BOO1I have a love-hate relationship with October. I love the decorations, pumpkin carving, the sweet smell of fall in air and the vivid colors of soon-to-be leafless trees. I love hot chocolate, riding boots, big scarves and spending hours trying to find that perfect Halloween costume. So what is there not to like? Being scared. Yet, every year I find myself in the same scenario: looking up ghost stories, attending haunted houses and watching scary movies.

This time, enjoying my first fall in the city, I did some research on Chicago’s “colorful” past and old “haunts.” Chicago definitely still has some skeletons in the closet. Below are some of my favorites:

THE EASTLAND DISASTER The Titanic was not the only ship disaster of 1915. On July 24, 1915 the SS Eastland, a passenger ship, rolled over while tied to a dock in the Chicago River. Almost 900 men, women and children were killed in the water that day. Chicagoans have claimed that late at night you can still hear screams of women and children shouting for help from the water only to look and see nothing there.

THE ORIENTAL THEATER Previously named Iroquois Theater it was completed in November of 1903. On December 30th, 1903 a matinee play starring Eddie Foy was packed to the brim. The theater, falsely advertised as extremely fireproof, caught fire and more than 2,000 patrons were trapped inside. Since then famous actors and actresses throughout the years have noted seeing women and children dressed in old time winter clothing walking the hallways late at night.

THE CONGRESS HOTEL The Congress Hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in Chicago! The hotel was home to mobsters, gangsters and one of the city’s famous killers H.H. Holmes. Guest have noted seeing a ghostly couple dancing in the ballroom late at night, and the sound of a little boy can be heard running up and down the hall near the north tower. Paranormal fanatics come from all around the world to stay in room 441 where security has been called multiple times as they have reported seeing the silhouette of a woman in their room.

Do you have goose bumps yet? Looking to hear more? This Halloween the Chicago History Museum and Haberdash present Boo: A Halloween Ball. Together they will resurrect Chicago’s haunted past with an elegant evening affair, complete with time-honored Chicago ghost stories, co-written and staged by Jessica Thebus.

Danny Shapiro of Scofflaw, Justin Cochren of the J Parker, and Paul Bastien of Drumbar will use their mixologist skills to whip up spooky sips and DJ Nix will be setting the music scene. Details and ticket information can be found here. It’s sure to be a SPOOK-tacular event! We hope you can make it!

Stay Creepy, Chicago!

Alexis Lucente Assistant Publicist