I'm Anna, and I'm obsessed with everything spooky — so when I got the chance to stay the night at Chicago's most haunted hotel, the Congress Plaza, you bet your ass I went for it. The hotel is quite old and it looks old, you can hear it creak in some areas. Don't book room number 441 if you plan to stay at the Congress; security is called there than any other room. Which they did quite a bit. These two famous public rooms combined with the Elizabethan Room and the Pompeian Room to host Chicago’s elite social events of the day. © 2020 City Pass, Inc. All rights reserved. The Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center: Haunted? But residents still see him from time to time, walking these hallowed halls with the rat-ta-tat of his two-tone wingtips. The Drake Hotel, jewel of Lake Shore Drive, is home to the famed “Woman in Red”–a tragic young woman who jumped off the roof on the hotel’s opening night in 1920 after discovering her fiance in the arms of another woman. By continuing to browse, you consent to our use of cookies. The nearby O’Hare Hilton, directly across from the airport entrance, was long rumored to have an “uninhabitable” room—one that just made guests so inexplicably uncomfortable that they literally couldn’t sleep. For years Al Capone played cards every Friday night in a meeting room overlooking Grant Park, and rumors abound (though most certainly false) that he even owned the Congress for awhile. The Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center: Haunted & Terrible Stay - See 3,405 traveler reviews, 1,626 candid photos, and great deals for The Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center at Tripadvisor. , a gripping tale of a professional—and skeptical—ghost hunter who meets his match in a mysterious hotel room (1408) said to be too haunted to lease. Wanting to stay put at the hotel, he mustered the strength to try to keep his son (and security guards) from opening the door. One of Chicago’s largest and oldest hotels, the Congress was originally named the Auditorium Annex when it was built to house visitors to the Columbian Exposition—the transformative World’s Fair of 1893. She claimed they had taken the cyanide by accident, having confused it with epsom salts. What is true is that Jake “Greasy Thumb” Gusik phoned Capone in Palm Island, Florida, from a phone in the Congress Plaza . This "Landmark of Chicago Hospitality" was originally built over a hundred years ago to accommodate visitors coming for The Chicago World's Fair. While the Congress Plaza Hotel reigns supreme in the world of Chicago’s haunted hotels, The Drake Hotel (140 E. Walton Place) is a strong second. Through the long months and years, the strikers have won countless supporters, their cause garnering momentum around the world. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Policy. Later, in the early twentieth century, the firm of Holabird & Roche designed the South Tower, completing the current structure, which houses more than 800 rooms. And perhaps it should come as no surprise since with most hotels in the city there have been a number of deaths involving guests (while they were on site or nearby the hotel). Still others claim you can’t even place it anymore: it’s been papered over to remove any sign that it was every there. Research has not turned up the room number. Truly, there seems to be no end to the historic tragedy or of its supernatural manifestations. The Congress Plaza has seen better days. Since 1989, I have participated in more than 3 dozen investigations of the Congress Plaza, documenting no fewer than 47 distinctively haunted rooms and at least two ballrooms, as well as common areas such as employee workrooms and public guest areas. Endless, it seems are the stories that echo the tale of James Kennedy, a New York man who checked in, alone, in May of 1910. As for things hotel guests can actually see, the Congress Plaza Hotel has plenty to offer just by stepping outside its front doors. The Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago was originally constructed in 1893. Let’s talk about ghosts. before and after the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. A few years later, Benny Goodman broadcast his wildly popular radio show from the hotel’s Urban Room, a posh nightclub that drew the city’s most coveted clientele, and in 1971, President Richard Nixon addressed the Midwest Chapters of the AARP and National Retired Teachers Association, speaking before no less than three thousand members and guests in the hotel’s Great Hall. That said, though, even my general skepticism, I’ve been known to say that if the Congress Hotel isn’t haunted, no place is haunted. In its prime it would have been a stunning and majestic hotel. The piano is known to play by itself, and a woman may be heard screaming outside a staff door on the east side of the room. In August of 1950 a guest shot a Congress employee and then himself when the staff member came into the guestroom to collect on a $104 hotel bill for the jobless and distraught boarder. Then there are the top 5 most haunted hotels you can visit. The security team reports strange sounds and objects moving by themselves at night. In Chicago, the Sheraton Gateway Suites Hotel is an 11-story atrium hotel in O’Hare Airport’s Rosemont convention hub. The name referenced the Auditorium Theater across Congress Parkway, an acoustically magnificent structure designed by blockbuster architectural duo Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan. There was the night my worst fear as a ghost hunter came true: the sheets and blankets were peeled off me by unseen hands as I slept. You’ll get to see the very best attractions at a savings, skip select lines and get some extra discount offers—all with our mobile travel guide to help you navigate. That’s all you need to know. . Required fields are marked *. Haunted level 8 – North Tower. Also in the South Tower, a young boy of about ten has been a prolific presence, running up and down the halls in knee breeches and high button boots. Accidents, too, have left their mark here. In Room 474 a once-resident judge eternally changes the channels on his cherished television set. It even inspired Stephen King, the world’s most prolific horror writer, to pen 1408 , a short story about a cursed hotel room notorious for suicides. As for sleeping rooms, only one guest room in the South Tower is reported to be haunted: Room 905, where constant phone static has bedeviled guests for years. In Room 759 another erstwhile resident pulls the door shut from inside when guests try to enter. 