Best Haunted Houses in Chicago

Sally Painter
Jane Addams Hull House

Some of the best haunted houses in Chicago are open to the public as museums. This presents paranormal enthusiasts and investigators easy access.

1. Jane Addams Hull-House

800 S. Halsted Street (M/C 051), Chicago IL, 60607-7017

The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (JAHHM) memorialize Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams for her social reformation efforts. Jane Addams established Hull-House as a settlement house (help center for poor urban neighborhoods). They offered daycare, kindergarten, a library, taught immigrant English and citizenship preparations to those in the poor communities. Today, the house is a museum and is open to the public on Sundays and Tuesday through Friday with tours twice per week. Admission is a five dollar donation per person.

Jane Addams Denied Devil Baby Rumors

Stories of Jane Addams adopting a Devil Baby were rampant. She vehemently denied the existence of a Devil Baby and wrote in her book, The Long Road of Woman's Memory, how the rumors had impacted the household with unwanted droves of curiosity seekers. The devil baby stories were varied. The common thread was a father cursing the birthing of his child, stating he preferred the devil be in his house than his wife's portraits of the Virgin Mary. The result was a deformed Devil Baby that Jane supposedly adopted.

Lady in White

Over the years, there have been numerous stories of the Lady in White, believed to be original owner Mrs. Charles Hull, who died of natural causes in the second bedroom on the second floor. Reports include:

  • Overnight guests and residents have said they heard disembodied voices and footfalls.
  • Jane reportedly moved into Mrs. Hull's former bedroom but switched rooms due to the ghostly presence.
  • Guests staying in the bedroom were usually haunted by the Lady in White.

2. Mayflower Place, Lake Forest

405 N Mayflower Rd, Lake Forest, Illinois

Built in 1915, the famous Shedd family gave the home to their daughter, Laura Shedd, when she married Charles Schweppe in 1917. In 1937, Laura died of a heart attack. In 1941, Charles Schweppe died when he shot himself in the bedroom. This is a private home and not open to the public.

Ghost in the Window

According to Chicago Magazine, the North Shore mansion remained unoccupied until it was sold in 1987. During the years the 25,000-square-foot mansion was uninhabited, many people claimed to see the ghost of Charles in the bedroom window. It was rumored that regardless of how dirty the bedroom window panes got, one pane was always clean. Other stories claimed that Laura and Charles still reside in the mansion.

3. John J. Gessner House

1800 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, Il, 60616

John J. Glessner House Museum is a National Historic Landmark by renowned American Architect Henry Hobson Richardson. The house architecture was out of step with the Victorian styled homes and is often described as resembling a prison from the street side but features three turrets from the inner court. It's said that Richardson is a resident spirit seen by visitors and staff as a white figure wandering about the house. Glessner House is open Wednesday through Sunday, except major holidays:

  • Tours: 11:30am, 1:00pm, and 2:30pm
  • Free admission on Wednesdays
  • Admission: Adult ($15.00), Senior 60+ ($12.00), Student ($12.00), Child age 5 -12 ($ 8.00), Child under 5 (Free)
  • Six types of tours available

4. The Irish Castle

Corner of 103rd Street and Longwood Drive, Chicago, IL

Known as The Irish Castle, the former home of Robert Givens (1886) has been The Beverly Unitarian Church since its purchase in 1942. Prior to 1942, it was home to a doctor, a manufacturer and a girls' school. The Irish Castle is presently a church and open to the public.

Ghost Girl Seen

The ghost of a school girl who died in the 1930s is believed to haunt the building. The church custodian engaged in a conversation with the girl, who commented how much the building had changed since she'd lived there. The custodian was perplexed, since it had been 20 years since the castle was a school. The girl had vanished without any trace.

  • In 1994, the church pastor witnessed two arms encircle her husband's waist, although he sensed nothing.
  • A lit candle is often seen traveling up the staircase or moving across the windows when no one is inside.
  • Various disembodied sounds, such as glassware and silverware have been heard.

5. Marshall Field, Jr. Mansion

919 S Prairie Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

The Marshall Field Mansion is infamous as the home where Marshall Field, Jr. died (1905). While the family claimed it was an accidental gun cleaning death, rumors spread that it was a suicide. The reasons for the gruesome death ranged from a secret lover to possible illicit dealings in the old Levee District. The mansion was transformed into condos.

Ghostly sightings include:

  • Shadowy figures have been reported.
  • Disembodied unearthly cries have been heard.
  • A white glow was seen coming from windows during renovations.

6. The William W. Kimball House

1801 S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616

The William W Kimball House, home of the famous piano and organ manufacturer, has been rumored to be haunted since his widow Evaline Kimball died in 1921 after suffering years of dementia. Reports persist that the north side windows rattle as though they will shatter for no weather-related reasons or physical defect to the window construction. This is a private home and not open to the public.

7. Keith House

1900 South Prairie Avenue. Chicago, Illinois 60616

Eldridge Keith House is an event venue hosting weddings and other events. The third floor contains rooms that are rented out, while the owners live on the second floor. In a Vimeo video, the owner describes a Dead Man's Café event with three mediums in attendance. All three felt spirits in certain corners of the dining room. In addition, dogs seem lured to attempt entering the house with uncanny regularity.

Finding the Best Haunted Houses in Chicago

It doesn't take much to find some of the best haunted houses in Chicago. Just venture down Prairie Avenue or participate in a walking tour through the older parts of the city to happen upon a house surrounded by ghost stories.

Best Haunted Houses in Chicago