Animals

The 11 Most Haunted Places Near Chicago

Are you an adrenaline addict searching for a terrifying day full of experiences at haunted locations close to Chicago? There are plenty of spooky places in the Windy City that will make you feel as though you’re in a Stephen King book.

Prepare to get your heart rate shot through the roof with these year-round, pumpkin-themed haunts!

The Alley of Death

In late December of 1903, 1,700 people excitedly packed the newly built Iroquois Theater. Mothers and their children made up the majority of those present. The midday show featured a weird lyrical comedy called Mr. Bluebeard.

Nobody realized that most of the audience would pass away prior to the intermission. During the concert, a stage light caught fire. The stage crew attempted to put it out, but the fire spread swiftly throughout the theater.

The crowd was in disarray. People were using the fire escape to flee the theater, confused by the absence of evacuation signals and overwhelmed by shut doors. Hoping to escape the flames, people started jumping into the alleyway from above.

Many people died in the fall, but some escaped because the bodies of those who had fallen earlier helped to cushion their fall. The horrifying deaths and heaps of corpses led to the Chicago Tribune dubbing it the “Alley of the Death and Mutilation.”

Holy Name Cathedral

The bullets that were believed to have supernatural characteristics caused damage to the church following the 1926 attack outside Holy Name church that murdered Al Capone’s rival Hymie Weiss.

It’s alleged that the bullet holes would inexplicably return no matter how many times they were repaired. A significant amount of the region’s haunted history has been documented by parapsychologist Ursula Bielski, the founder of the well-known ghost tour firm Chicago Hauntings.

But she acknowledges that until a few years ago, she wasn’t sure about the site’s paranormal ties. What made her reconsider? A visitor on a tour snapped photos of mysterious light spheres encircling the main building.

Site of the Valentine’s Day Massacre

Who would have guessed that one of the most haunted locations close to Chicago would be an abandoned garage? The site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre is among Chicago’s most infamous historical sites.

Still, the Chicago region, the scene of the alleged massacre, has yielded no physical relics or evidence of it. During the early hours of February 14, 1929, four unidentified attackers—two of whom were dressed as Chicago police officers—shot and killed seven men in a garage in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

This crime shocked the nation and had a long-lasting effect on local and federal law enforcement, as well as the political system. Officially, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre remains an unsolved case.

No one has come forward to confess, and the Chicago police were unable to identify the perpetrators. Many people think that the infamous Al Capone was responsible for this horrific deed. Dogs will begin barking frantically all around the site for unknown reasons.

The Red Lion Pub

The Red Lion Pub is the perfect spot to go ghost hunting and have a pint in one location. Many individuals sincerely think that the Red Lion is haunted by several ghosts. One of the ghosts that haunts the pub has been recognized as the spirit of a young woman.

When her energy is present, an overpowering lavender scent will suddenly develop, allowing workers to recognize her presence. Employees have reportedly claimed to have seen a ghostly client who appears to be a man wearing cowboy boots.

The cowboy has also been spotted ambling alongside the front bar. Two guys have also been seen by Red Lion staff members, one of them has blonde hair and the other is wearing a black cowboy hat.

Both employees and patrons of the Red Lion Pub have heard tales of a diminutive female ghost who haunts the establishment. Is she searching for someone or something? The description of the Lavender woman as an obnoxious ghost is given.

She is often seen on the second level and in the women’s restroom. She frequently lets you hear her crying and yelling in the bathroom, and she always locks the door to keep you out.

Then, all of a sudden, there won’t be any more shouting, and the restroom will be empty, naturally.

Chicago Water Tower

This city landmark has a troubled past. The Gothic Revival-styled Historic Water Tower, located on The Magnificent Mile, was constructed with a huge water pump designed to draw water from neighboring Lake Michigan.

Despite being one of the few buildings to survive the devastating Great Chicago Fire of 1871, there were sad moments associated with this well-known limestone skyscraper. History says that while the fire blazed, one brave worker remained to carefully handle the pumps.

As the flames got closer, he ran to the tower’s top stories and hanged himself. There have been multiple stories stating that there is a dark figure that lingers outside the water tower’s top-level windows.

Congress Plaza Hotel

Are you looking for spooky locations to spend the night with ghouls and ghosts close to Chicago? Even Al Capone’s ghost might appear to you! Workers at the 122-year-old hotel have reported seeing the spirit of the fabled Scarface prowling the hallways.

There are more than 850 rooms to pick from, and any one of them might be haunted. The Congress Plaza Hotel has been dubbed the most haunted place in Illinois because Al Capone set up shop there and is most frequently spotted near his old apartment on the eighth floor!

