There are countless Chicago ghost stories, which is likely due to the city’s jaded history and great size, but there are a number of them that have gained great notoriety. Some are due to the horrific events that occurred at the location and others may be related to simply how old the structure is. Regardless of the cause, however, they seem to hold on for generations, which leaves one wondering if their is truth behind the legends.
One of the most famous haunts in Chicago is the historic Congress Plaza Hotel. It has become well known for its ghostly activity by locals and visitors alike. Since its inception in 1883 the Congress Plaza Hotel has hosted everyone from famous politicians to notorious gangsters and everyone in between. The range of sightings and sounds that simply can not be explained are just as expansive. From moans from the fifth floor elevator to skates gliding across the floor in the Florentine Room, which once was used as a skating rink, many of the hotels visitors and employees swear that there are supernatural beings that share the halls with them. There have even been unexplained instances in which people photographed around the Gold Room’s grand piano were not present in the film. The scariest of the legends is that the hotel was forced to completely close access to a room on the 12th floor and cover it to ensure the guests would never again encounter any of the horrors that have occurred there.
The Excaliber Club is one of the favorite Chicago ghost stories for the media every year around Halloween due to the stories that have been told by those that have ventured inside. Erected in 1893 under the commission of the Chicago Historical Society, this building has housed many different organizations in its well over 100 year history. Some of these organizations include the Royal Order of the Moose, WPA, a magazine company, and a nightclub before Excalibur took over that was known as Limelight. It was noted by those remodeling and preparing the building to become a club that there were many instances where strange noises emanated from rooms that were not occupied and even locked at the time. Some noises included loud sounds from boxes being moved in a storage closet to key jingling like there on a workers belt. Some even reported seeing the balls on the pool table moving even though no one was anywhere near the table. Once the newest owners took over they were reporting similar events, and some that were even more disturbing. One bartender reported with sheer terror across their face that after using the washroom they were held inside by an invisible force like someone was holding the door shut and a patron swore to have seen a ghastly figure dart behind a pillar. These accounts and many others have led to this location being a destination for those wishing to make an encounter with those from the other side.
There is a small pub in the Lincoln Park neighborhood that is not extremely well known, unless you are seeking to make an acquaintance with those that haven’t quite moved on from this world. In fact, the employees and past owners were so confident that they housed ghosts they regularly told their customers to come visit them and their “friends”. The story is that there are a wide variety of characters that frequent the establishment included a mentally challenged girl named Sharon, a cowboy and a young lady dressed in 1920s attire that is so animated it is hard to tell that she is not of this world. If you dare to venture into the past then you will definitely want to make a stop at the Red Lion. Hopefully you will be fortunate enough to meet one of the regulars.
In grande finale of a damsel in distress comes the last of the most famous Chicago ghost stories. It occurs at the Drake Hotel, which had been built to rival the most beautiful and glamorous hotels in the world at that time. Tragically, on the night of its first great gala in its Gold Coast room there was a drama that began to unfold. A woman in a beautiful silk gown found that her fiance had been missing for some time. After looking for him she eventually found him in the arms of another woman. Completely devastated by what was before her eyes she went to the roof, from which she jumped to her untimely death. It is said by guests through the decades that she can be seen reenacting that tragic night as if she can’t escape her last moments alive.
There are countless ghost stories that come from the great city of Chicago. If you are a true fan you can even find tours of various buildings and the city yourself. If you do be sure to ask about these famous haunts.