago is actually the sky-high John Hancock Tower, which in 2018 was officially renamed to 875 Michigan Avenue, it's address. Located in the heart of the Magnificent Mile district, the John Hancock Tower is full of businesses, offices and fine dining restaurants. Innocent, right?
Wrong! According to local ghost tour guides, the building has been home to strange goings-on for years. In separate events, two people fell to their demise in the ‘70s. Chris Farley, acclaimed comedian, was found dead from an overdose in his condo apartment in 1997. Three people fell off a scaffolding in 2002, and eight more were injured. Even the founder of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, said the angular structure and imposing architecture of the building gave him the heebie-jeebies.
And it’s all just a mile away from our River North Apartments! Good luck sleeping tonight.
Just two blocks away from the Hancock Tower is the Old Chicago Water Tower, which is one of the only public buildings that survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The building sits in the shadows of the skyscrapers around it, but the old-world architecture and intricate design has kept its charm and is one of Chicago’s most beautiful pieces of history.
However, not all is as it seems.
According to legend, the firefighters who manned the tower during the Great Fire all evacuated the building when the fire became too powerful. All but one. This last lone firefighter stayed in the tower, pumping the water for as long as he could until the flames completely locked his exit. Rather than succumb to the flames, the man hung himself at the very top of the tower.
Some say that you can still see the man at the top of the tower, but he vanishes before authorities have the chance to investigate.
Red Lion Pub
Picture this: an old, dimly-lit pub; old leather chairs and wooden trim; an illegal gambling industry; and a saloon-style bar frequented by all sorts of nefarious characters.
This isn’t some faraway haunted pub in the Wild West or Scotland highlands. It’s actually a small pub in Lincoln Park with an old, old history.
The area around the Red Lion Pub used to be filled with gambling joints, bookie offices and other Prohibition-era hole-in-the-wall businesses. According to local guides, the English-style pub is haunted by the ghosts of past patrons, such as a 1920’s cowboy, two victims killed in a fight over a gambling debt, a woman who occasionally traps patrons in bathroom stalls and the ghost of the owner’s father who never received a headstone on his grave in England.
Room 441 at the Congress Plaza Hotel
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Located just a few minutes away from our Printers Row apartments in Downtown Chicago, the Congress Plaza Hotel is unmissable. The words ‘Congress Hotel’ in massive red letters crown the grand old hotel exterior, and the interior certainly gives off some serious Old World vibes. With its history of famous guests, its gorgeous architecture and swanky interior decor, not only is the Congress Plaza Hotel one of Chicago’s famous landmarks, it is also considered to be the most haunted place in the state of Illinois.
Famous gangster Al Capone frequented the hotel to conduct his legally dubious business meetings there, and some have reported seeing the iconic boss’ ghost meandering through the lobby and around the bar. Apparently, many of Capone’s friends and business partners lived in the hotel during the 1920s.
In addition to famous gangsters’ ghosts, many have reported seeing the ghost of a young boy running through the hallways. According to legend, the boy stayed at the hotel with his mother and brother to await the arrival of his father who was fighting in World War I. When the father never arrived, the mother threw herself and her two boys out a window in distress. Apparently, one of the boys’ bodies was never found, and it's assumed that this missing boy is the spirit roaming through the hotel today.
Finally, one of the most haunted spots in the hotel (which is already pretty haunted to begin with!) is the infamous Room 441. Guests staying in this room have reported seeing a woman standing at the end of their bed and kicking them awake, as well as hearing strange noises and watching inanimate objects levitating. In fact, this room has been spooky for so long that Stephen King based his novel ‘1408,’ which is about a haunted hotel room, off this real-life hotel room in the Congress Plaza Hotel.
If you’re interested in learning about and maybe experiencing these spooky stories up-close, you can always attend the Haunted Halloween Ball that the hotel hosts each year.
So, if you’re in the downtown Chicago area and are looking for some spooky spots to frequent, then we hope you can use these haunted places as a good starting point! And, if you live in our luxury Chicago apartments, you can rest easy knowing that our apartments are 100% ghost-free.
At least, as far as we know. (*wink*)
Featured photo courtesy Pixabay/giallopudding