Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chicago's Most Haunted Hotel - The Congress Plaza Hotel

The Congress Plaza Hotel stands on Michigan Ave in the nation's windy city of Chicago. Reported to be the most haunted hotel in Chicago, it was built to house the travelers attending the 1893 world's fair and also served as the hotel for the first annual Chicago ghost conference.

The hotel had many famous guests over the years, and it is rumored to have once been owned by the notorious gangster Al Capone. There have been reports of seeing the ghost of Al Capone in the hotel,  and some even say that he used the hotel as his headquarters. However, there is no evidence to suggest Al Capone actually stayed at the Congress Plaza Hotel. Historians do agree that Al Capone began his days in crime in the old Metropole Hotel at 2003 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and in 1928, he relocated to the Lexington Hotel under the alias “George Philip” until October of 1931. It is possible he stayed at the hotel briefly under another alias (If you are interested to know more about other Displaced Hauntings read Displaced Hauntings - The Haunted Railroad Tracks)


The hotel has also reported to have other unexplained activity. Many of the recent guests have sighted a ghost the hotel staff call Peg Leg Johnny, a hobo that is said to have been killed there many years ago. There has been legends of many ghosts of the famous that haunt the hotel, as well as reports of appliances turning themselves on and off. Security guards also have reported hearing ghostly noise coming from the hotel ballroom only to find it empty and quiet upon investigation. 

One can also see a gloved hand sticking out of a wall. It is the hand of a worker that mistakenly got behind drywall during construction. The staff call it the hand of mystery. 

So the next time you are in the windy city, take a room at the Congress Plaza Hotel and experience Chicago's most haunted hotel.

For more information you could check out the official Congress Plaza Hotel website http://www.congressplazahotel.com/


-------------------------------------------------------------------
Remember to check out our Paranormal Corner Online Store and if you have story you would like us to look into for posting in our blog contact us at waikikiblogboi@gmail.com
-----------------------------------------------------------------

35 comments:

  1. where did you get your information about hauntings at the Congress?

    ReplyDelete
  2. There are lots of pages on the web describing the hauntings at the Congress Hotel. I also got some of it from friends that have experienced some of the hauntings themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We Stayed at the Congress Plaza hotel last weekend. The elevator kept topping on the 8th floor, but there was never anyone there. We took a walk on the eighth floor, and one of the girls snapped a pic of a seemingly empty hallway. Later, when we were looking at them, a man's face could be seen floating in mid air by one of the doors. I also heard someone whisper "hello" to me as I left hotel room 933.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 8th floor is where a male ghost roams the halls constantly so its kinda weird that it kept stopping on that floor. ;)

      Delete
    2. Two years ago my kids and I stayed on the 8th floor, after 10p.m. we heard a lady screaming on and off as well as a baby cying, but when we called down stairs to the front desk, they said they didn't have anybody with a baby staying on our floor or on that side...then we could here whispering in our bathroom, but when we go in there, it would stop, and our t.v. would turn on and off by it self!!!

      Delete
    3. My husband and I stayed in October 2008. There were three different occasions when the elevator went to different levels with no one waiting for it. Later in the night, my husband went to get ice and I was too scared to stay in the room by myself so went out with him and waited at the bottom of the hall steps. While waiting, I heard a trickling water sound coming from behind the wall opposite the staircase and started to walk towards it. As I got closer I could hear whispering. The closet was also weird. There was a door and inside was a dirt wall. Very creepy - we slept with the light on!

      Delete
  4. Al Capone lived at the Lexington Hotel...not the Congress Hotel. Google it if you do not believe me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The way the story goes as I have read is that Capone used the congress for business but stayed at the Lexington...However there was a passageway underground from the Lexington to the Congress...

      Delete
    2. You're totally right

      Delete
  5. The family that owned controlling interest in The Congress Hotel Company from 1910 until 1932 was named Kaufman. Nathan Kaufman, known as NM, was chairman of the board of directors and president of the company from 1911 until his death in 1918. He was followed by his brother Daniel, and then brother Samuel, and finally H L Kaufman, who was called Hal. One of the brothers lived there and managed the Hotel from 1911 until 1932 There were five brothers and some in-laws who all sat on the board at various times over the years...mostly three to five at a time. I have been studying this family for several years now and there is no mention of Al Capone in relation to the Hotel, either in fact or legend, that I have found.
    What year(s) are you referring to? Do you have any references, other than paranormal sites? If you are correct it would be a very interesting development!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I stayed there last year and I had no type of haunting expierence, and I roamed around alone a few times seeing if something would happen, I am going again in August, so maybe I will this time but I took the elevators by myself multiple times and I had no weird things happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So did you experience anything the 2nd time around?

      Delete
  7. me and a friend was there this week for a yaerbook camp session mon-wedsay. i already had a fealing that something was wrong it was extremly cold even without the air it was very creepy and we keep hearing bumping and seeing shadows . the elevators were weird and were stoping on floors that no one was getting on or off we kept hearing ppl walk down the halls but everytime i opened the dooor no one was there . we didnt sleep in the back room because the bathroom was there and it always souded like someone was in there and the second day i went to take a shower when i stepped out i keept hearing whispering alot of it it souded like a woman but i couldnt make out what she was saying .we stayed on the 13 floor in room 1481

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also here right now, and I have stayed here many times in the past. I have never experienced anything unusual at all.

