The state of the world is already terrifying, so you may as well throw some seasonal spookiness in the mix. The city’s history range from interesting to terrifying, so you know there’s definitely a few Chicago hauntings all over town. These scariest spots’ll have you both ready to say, “It’s freakin’ bats…I love Halloween.”
St. Michael’s Church
Located in Old Town, this is one of seven buildings in Chicago that survived the path of the Great Chicago Fire. Rumors say that the Devil himself appeared in the Communion line at the church in the ’70s (holy pup). He won’t mess with you if your little angel is around so you have nothing to worry about.
Jane Addams, the “mother of social work” and the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, founded Hull House as a settlement home to help European immigrants. Your pup thinks history is cool but what they really wanna know about are the ghosts. The wife of Charles Hull haunts Hull House, with her footsteps being heard in the room where she passed. The most famous urban legend is the “Devil Baby” that was said to have scaly skin, hooves, and horns; after being abandoned, the fabled baby was raised in the attic until its death.
Hull House exists on the present day University of Illinois at Chicago campus. Since Fido isn’t welcome in the museum, see if you can catch a glimpse of any shadowy figures and then take a sniff stroll along campus to reward him for being the bravest dog in the world.
The Green Mill
Your classy pup listens to jazz to unwind after a long day of napping and there’s no place better than The Green Mill in Uptown. Al Capone must have had similar taste, since he was known to have a private booth. Jack “Machine Gun” McGurn, an associate of Capone and the owner of the club, was said to have played a part in the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
While The Green Mill doesn’t do tours of the tunnels and trap doors that were used by gangsters, they currently have outdoor seating so you can grab a drink and enjoy some jazz on their patio. Less murder; still fun.
The Congress Hotel
Al Capone ran Chicago, and The Congress Hotel was not excluded in his reign. His operations were headquartered in this downtown hotel, and his ghost has been said to be spotted on the property–especially near his 8th-floor suite. But he’s not the only ghost checked into this hotel! The victims of Dr. H. H. Holmes, America’s first serial killer, are also said to roam the halls.
The rooms at The Congress Hotel aren’t dog-friendly, so at least your pup won’t have to worry about a ghost staring at them in the middle of the night. But you can make your own staycation at the Chicago Athletic Association down the block. Skip the line by ordering room service from the Shake Shack downstairs; your pup is channeling Al Capone and waits for no one.
In 1915, the SS Eastland steamship capsized on the Chicago River between Clark and Lasalle Streets, and over 800 people perished. There have been numerous sightings of apparitions and irregular wave patterns on the stretch of the accident (it definitely doesn’t help that many of the establishments on the river were used as a makeshift morgue).
Your pup’s going to have a firm talk with you about swimming lessons after learning about this shipwreck. Luckily, the riverwalk is exceptionally dog-friendly with plenty of restaurants such as O’Brien’s Riverwalk Cafe, so at least you can have this talk over brunch.
Justice, IL is right outside of Chicago and the home of the most famous ghost in the area, Resurrection Mary. Stories of this “vanishing hitchhiker” describe a young woman in a white dress who asks for a ride along the stretch of Archer Avenue between the Willowbrook Ballroom and the cemetery. Then, she asks to be let out near the cemetery and eerily disappears.
Take your dog for a ride along this stretch of land and if you see a woman in white along the side of the road…sorry, your dog needs room in the car to stretch out. No rides for ghosts today!
There are plenty more Chicago hauntings in the city; what are your favorites? Drop them in the comments and don’t forget to tag #SidewalkDog on your ghost hunting adventures. And if you tend to be a scaredy cat, sniff out these Chicago dog-friendly pumpkin patches for a less spooky time.
(Photo by Fotoshautnah)