It doesn’t have to be October in Chicago for you to find a haunted hotel or mansion. Real life stories of murder, suicide, and accidents haunt these attractions just as much as their ghosts. Not for the faint of heart, these are the 10 creepiest places in the city.
Whether you’re looking for a scare or trying to figure out which parts of town to avoid, this article will point you in the right direction. Check it out:
1. Jane Addams Hull House - 800 S Halsted St
Jane Addams was a suffragette and activist for social change who had this home constructed in 1889 in order to help immigrants transition into American society. Addams herself joked about strange occurrences in the house, such as seeing a woman in white, but it seems her jests weren't for naught. Strange things still happen within the house, such as windows breaking, lights flicking, and motion detectors being set off when no one is around. Find out when you take a tour.
2. Clark Street Bridge
This seemingly harmless bridge is a creepy place to be, as locals and tourists alike have reported seeing bodies floating in the Chicago River while standing overtop. It is believed to be related to a 1915 boating accident where the S.S. Eastland rolled over and killed over 800 passengers and crew members. What sinks must rise again.
3. Chicago Water Tower Place - 835 N Michigan Avenue
This is one of the only buildings to survive the Chicago fire of 1871. It is rumored that a man hung himself out a window as the flames approached so as not to be burned. Today, some say you can still see a figure dangling from the windows of the tower. Look a little closer next time you past this landmark.
4. Red Lion Pub - 2446 N Lincoln Avenue
Known as the most haunted pub in the city, this place is a popular stop on Chicago ghost tours. There are rumored to be multiple apparitions that haunt the building including a cowboy, a bearded man, a woman from the 1920s, and Sharon, who is believed to have been mentally handicapped. There are also ongoing reports of people being trapped in restroom stalls, so try to avoid those (if you can hold it).
5. Congress Hotel - 520 S Michigan Avenue
As one of largest and most haunted hotels in the city, this massive place may have inspired a Stephen King story. In the past, it has housed gangsters, celebrities, presidents, and other wealthy elites who were up to who knows what. There have been reports of hearing organ music, seeing ghosts, and hearing people roller skating (yes... roller skating) in the hall. A little creepier are the people who disappear from photos taken near the piano. Moans are often heard in the elevator, and the twelfth floor contains a room so haunted, it is hidden behind wallpaper!
6. Ford's Theatre/The Oriental Theatre - 24 W Randolph St
Originally called the Iroquois Theatre, this beautiful place has a dark past. Shortly after its grand opening in 1903, it caught fire and killed over 550 people. Today, there are still reports of these lost souls roaming the halls, bathrooms, lobbies, and stage. The theatre has undergone different owners and names over the years, but has not been able to shake its tragic history.
7. Excalibur Club - 632 N. Dearborn Street
Made from rough granite blocks as to look like a castle, this amazing structure was built in 1892 by the Chicago Historical Society. Though it has housed many different clubs and institutes over the years, it is currently a nightclub. Staff have reported pool balls moving around on tables and sounds of boxes being moved, and there was even a report of a bathroom stall door being held shut for several minutes.
8. Lourdes High School - 4034 W 56th St
Though this school is permanently closed, it is still standing and still haunted. There have been stories of a nun who haunts the third floor, as well as reports of hearing heavy footsteps coming down the hall when no one was there. The bravest spirit seekers sneak in to see if these happenings still occur, although we do not advise you to do so; trespassing is a crime.
9. Drake Hotel - 140 E Walton Pl
This scary hotel began with a truly tragic opening night. It was built to be one of most beautiful places to stay in Chicago, but is now quite haunted. Stories tell of a woman who attended the opening gala with her fiance, only to discover him with another woman. She then threw herself from the roof, and there have been reports of seeing her ghost in the halls or on the roof, replaying her final night.
10. H.H. Holmes "Murder" House - corner of 63rd and Wallace
Though it was torn down and replaced with a post office, the story behind this frightening location is so creepy that it still attracts visitors to this day. It originally opened as the World's Fair Hotel in 1893 by the infamous serial killer Herman Webster Mudgett under the alias Dr. Henry Howard Holmes. He would eventually admit to killing 20 people in chillingly sadistic ways, but it is believed that it could have been more than one hundred! Officials found acid, operating tables, and gas chambers when they searched the place after Holmes's arrest, suggesting severe torture for his unfortunate "guests."
What other places in Chicago give you the creeps? Share your thoughts and experiences with us.
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