Chicago ranks as one of the most haunted cities in the world with countless destinations that are believed to be frequented by otherworldly beings. Before attending Chicago’s largest and scariest Halloween costume party this year at the Congress Plaza Hotel, gear up for the Halloween season by visiting a few local haunted spots. From theaters and cemeteries to castles and disaster sites, there are many must-see destinations sure to give you a spook.
1. Congress Plaza Hotel
The Congress Plaza Hotel is where you can attend the Haunted Hotel Halloween Ball the weekend before Halloween. It’s also considered the most haunted hotel in the city. Located on South Michigan Avenue, the Congress Plaza Hotel has a tortuous past as it’s the location where America’s very first documented serial killer, H. H. Holmes, was believed to have searched for his victims. The hotel also holds other ghostly secrets.
2. Historic Water Tower
The story behind the haunting at the Historic Water Tower is sad and mysterious. Legend says that during the Great Chicago Fire that impacted Michigan Avenue, one man stayed behind to keep the water tower safe. However, when the flames took hold of the water tower, the man was forced to climb to the top where he chose to hang himself rather than burn to death in the fire. Some say that they have seen an apparition hanging from the rafters of the tower.
3. Country House
You can find Country House nestled in the Clarendon Hills; a family-friendly suburb located just southwest of Chicago. Not only is Country House a favorite place for locals to grab a cold beer and mouthwatering burger, but it’s also a known haunted spot. The ghost who is believed to be haunting the venue is a blonde woman who was having an affair with the tavern’s bartender. One day after a fight, the woman took off in her car only to die in a vehicle accident just half a mile down the road. A remodel in the 1970s is believed to have released her spirit.
4. Battle of Fort Dearborn Park
In 1812, an ambush by Potawatomi warriors where what is now known as the Prairie Avenue District resulted in many casualties. A total of 68 people was killed, including some women and children. Human remains were believed to be uncovered during excavation work in the 1980s which led to the reports of apparitions dressed in 19th-century attire.
5. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is situated just a few short blocks from Lawrence Avenue in Chicago’s uptown neighborhood. Originally named Pop Morse’s Roadhouse, the lounge and jazz club were known to be frequented by gangster Jack “Machine Gun” McGurn who was one of Al Capone’s top lieutenants. The venue soon became a speakeasy where hooch was smuggled through underground tunnels. Employees and patrons have claimed to hear odd noises, see things mysteriously move, and feel cold spots.
6. Iroquois Theatre
During a fire that broke out at the Iroquois Theatre in late 1903, more than 600 lives were lost. In 1926, the building was razed but the alleyway behind the building where many of the victims landed while trying to escape the fire remains busy with supernatural activity. Many theatre-goers have claimed to hear ghostly children laughing, women crying, and footsteps from people who are not there.
Even if you are not a fan of ghost stories, there is no denying the supernatural presence the lingers in many places throughout Chicago. Before heading to the Haunted Halloween Ball at the Congress Plaza Hotel this Halloween, be sure to catch up on your local history and hauntings.