Halloween is here, the time of year that we actually seek out the stuff that scares us, so it’s no surprise that many of our viewers wrote in and asked: where are Chicago’s spookiest spots?
Tony Szabelski, Chicago Hauntings
Well there’s many, many spooky spots in Chicago. I think this is one of the most haunted cities in the world. The first ghost stories come from the battle of Fort Dearborn. Then there are many about the Great Chicago Fire, and the Eastland disaster, the boat that went over the Chicago River July 24, 1915.
Another one of my favorites is downtown on South Michigan Avenue, the old Congress Plaza Hotel.
A lot of people in the area are probably familiar with the stories of Resurrection Mary, the hitchhiking ghost that’s been seen all along Archer Avenue. The Jane Addams Hull-House, another very haunted location. The Saint Valentine’s Day massacre. Everybody believes that those mobsters are still haunting that location.
The statue Ulysses S Grant… You can pretty much see it anywhere from the park or off of Lake Shore Drive. The reason why this area is considered so haunted is this was actually struck by lightning, 1892 and 11 people died.
A lot of the ghost stories do come from real Chicago history.
Julius L. Jones, Chicago History Museum
Well, my favorite one is actually about the museum itself. This used to actually be a graveyard; legends are that when you disrupt a body from its burial state, you upset the spirit of the people who have passed on and so many people believe that this land is haunted.
So many people have talked about ghosts and spooky stories and sightings, interacting and just walking around the park, in the museum itself.
Where Lincoln Park, the park itself sits and the zoo, this land was the original city cemetery for Chicago. They had to eventually close this as a burial ground because if you look out… you’ll notice it’s very close to Lake Michigan.
The process was to start moving the bodies until October 8 1871, the night that the Great Chicago Fire hit. So later, when they go back to try to figure out where these bodies are, they have no idea.
Marcus Bales, Desolate Entertainment and “The Attic” haunted house in Chase Park
If you’re looking for a scare, you’re almost guaranteed to find one at one of the many haunted houses in the area. Around halloween, dozens of warehouses, abandoned prisons and other spooky spaces in the suburbs turn into haunted houses. But they used to be more common inside the city itself.
Many years before, there were haunted houses all across Chicago in the different park districts like this one.
I think a lot of that has to do with competition coming in; Chicago’s obviously a huge market so that’s attracted a lot of really great house designers and entrepreneurs coming in.
I think it’s an escape from reality. We like to escape those real-world fears and go into kind of this imaginary world, and we also love the adrenaline.