5 Most Haunted Places in Chicago Explained by a Ghost Expert and a Historian

September 12, 2019 0 By William Hollis


All happened in the East tower. One of the great tragedies in Chicago’s
history, the largest loss of life It looks like what they’re
doing is screaming. Room for 441. Bodies have intensity to
pop up out of the ground. I’m Mark Seaton, I work as a
tour guide for Chicago Hauntings. Hi my name is Bill Savage I teach
Chicago literature history and culture in the English department Northwestern University
and at the Newberry Library of Chicago. The idea of being haunted by a ghost usually something horrible has happened there
from what I, at least, encountered. My perspective on these haunted
places is of a scientific rationalist. Chicago’s haunted by lots of
things that are kind of invisible or hidden or not thought about. But they’re
more larger historical events and socio-economic realities. There’s been reports, definitely
between the ’60s and ’70s of horrible deaths that have
happened there. There’s a few construction workers
who died while they were building it. A few of them plunge to their deaths.
There’s also been a few suicides that have happened inside Marina City. A couple of murders that have happened there as well. There was a young woman
who was stabbed to death. A man who shot his mother and then he killed himself. But one of the things that gets
to be bizarre about it is that out of all these reports they’ve all
happened in the east tower. The question is what’s going on
in the east tower that causes all of these strange phenomenon
to be happening or these accidental deaths. They’ve seen shadow figures
inside the towers. There’s also reports of having cold spots inside the tower,
people feeling bouts of depression. Marina City is concrete, literally,
concrete evidence of the racism and white flight that shaped so much social policy
in this city in the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Think about the name of the
place, “Marina City.” It was designed to be a self-contained city within the city so
that white middle-class people would have somewhere safe to live. The fact that you could live in that building,
park a car in that building, doing a shopping in that
building, and never have to leave it. You’re not in one of those
changing neighborhoods on the south or west sides where white flight was
happening due to white racism. Obviously one of the great tragedies in
Chicago’s history the the largest loss of life in a single incident
in history the city. The Eastland was a boat, it’s about
the size of a mini cruise ship. it was docked in front of the
Reid Murdoch Building on July 24th 1915. After the boat capsized, there was 2,500 people that went into the water, and 844 people
lost their lives. Including 17 entire families. Nobody famous was on that boat.
Nobody famous died unlike the Titanic. It was working-class people immigrants
from the Western Electric Company on Cicero and Berlin. They brought the bodies to the Second
Regiment Armory and that building later on would become famous because it was
turned into Harpo Studios in the 1980s. For the site people have reported of
hearing screams and cries of terror coming from the river
right where the Eastland was docked. Faces being seen in the water. There’s also reports of people seeing
people drowning in the river. Harpo Studios, where Harpo Studios was,
they tore it down last year, There’s reports of seeing ghosts and
apparitions inside Harpo Studios. The most popular one was
the Gray Lady, who they believed was one of the victims at the Eastland tragedy. But I think should really haunt
Chicagoans about that disaster was how long it was
ignored and covered up for almost a century most of official Chicago ignored
that event. it didn’t reshape any policy unlike the Iroquois theater fire which
helped create safety standards in public buildings where you have panic bars.
Other tragedies in the city have like reshaped, literally reshape the world and
how we relate to one another in space. The hauntings that take place there is
mostly associated to the Glessner House It’s haunted by the architect Henry
Hobson Richardson when he first designed the building he never got to see the
actual house completed. But there have been reports that people have seen his
ghost inside the house. Also over at Prairie Avenue is where the Fort
Dearborn massacre took place back in 1812. In the 1980s there was a
construction crew that came through and they started doing some digging, they
were doing some some road work, and they ended up unearthing the bodies to
the Fort Dearborn massacre and ever since then there’s been reports of
spirits and apparitions popping up in the area. More specifically people have
stated of seeing these ghosts running and what it looks like they’re
doing is screaming. Prairie Avenue was a prime example of first neighborhood being
built up by the rich and being an opulent place. The big industrialists in
the city had their mansions down there. When the Northside became more
fashionable in the palmer’s move north, that area and the near south side was
abandoned. And it became part of a vice district, part of a basically
ghetto and a slum, and that deterioration, that class
movement across the city is something that I think should
be paid more attention to. Congress Plaza Hotel is one of the most
haunted places in Chicago if not the most haunted place. There’s room for 441. There have been reports of objects
moving around the room on their own Also people waking up in the middle of the night to the silhouette of a dark
figure of a woman standing at the foot of their bed. And
there’s also reports of having the covers ripped off of them in the middle
of the night. You can stay in the room in room 441. Yeah, if you’d like. Well, what should haunt Chicagoans
about the Congress Plaza Hotel is that it was the site of a single
longest strike in American history 10 years. The custodial staff
were on strike to get a living wage and they failed.
After ten years they were broken. Chicagoans should be haunted by the
class inequity that the labor movement tried to address back in the 19th
century and tries to address today with the fight for 15. if you go to Lincoln Park Zoo, more
specifically it’s the barn that is haunted there in Lincoln Park Zoo. The reason why it is haunted is because it’s built on Chicago City Cemetery,
Chicago’s first cemetery. All the bodies with a few exceptions were relocated to other cemeteries because
it was low swampy ground, it wasn’t very good. In high
water, bodies had a tendency to pop up out of the ground. So you can see how it
could become a an urban legend of haunting. Dr. Lester Fisher. He was the
director there at Lincoln Park Zoo and when he was first building the barn, they
unearthed I think it was ten bodies from the Chicago city cemetery that were
still buried there. And he contacted the city of Chicago for a few times I think was for a couple of weeks but nobody ever responded back to him, so he
just took the executive decision and decided to put the bodies back. And those
were the were where the hauntings take place. People have reported of hearing
voices inside the barn. There’s also been reports of seeing people walking around
wearing clothing from the early 1800s. Cogently perhaps Lincoln Park very close
to the cemetery area that was the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. 2122 Clark Street. The garage is gone now. There’s just a parking lot and a lawn
that’s there. People have heard the dog barking who was in the garage at
the time during the massacre They’ve also reported of hearing machine
gunfire coming from the site. You know, if the St. Valentine’s Day
Massacre haunts Chicago it should be about the legacy of
organized crime in this town which includes not just
the corruption of politicians and judges and the police
department, but it also includes the kind of racial violence that we see today, a
racialized violence, where there are neighborhoods that are marginal where
crime thrives. Today as we confront a city where certain neighborhoods are
marginalized and more violent than other neighborhoods where that violence is in
part fueled by the drug trade, that’s the same thing that fueled the
killings of prohibition. To this very day, the city is haunted by
gang violence in a very literal way. We don’t need guys with fedoras and
Thompson submachine guns disappearing through walls to be haunted
by gang violence. Gang violence is part of the reality of the city