Chicago is home to a number of things, but many people fail to realize that Chicago has some of the most chilling haunted places in the entire state. These mansions and hotels have some of the creepiest pasts that linger on to this very day. Murder, suicide, and horrible accidents are all associated with these beautiful yet haunted attractions, making tourists flock there almost instantly.
If you’re in the category of “faint of heart” then maybe these tourist attractions aren’t for you. However, if you’re looking for a good scare, some rich history, or some new places to “investigate”, then be sure to check out these haunted buildings.
1. H.H. Holmes “Murder” House
What this murder house looked like.
Image via: Chicago Tribune
Located at the corner of 63rd and Wallace, this is one of the most infamous haunted locations ever in the entire world. Originally opening as the World’s Fair Hotel in 1893, this hotel soon turned from a beautiful and convenient place to an absolute horror show. Infamous serial killer Herman Webster Mudgett, also known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, opened this hotel so people could stay there while attending the World’s Fair. Their fun and excitement stopped once they stepped foot into this hotel, though, because Mudgett had (admittedly) killed 20 people, but there is speculation that he had killed over one hundred people. The ways that he killed these people were sick and sadistic, making people’s stomach’s churn every time they hear how it happened. After arresting Mudgett, police obtained a warrant to search the hotel and discovered gas chambers, acid, and operating tables throughout the hotel. They believe that the guests who entered the hotel and fell victim to Mudgett’s sadistic ways were severely tortured before meeting their unfortunate death. Since then, it has been torn down and replaced by a post office, but tourists still visit this location to experience the creepy and eerie feeling others have felt.
2. Ford’s Theater/The Oriental Theater
What the inside of this theater looks like.
Image via: Broadway World
Sitting at 24 W Randolph Street, this beautiful place has a dark and eerie past that some people don’t know about. Originally called The Iroquois Theater, it had its official grand opening in 1903, but unfortunately, a short while after the opening, the theater had caught fire and killed about 550 people. People who have visited the theater today report that people who lost their lives in this tragic event still roam the halls, bathrooms, lobbies, and stage as if they never left. Different owners owned this theater throughout the years and thought changing the name would be beneficial, but nothing seems to shake the tragic and dark past it holds. Tourists love to come to this theater because they hope to experience one of the lost souls roaming around the theater and become part of the various reports that claim this place is extremely haunted.
3. Chicago Water Tower Place
This water tower place survived a massive fire in 1871 and has a sad past to it.
Image via: Boom Fluent
This particular building is one of the only buildings that survived the 1871 Chicago fire. Rumors emerged after the tragic event of a man hanging himself out of a window because he knew he couldn’t escape the fire and he didn’t want to get burned by the flames. As people continue to walk by this building, located at 835 N Michigan Avenue, reports flood in that people can still see a dangling man from the window even though no one is there. Next time you take a walk past this building, make sure you look closely at the window. You may see something there that wasn’t there the last time you walked by it.
4. Excalibur Club
Hang out at this club and you might run in to some ghosts.
Image via: Chibar Project
This particular club is located at 632 N Dearborn Street and resembles a castle like structure because of the rough granite blocks it is made from. This castle like structure is a site to see because of how beautiful it looks and was built in 1892 by the Chicago Historical Society. Throughout the years, there have been various clubs and institutes at this castle like location, but it currently remains a nightclub that people love to go to. The staff, though, don’t have so much fun there because they have reported some strange paranormal activity occurring there. They have heard pool balls moving on the table when no one was around them, boxes shifting and moving on their own, and one staff member reported that a bathroom stall would not open for several minutes, like someone was holding it closed on purpose. Nonetheless, if you’re a person that enjoys going to nightclubs, then be sure to check out this place. It’s fun, entertaining, and has a few paranormal occurrences that happen every so often. If you go on the right night, you might be able to experience some pool balls moving all on their own.
5. Drake Hotel
Would you stay at this hotel?
Image via: Hilton
Located at 140 E Walton Place, this hotel has been deemed as one of the scariest hotels people have ever stayed at. It’s scary reputation started on its opening night, which was a horrible and dark night. The people who developed and built this hotel wanted it to be one of the most beautiful places people can stay at when they visited Chicago, but this beauty soon earned its reputation as being one of the most haunted places a person can stay at. As stories go, there was a woman who showed up to the opening night gala with her fiancé where she learned that he was seeing another woman besides her. Beside herself, the woman went into a fit of rage and hurt and ran up to the roof where she threw herself off of it and met her untimely death. Ever since that tragic event, people have reported seeing this woman in the halls or on the rooftop, where she unfortunately relives that horrid opening night.