      Delete
  8. We'll.... Im here right now..... Nothing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I work at the congress and as of yet nothing but im starting to feel weird things when im alone im a bellman its strange

    ReplyDelete
  10. Last week I stayed at the congress with some friends. One of my friends in Chicago (knowing I was in town) gave me a call. Not wanting to wake anyone in the room, I sat out in the hall to take the call. While out there, I began hearing tapping. It sounded like wood tapping on wood. I knew that the hotel was haunted by a hobo with a peg leg, so I took that as my cue to go back inside the room. I stayed on the phone with my friend, and he suggested meeting me in the lobby of the hotel even though it was a bit late. Not wanting to go down 13 floors by myself in a haunted hotel, I tried to get one of my awake friends to go with me. None of them wanted to go so I declined my friend's offer. Now I'm thankful because I realized I'd have to walk past the ballrooms to get to the lobby.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well, never thought I would post something like this. July 21, 2012 at 0205 hrs. I was staying in a room on the tenth floor. I awake to my girlfriend touching my arm and pointing to the small hallway near the bathroom. The door to the room was opening and the light from the hallway was getting brighter. No shadow was seen. We both stared. It opened about half way. The girlfriend stated, "F#$ a ghost just came into the room." Right when she said that the door slowly closed. We heard the latch hit the striker gently. We got up the girlfriend pushed the door closed. I called the front desk right away. I went to the hallway and no one was there. Security arrived and checked the area. They said it was the Congress Spirit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This likely wasn't a ghost, other visitors reported their stuff stolen at night so you just had one of the hotel's own personnel trying to creep into your room. Just put a door latch on next time you there :-)

      Delete
  12. Yeah, well, I was just at the Congress this past weekend for three days and the only thing that was haunted about the place was how bad of a stay we had there. The room could never get cool, the staff (with the exception of the valets and bellmen) were very unhelpful & rude, and the Gazebo restaurant was a disaster. The whole place needs millions of dollars in renovations and upkeep. All in all, don't spend your money staying there to look for ghosts; it ain't worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its a historic landmark jerk

      Delete
    2. Right - it is a landmark. And, for a landmark, the lack of upkeep is pretty appalling.

      Delete
  13. Totally unaware of actual reports and assumed anything as such would be urban legend. I know this doesn't count as a waking encounter, but in the middle if the night I distinctly heard the snapping of fingers pacing up and down the hall past our 10th floor room.
    Where this gets weird (and it's hard to trust myself here), I dreamt of a housekeeper entering our altered-layout room, informing me he does this all the time and she'd get rid off him by flipping a hallway light switch 3 times, like as signal. She did this and closed the door bidding good night.
    Seconds later, our door flew open and I saw a man sprint past, weight ahead of him with his arms down as if to catch himself from falling as he rounded the corner just before our room, followed by 3 men in suits, shouting. I lost my breath on a gasp and felt as if a hand covered my mouth from behind to muffle a terrified scream. My fiancé heard me start and asked what happened, and I've yet to fill her in on all the details.
    I asked the security guard his thoughts and he seemed knowingly upset and replied this specifically didn't sound familiar but wasn't too far off.
    Just now reading other reports and I can say regardless of no effort or prior research, I got my kicks here at least.
    That being said, I've never encountered a more personable staff. If you want the best in luxury and brand new everything, look elsewhere and plan to pay at least twice more. However, this place has a history and spirit I wouldn't fret a paint chip over. We got a lake view king and I'd recommend it to anyone with the slightest interest in this city's more ancient history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. So much of Chicago's history has been lost

