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Haunted Chicago

Updated on July 10, 2014

Explore the Haunts of Chicago, Illinois!

Why is Chicago such a haunted city? No one knows - perhaps it is the ghosts of the souls who died in the Great Chicago Fire, or maybe its the spirits of Chicago's pre-European settlers, or maybe its just the many people who lived, loved and died in Chicago over the last few centuries - in any event, the city is one of the more haunted locations in America.

Known for great ghost tours as well as wonderful history books of haunted occurences, Chicago is no "second city" when it comes to Halloween! Check out the ghost tours or books below for a spookily fun time!

Top Five Most Haunted Places In Chicago

1. Excalibur Night Club - Currently a popular downtown nightclub, the building that Excalibur occupies has been rumored to be haunted for over three decades. Employees observed objects moving on their own, glasses and windows shattering, strange voices and singing, and cold spots in the building. Many people attribute these hauntings to be related to the Eastland disaster of 1915, as bodies from the disaster were brought to the building which was used as an emergency morgue.

2. Graceland Cemetery - Still in use as a cemetery on Chicago's North side, Graceland has many stories of ghost sightings and strange visions or sounds. The most famous is the story of the Inez Clarke monument. A statue of a six year old girl who tragically died, the monument is said to move and make sounds, as well as present herself to other children who visit the cemetery.

3. Clarence Darrow Memorial Bridge - So named for the famous American Civil Liberties Union member and lawyer Clarence Darrow, the Clarence Darrow Memorial Bridge is said to be haunted by his ghost. Darrow was most famous for defending teenage thrill

killers Leopold and Loeb in their trial for murdering a 14-year-old boy named Bobby Franks, and it is said every year his ghost returns to the bridge on the anniversary of his death.

4. Jane Addams Hull House - In 1889 Miss Jane Addams opened up the Jane Adams Hull House to help the poor and disadvantaged. There were rumors that Jane Addams took in a baby that had horns, pointed ears, and a tail - a so called "devil baby". In addition, Jane Addams herself believed Hull House to be haunted by a previous owner of the house, Mrs. Charles Hull, who died in the building.

5. Resurrection Cemetery - Resurrection Cemetery is the home of Chicago’s most famous ghost, Resurrection Mary. She is thought to be the spirit of a girl who was struck and killed by a car in front of the cemetery. Reports of a disappearing woman in white and a phantom hitch-hiker have been recorded since the 1930’s through present day, and nearly every Chicagoan knows someone who has personal experience with seeing her!

Take a Haunted Chicago Tour - Experience Haunted Chicago!

There are a variety of tour companies that provide guided tours to haunted places in Chicago year round, and most include stops to one or more of the top five haunted places in Chicago mentioned above. If you are a native or planning a trip to Chicago, check out these great tours!

Chicago Haunted Books

Graveyards of Chicago: The People, History, Art, and Lore of Cook County Cemeteries
Graveyards of Chicago: The People, History, Art, and Lore of Cook County Cemeteries

Discover a Chicago That Exists Just Beneath the Surface -- About Six Feet Under.

Ever wonder where Al Capone is buried? How about Clarence Darrow? Muddy Waters? Harry Caray? Or maybe Brady Bunch patriarch Robert Reed? And what really lies beneath home plate at Wrigley Field? Graveyards of Chicago answers these and other cryptic questions as it charts the lore and lure of Chicagos ubiquitous burial grounds.

Like the livelier neighborhoods that surround them, Chicagos cemeteries are often crowded, sometimes weary, ever-sophisticated, and full of secrets. They are home not only to thousands of individuals who fashioned the citys singular culture and character,but also to impressive displays of art and architecture, landscaping and limestone, egoism and ethnic pride, and the constant reminder that although physical life must end for us all, personal note--and notoriety--last forever.

Grab a shovel and tag along as Ursula Bielski, local historian and author of Chicago Haunts, and Matt Hucke, photographer and creator of, unearth the legends and legacies that mark Chicagos silent citizens--from larger-than-lifers and local heroes, to clerics and comedians, machine mayors and machine-gunners.

Creepy Chicago: A Ghosthunter's Tales of the City's Scariest Sites
Creepy Chicago: A Ghosthunter's Tales of the City's Scariest Sites

True Tales of Chicago's Famous Phantoms, Haunted History, and Unsolved Mysteries. If you're from Chicago or like to visit here, you've probably been to some of these places. Or at least you've heard of them: The John Hancock Buildling. The Field Museum. Lake Michigan. Navy Pier. Wrigley Field. The Biograph Theater. Graceland Cemetery. They are some of Chicago's landmarks and famous places. They plan an important role in our city's history and character. One more thing...they're haunted! At least that's how it seems. Funny things, frightening things, and unexplainable things can be seen and heard in connection with many of the people, pleaces, and events from Chicago's history. People like Resurrection Mary (she was real!), gangster John Dillinger, and Cubs announcer Harry Caray. Spooky places like cemeteries and not-so-scary places like the schools and beaches you may go to. Horrible historic events like the Fort Dearborn and St. Valentine's Day Massacres. It's no wonder that ghosthunter and author Ursula Bielski believes this is the most haunted city in America! Read these nineteen tales and decide for yourself just how creepy Chicago is and whether or not your city is haunted by the people and events of its past.

Chicago Haunts: Ghostlore of the Windy City
Chicago Haunts: Ghostlore of the Windy City

With the first edition of Chicago Haunts, author Ursula Bielski captured 160 years of Chicago's haunted history in the first volume ever devoted to this intriguing subject. Combining lively storytelling with in-depth historical research, exclusive interviews, and insights from parapsychology, Bielski penned a unique and fascinating exploration of the region's supernatural folklore.

