Time for a road trip! FOOD. GHOSTS. CHICAGO. What could be better? I have always had a fascination with the paranormal, and I love attending paranormal events, so when I saw an event on Facebook advertising a ghost tour – I had to go! Plus, I only live about 5 hours from Chicago. The tour was on a bus and included lunch. It was scheduled from 10 AM – 4 PM.
My family and I stayed in a suburb of Chicago. We drove to a train station near the hotel (the station was only about 10 minutes away) to take the “L” transit system into the city. Our tour departed from the Congress Hotel at 9:45 AM. We got on the 8:15 AM train. It was an easy to walk from our train stop to the Congress hotel. Once we had checked in, we realized we had the same tour guides that we had around 12 years ago! When I was little, I was interested in ghosts, so my mother took me on a ghost tour in Chicago for a summer vacation.
The first stop of the tour was to view a plaque representing the Battle of Fort Dearborn. It’s said that the area is haunted by the ghosts of the killed frontiersman. I found it interesting that this was the only place to have a plaque or landmark that told the history of what had happened.
The second spot on the tour was the school where Bobby Franks, the 14-year-old victim of Leopold and Loeb, had attended. Down the street from the school is where they stopped the car and murdered Bobby with a hammer and chisel. There were other places I would’ve liked to have seen beyond the schoolhouse from this tragic event, but it was interesting nonetheless.
The next killer on the list was Richard Speck. We were taken to the “dormitory” of the nurses who murdered. It was an awful feeling to see the house in person. It was interesting to learn that a previous tour guide’s aunt was the neighbor who heard the only survivor of the murders call for help. I’m thankful that the survivor was able to see Richard Speck’s tattoo on his arm since that’s what’s lead to his arrest. Speck slit his wrists after the murders and was taken to a hospital where the doctor identified his tattoo. I couldn’t imagine living in this place where the murders happen. I wonder what the tenants experience?
The next stop on the tour was to view the location of H.H. Holmes murder castle. I was interested in learning about how Holmes would hire contractors and then fire them. It’s believed he did this, so he was the only one who truly knew the layout. The castle is no longer standing, but one wall from the castle is used as a foundation wall in the basement of the post office. Many workers have complained about the basement and the intense, negative energy it holds. The tour guides also talked about how there are many theories about his death. Some believe he took over the identity of a man named H.H. Holmes, while others think he really was H.H. Holmes. Some question whether he paid someone to find a man who looked similar to himself to be hanged while others believe he was hanged. Each theory is interesting, especially since the DNA of the man buried does not match that of a living decedent to H.H. Holmes. However, there could be multiple reasons for that. I was shocked that Holmes was allowed to be buried under concrete per his request. He had no respect for the lives of his victims and should not have been given an option that his victims never had – in my opinion.
After Holmes, it was lunchtime! The food was delicious! The chicken and potatoes were so good! Also, the Iowan in me was obsessed with their homemade ranch! Lunch was at the Great Escape Restaurant, and the owner told us some stories of what he experienced. This restaurant was chosen due to its ties to Al Capone and their own hauntings. The staff there have seen apparitions and heard odd noises. Many employees will not go into the basement unless they go in pairs of two. While building an addition on to the restaurant, they even found two pairs of buried hands…
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