6. Jane Addams Hull House
What this amazing house looks like today.
Image via: Britannica
Jane Addams Hull House sits at 800 S Halsted Street and tells a story of Jane. Jane was a suffragette and activist for social change and had the Hull House built in 1889 so she could help immigrants transition into the American society without any complications. As she continued to live in this house, she started to make jokes about seeing a woman in white roaming around her home, but her jokes were anything but. To this day, there are reports that windows break constantly in the house with no logical explanation, the lights flicker occasionally- even though there is nothing wrong with the electrical circuits-and the motion sensors go off even though there is no one in the home or around them. If you want to hear about the strange occurrences that happen in this home, or possibly witness them yourself, you’re in luck! You can tour the house and find out the rich history of it and hear all about the strange and unusual things that have happened there.
7. Lourdes High School
The overview shot of the high school from one of its yearbooks.
Image via: Classmates
This high school can be found at 4034 W 56th Street, but it is unfortunately permanently closed. Nonetheless, this school is still standing tall and has been deemed as one of the most haunted schools in Chicago. People who have gone into this school report that there is nun whom haunts the third floor and can be seen walking around there at various times. Other reports say that heavy footsteps could be heard coming at people, even though there is no one there. Do not trespass in this building no matter what- you can get arrested and in trouble- but the people who do sneak into this haunted high school do experience strange events within the halls of the school that has left them speechless.
8. Congress Hotel
What this massive hotel looks like.
Image via: Expedia
520 S Michigan Avenue is home to the Congress Hotel, which is known as the largest and most haunted hotels in the city. Because of all the reports of this hotel being haunted and it being one of the massive hotels in Chicago, there is speculation that it may have inspired a Stephen King book. This hotel has seen a variety of guests stay within its rooms- gangsters, celebrities, presidents, and other wealthy elites. Reports of this hotel being extremely haunted start with people hearing organ music playing, seeing ghosts in the halls or in the rooms, hearing people roller skating in the halls- even though no one is there- and they continue to hearing people moan every now and then in the elevator. One of the most infamous reports about this hotel, though, is that the 12th floor of this hotel has one room that is so dangerously and horrifically haunted that workers of the hotel blocked it with wallpaper so no one could enter the room.
9. Red Lion Pub
Inside of this haunted pub.
Image via: Chicago Mag
The Red Lion Pub is located at 2446 N Lincoln Avenue and is known as one of the most haunted pubs in the city. People who love ghosts and are into the paranormal, though, claim that this is the number one spot they go to if they want to experience paranormal things. There are rumors that multiple spirits haunt this pub, which include a cowboy, a bearded man, a woman from the 1920’s, and a mentally handicap spirit named Sharon. People continuously report that something strange has had happened to them while they are at this pub, but one of the most common occurrences is that people claim they get stuck in bathroom stalls for several minutes and cannot get out of there. They claim that it’s almost like someone is holding the door and is keeping them from exiting the stall and the bathroom.
10. Clark Street Bridge
The historic and somewhat creepy Clark Street Bridge.
Image via: Historic Bridges
This bridge is an iconic symbol in the city of Chicago because it sits over the Chicago River and allows city people and tourists enjoy some beautiful sights while standing on it. However, this beautiful and innocent bridge is also dark and creepy. Why? People report that when they are standing on top of the bridge, when they look down into the water they could see floating bodies floating through the Chicago River. As history and research shows, there was a boating accident that occurred in 1915 where the S.S. Eastland rolled over and had killed over 800 passengers and crew members. People speculate that the bodies they are seeing in the water are the bodies of those who unfortunately passed away during that tragic boating accident.
These haunted places in Chicago will leave you speechless the next time you visit them. They have dark pasts that no one can shake and they have very unique hauntings that occur inside of them. Be careful next time you visit one of these locations, you never know what you’re going to see, feel, and experience. Always be on the look out and get your camera ready- you may see something you never thought you would ever see.