1) Congress Plaza Hotel. This room has a troubled past, and guests have reported ghostly experiences while staying in it. Visiting haunted places allows us to experience the real horror. "...1. Though no staff member claims to remember why this room was sealed off forever, window washers tell us it was closed up with the furniture still inside, almost as if even the objects in the room were believed to be cursed. 1 - Congress Plaza Hotel Book a Room Without any doubt, the most haunted hotel in Chicago, IL has to be The Congress Plaza Hotel – known simply as ‘The Congress’ to locals. All Rights Reserved. He went to his room, cut the dry cleaners identification tags out of his clothes, burned his papers, walked to the Lake and shot himself. In July of 1926 a Galesburg woman, Mrs. Harriet Harrison, staying at the Congress with her husband before a planned European excursion, took a wrong step and plunged six stories down an elevator shaft to  the hotel basement. Whats people lookup in this blog: At some point in time, the spot where this room’s door should be was drywalled over, a piece of baseboard patched in to connect the wood where the doorway once stood. But, it seems, the more ghostly apparitions are the ones that people come to see—or not see. I booked a night in the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago. The Hotel Florence, in Chicago’s historic Pullman district, is rumored to be haunted by a woman who lived in the hotel at one time, and the hip House of Blues Hotel is home to a number of phantoms in the larger ghostworld of Marina City, including that of a young girl believed to have died in the hotel structure when it was an office complex. Often cited as the most haunted hotel in America, ... Congress Plaza Hotel, Chicago. The Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center: Haunted? Rather, they are wisps of memory, glimmers of the hundreds of thousands of ordinary guests who have glided through its halls for more than a century, often embroiled in personal drama, heartache and tragedy. There was the salesman who threw himself down an elevator shaft, the drifter who jumped off the roof of the north tower and the troubled family man who hanged himself from a cupboard hook. As for others, legend has it that a lone man roams the eighth floor, where the elevator is said to stop frequently, even though no one has pushed a button. The Congress Plaza Hotel, or just ‘The Congress,’ was built around 1893 for the World’s Fair in Chicago. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. If you are someone who loves learning about ghosts and mysteries? - See 3 404 traveller reviews, 1,634 candid photos, and great deals for The Congress Plaza Hotel & … The Haunted Congress Plaza Hotel Built for the World’s Fair in 1893, the Congress Hotel’s famous, and spooky, history lays claim to many ghastly stories. Noxious odors and disembodied voices are reportedly rife in the building, now an apartment development. Sure enough: some websites and blogs dubbed the Congress Plaza Hotel "The Most Haunted Hotel in Chicago". The Congress Plaza Hotel was built on the corner of Congress Parkway and South Michigan Avenue in 1893 in anticipation of another big festival- the World’s Fair. Originally constructed in 1893, the Congress Plaza Hotel featured cobbled streets, gaslights Those snapped around the grand piano tend to develop with one or more people missing from the pictures, and the doors tend to be found unlocked no matter how often they are securely shuttered. The Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center: Haunted & Terrible Stay - See 3,405 traveller reviews, 1,626 candid photos, and great deals for The Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center at Tripadvisor. This room does, in fact, remain. Even now he remains, determined to live at the Congress forever. In 1904, an elevator operator at the Auditorium Annex fell seventy feet to the subfloor, dying on impact. The Congress Hotel has graced the Chicago skyline since 1893. But the biggest scare is saved for the 12th floor, where there is said to be a room so frightening that the door was fastened shut from the outside. Chicago From a Distance: Virtual Attraction Tour, First Time Visitor’s Guide to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, What You Need to Know to Visit Shedd Aquarium, Things to Do in Chicago with Kids : A Guide to Fun Activities for Kids, Art Institute of Chicago: Everything You Need to Plan Your Visit, Visiting Skydeck Chicago: Everything You Need to Know, Learn more about what you'll receive from us. Over the years, there have been countless additions, renovations, closings, and re-openings. And speaking of the Gold Room, it's rumored that some of the bridesmaids in wedding parties who gather around the piano for photographs do not actually show up in the pictures. See original pics - learn ghostly secrets. You can easily rent a room for your ghost hunts. And then there are the rooms that that I promised the management not to number: the room where the pictures on the wall rotate 360 degrees before the eyes of astonished residents; the room where an impromptu exorcism was held, on some unidentified Chicago winter’s night not so long ago, before the victim was moved to a local convent. Then came the Night of Incessant Knocking, as we came to christen it: More than a dozen times through the night, someone rapped three times on our door, but no one stood by. The room I was assigned to was on the 4th floor I think. The King of Haunted Chicago: Ghosts of the Congress Plaza Hotel. One former hotel operator who worked the property in the 1940s remembers a resident with a wooden leg who always had a big smile and a big tip, who suffered a heart attack at breakfast during his residency and died. Some point to a room which is padlocked and say that’s the one. 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