Here, too, are benevolent spirits! Another well-liked phantom is the cute Peg Leg Johnny. Not much is known about this cheeky ghost, but rumor has it that the compulsively unstable apparition frequently turns on and off electronics in rooms and generally makes a mess for guests.

Bring your ghost-hunting gear and E.M.F. detectors to room 441 if you’re looking for a real scare! This room at the hotel is the most haunted. You might anticipate that a female ghost will kick you to wake you up in this instance!

Eastland River Disaster

The S.S. Eastland steamship overturned on July 25, 1915, trapping 2,572 people within and making it one of Chicago’s deadliest tragedies. A new regulation mandating that passenger ships like the S.S. Eastland carry a sufficient number of lifesaving boats was passed in response to concerns raised by the Titanic disaster regarding lifeboat shortages on passenger ships.

Unfortunately, the installation of all these lifeboats caused the Eastland’s current top-heavy vessel to roll over in the Chicago River close to Clark and LaSalle Streets. Numerous tourists and staff workers were crushed behind bulky furniture or imprisoned in various ways.

The bodies that had been recovered were stored in makeshift morgues run by a number of Chicago-based businesses. Many of these sites have received reports of ghost sightings, and visitors are said to generally feel uneasy when they visit.

Graceland Cemetery

Graceland Cemetery was established in 1860 and is home to many of Chicago’s most notable individuals. The cemetery is one of the most eerie locations close to Chicago, although not because of a well-known person. Actually, it’s Inez Clarke, a six-year-old.

It was beginning to rain in 1880 when Inez was outside enjoying fun. The young girl was struck by lightning shortly after. At Graceland Cemetery, there is a stone statue of Inez enclosed in a glass case for protection.

Visitors and employees at the cemetery have observed that on wet days, the monument entirely disappears. Inez Clarke’s statue is placed back into its glass case once the storm has passed. Many others wonder if she vanishes to play in the torrential rain again.

Jane Addams Hull House

Just off Interstate 90 is another of the most haunted locations in the Chicago area. To assist recently arrived immigrants, Jane Addams oversaw the well-known Hull House, a communal residence on Chicago’s west side. Actually, when Addams claimed to have heard footsteps in her chamber, it was she who first brought up the eerie features of the property.

According to legend, Jane’s footsteps are those of a woman who passed away in the same room prior to Jane moving in. Nonetheless, the most well-known local legend connected to Hull House is the tale of the “Devil Baby.”

The legend states that a devout Catholic woman who was going to become a mother placed a picture of the Virgin Mary inside the home. Looks normal, doesn’t it? Her enraged spouse screamed, “I’d rather have the devil in this house,” as he destroyed the artwork.

The baby, who had scales on his skin, horns, and hooves upon birth, was suddenly left at Hull House months later. Addams allegedly tried and failed to baptize the infant; hence, he was kept in the attic until his death.

Even though this folktale is entirely made up, it captivates every guest at Hull House. There are numerous reasons to visit this lovely, free museum!

The Murder Castle

If you’re reading a piece about haunted locations close to Chicago, you’re probably already familiar with H.H. Holmes. Throughout his life, Holmes was a businessman who enjoyed making renovations to his Chicago home.

There were gas rooms, trap doors, torture cells, and other horrible places inside. The notorious serial killer H.H. Holmes’ Englewood torture castle was demolished in 1938.

Using the 1893 Columbian Exposition as an opportunity, he committed atrocities against numerous women. The location is now just a parking lot. Next door is a post office that looks like it might be partially built on top of the castle.

The post office has handled a good amount of cargo. In the basement, they have encountered a variety of poltergeist events, such as moving objects, furniture that has been found stacked on top of one another, and female voices that chant and speak.

Of course, Holmes would dismember and mutilate victims at the basement level of the structure. It makes sense why the postal workers encounter spectral disturbances.

Camp Douglas

In 1861, Chicagoans who had just joined the military for the first time were housed at Camp Douglas as training grounds. It was soon after transformed into a prisoner-of-war camp for Confederate soldiers in 1862.

Over 12,000 individuals were crammed into the Camp, which was built to hold 4,000 prisoners. Because there were no drains, the sanitary conditions were horrific and the living conditions were terrible.

A great number of individuals died from diseases like malaria and smallpox. The bodies were moved to make Lincoln Park after being buried in the municipal cemetery. Many ghosts haunt the Camp Douglas site even though Oak Woods Cemetery is their final resting place. They usually take visitors by the hand or arm and assume the form of mysterious men clothed in historical clothing.