Chicago's Street Guide to the Supernatural: A Guide to Haunted and Legendary Places In and Near the Windy City
Chicago's Street Guide to the Supernatural: A Guide to Haunted and Legendary Places In and Near the Windy City

Chicago's Street Guide to the Supernatural by Richard T. Crowe is a personally guided tour to local haunts and mysterious sites. All areas of Chicagoland and suburbs are covered and exact directions and field notes compliment the history of each location.


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Books About Haunted Illinois

The Big Book of Illinois Ghost Stories (Big Book of Ghost Stories)
The Big Book of Illinois Ghost Stories (Big Book of Ghost Stories)

The latest volume in the Big Book series contains more than 100 stories from haunted locales across the Prairie State. Compiled by Illinois's best-known author on the paranormal, this collection includes:

Permanent guests of the Mineral Springs Hotel

The horrible history of the Old Slave House

Active spirits in Decatur's Lincoln Theater

Foreboding Voorhies Castle

Hauntings in Lincoln's house

Tragic specters at the Iroquois Theater

Rumors of a Devil Baby in Hull House

Chicago's famous Resurrection Mary

Vanishing hitchhikers

Haunted Illinois: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Prairie State (Haunted Series)
Haunted Illinois: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Prairie State (Haunted Series)

The mysterious and often violent history of Illinois has made the state a haven for restless spirits. This volume explores the supernatural side of the Prairie State, with stories on the horrors of an old slave house, the numerous spirits of Alton's McPike Mansion, the cemetery where the dead walk, the Spring Valley Vampire, the ghosts of the Bartonville Asylum, Chicago's famous Resurrection Mary, and the spirit world of Abraham Lincoln.

Haunting Illinois: A Tourist's Guide to the Weird & Wild Places of the Prairie State
Haunting Illinois: A Tourist's Guide to the Weird & Wild Places of the Prairie State

For over a decade, Michael Kleen, author of the Legends and Lore of Illinois, has researched and traveled to mystery spots all over the Prairie State. Now, he has created the most organized and comprehensive guide to haunted and legendary places ever written about Illinois. Haunting Illinois is that guide. Haunting Illinois contains 200 mystery sites and 85 individual illustrations. In this book, Michael not only examines the sites, but also the hobbyists and professionals who have devoted their lives to exploring the strange and unusual in our great state. Divided among eight distinct regions and listed by county, each location features a description, directions, and sources drawn from a diverse variety of books and articles. Haunting Illinois challenges you to get off the couch and start exploring our wonderful State of Illinois. You might be surprised at what you discover!

Resurrection Mary (Haunted Illinois)
Resurrection Mary (Haunted Illinois)

The First Book Ever Written Solely on the History & Hauntings of Archer Avenue & Chicago's Most Famous Ghost, Resurrection Mary! Archer Avenue, the famous haunted highway on Chicago's southwest side, has been a source of fascination for ghost hunters, history buffs and paranormal enthusiasts for decades. In addition to the haunted houses, graveyards and buildings that line this old road, Archer Avenue is home to the one of the most famous ghosts in America -- Resurrection Mary! She has been the subject of songs and the stuff of legend since the middle 1930s but for the first time, Troy Taylor will recount not only scores of sightings and first-hand accounts with this elusive phantom but will reveal the results of his own investigations, from the complete history, her mysterious origins, ghostly encounters and the identity of the "girls who would be Resurrection Mary"! Taylor's book, Resurrection Mary, is more than just a collection of ghost sightings. It's also the first in-depth account of the history, mystery & hauntings of Archer Avenue, a former Indian trail that is one of the oldest roadways in the Chicago region. Other historical hauntings that are explored in the search for Resurrection Mary include hauntings of Chinatown, History & Hauntings of Bridgeport, Archer Avenue's haunted graveyards, Kean Avenue Hauntings, Mysteries of the Forest Preserves, the Maple Lake Spook Light, The Haunted Roadhouse, Hauntings at St. James-Sag Church & Burial Ground & Much More!

Ghosthunting Illinois (America's Haunted Road Trip)
Ghosthunting Illinois (America's Haunted Road Trip)

Lock the doors, draw the curtains, and light a candle as you join author John Kachuba on a guided tour of Illinois’s most terrifyingly haunted places. Your hair-raising journey will take you to:

• Old State Capital, Springfield — Lincoln lay in state here before his burial in Oak Ridge Cemetery. Could his ghost haunt the spot where his body lay?

• Harpo Studios, Chicago — When the Eastland steamer capsized in 1915, the building served as a temporary morgue. Oprah’s employees have encountered the ghosts of the victims, including the “Gray Lady” who floats through the halls.

• And many more scary sites.

Maps and travel information are provided to every haunted location for those brave enough to make the journey in person.


Have you ever experienced a haunting?

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    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 

      6 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      Yes, in fact I have written a couple of lenses about my experiences.


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I had but have never been to cemetery before, I doubt that I would ever be bold enough to visit these haunted places.

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 

      6 years ago

      Next time I'm in Chicago, I'm putting these haunted stops on my list :)

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I have definitely felt some creepy moments before. There are some creepy places in Chicago, it's a city with a lot of history. Wish I had a chance to go on a tour of the haunted locations when I lived in Indiana. Nicely done, blessed.

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 

      7 years ago

      OK ... I'm going to fill you in on what a ghost really is. You cannot see a ghost but you can sense one. That is simply because everything in the universe is ENERGY and you are sensing the energy of a soul who is not at peace with himself. Trust me ... I am Zut Moon ...

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      No, but it sounds like Chicago would be the place to go!


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