      Delete
  14. my step mom stayed on the 12 floor for four days this week and before she learned the history, she had flickering lights, completely broken lights, taping on her nightstand for hours (starting at 3 a.m.). Never saw anyone in the hallways except for one gentleman always dressed in the same outfit each day walking by her door as soon as she left, he had an ice bucket, bare feet, never spoke, and always different times of the day. Now that she knows the "haunted history," she is wondering if anyone else has seen this "person." Since she was traveling with coworkers, they all stayed in four different rooms on the same floor....Each room, every night, the tv's would turn on and off throughout the night. Her boss woke up to the sound of papers shuffling....looked around...went back to bed only to see a shadowy figure of a man with long beard standing at the foot of his bed. Since he has had past experience with spirits, he wasn't afraid. Please respond if ANYONE has seen the "ice bucket man" because we cannot find anything on the internet....maybe the man needed a lot of ice...lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a great photo that has 3 ghost in it. We were on the 4th floor of the North tower, it is where the Florentine room is. I was with my fiance (who was snoring back in our room) as myself and 4 teenagers roamed the halls and took pictures and videos looking for ghosts. If you want to email me at michelemarie30@yahoo.com and I will send yoy that photo. All 3 appear to be men with one of them looking like an old man. Another time I took my mom to Chicago to see a broadway show and we stayed here because I love this haunted hotel, we were on the 6th floor and we went to the elevators and pushed the down button and when we got in the doors closed and took us up to the 8th floor and no one was there so then I started having fun with it and would ask the ghost to prove they were there and take us to the 8th floor (even though we pushed the down button again before we got in) and it did a total of 3 times during our overnight stay. My moms face was of shock and she was like "what do we do now?" Lol and the doors opened and I snapped a pic and then they closed. I did not see anything in those pics though but the experience was fun. I was like "I freakin' love this haunted hotel!" It is so rich in history! So those of you complaining about it please keep in mind it is the least expensive hotel on Michigan Ave so if you are looking for a luxury room this is not it but it does offer beautiful views and ghostly encounters not to mention the staff is always great! Also, I talked to a lot of the staff on my 3 different stays there and they have mentioned how a little boy is seen there a lot (his mother pushed him and his brother off the top of the building before jumping to her own death). One of the front desk girls saw the little boy chasing a ball in the lobby around 3am and no one else was around so she tried talking to him and he disappeared before her eyes. She quit the very next day. If you dont believe then simply ask next time you stay. Some of the staff have worked there for 10-20 years and they've all had an encounter of some type. I will continue to stay at the Congress Plaza hotel each time I visit Chicago! Also, one last thing, the floor we captured the ghost pic on....Security came up and told us we cant be there because its not safe and kicked us off that floor and the got back in the elevators with us (they prolly didnt want to wait on that floor alone for the next elevator lol) and asked us if we were ghost hunters.

      Delete
  15. I stayed on the 12th floor. I had a crazy dream about a man in a suit & hat. He had the apppearance as if he was in the 1920 - 30's. The man was pacing back & forth to a room that was similar to the one I was staying in. There was this old radio sitting against the wall where the dresser & t.v. would sit, that was playing music from that era. All of a sudden the man ran & jumped out of the window committing suicide. The room number I saw in my dream was room 1214. I told my friends about the dream the next day at brunch. We decided to look for the room when we came back to the hotel. When we returned to the hotel, we could not find room 1214. There was a room 1215 & 1213. I had no knowledge that the hotel was supposably haunted before my stay. The rest of the weekend I had no crazy random dreams. However, my friends told me that they had experienced hearing voices coming from the room in the middle of the night while in the bathroom. When they came out the room was silent. Hearing music that would have been playing during the 1920's & 1930's. I will continue to stay their whenever I visit Chicago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Odd-numbered and even-numbered rooms are in different towers

      Delete
    2. Last July - I heard 1920's and 30's era music on the 12th floor also in the middle of the night - and when I tried to figure out where it was coming from, I couldn't locate a "source", other than it wasn't either room on either side of me, or the hallway .

      Delete
  16. Stayed Nov 2011 for trade show. 2 other coworkers and I explored basement until security booted us. Then took elevator to meeting rooms and in one we would tap and hear exact number responded to. Also, the Gold ballroom was closed but we snuck in and one of my teammates kept getting pelted with plaster pepples every time he spoke. Maybe Haunted?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Howdу! This is mу firѕt comment here ѕο
    I just wantеԁ to give a quick shout
    out anԁ tell you Ιtruly еnjoy reading through your blog posts.
    Can уou recοmmеnd anу other blogs/webѕites/forums
    thаt ԁeal with thе same subjects?

    Τhanks for уour time!

    My ωebsite Atractions in Chicago

    ReplyDelete
  18. Loved this book! And great hot spots to visit.
    "Chicago IT"

    ReplyDelete
  19. I stayed here for several weeks while doing a job in ~2008. It's interesting that the gloved hand that people have seen is of a worker, as when I stayed there every day there were people picketing outside of it that disputed some builder's pay apparently renovating the place.

    At the time I didn't know it was haunted. I had never experienced anything like that and didn't know what to expect anyway. There were a few weird things that I noticed which make sense now that I have read that the place is haunted. I was mostly drunk whenever at the hotel so might have missed some other things.

    It seemed like every morning after I got dressed for work and walked to the elevator it would go DING and show up for me. I kept remarking to myself how timely and lucky it was that these malfunctioning elevators were working to my advantage.

    One night I came back to the hotel and took the elevator up to my room as usual. It stopped on a floor that appeared abandoned and was dark and had all the lights off. Because of the picketers I saw throughout my stay I assumed this floor was under construction. At this point I was fed up with the elevators and stepped out to take the stairs(I think my floor must have been only one or two away). I didn't immediately see a stairway and I was struck with some fear of walking the hallways in the dark to find the stairs, so I jumped back on the elevator and rode it to my floor. It was especially fearful after somebody tried to sell me crack in this elevator and stopped it on some random floor on another night during my stay. After reading some of these posts that dark walk through the hallway would be a bit interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  20. We stayed there a couple weeks back. Beautiful landmark! Friendly staff, clean room. Didn't see or hear anything strange. But unaware that the hotel was haunted until today. But we didn't stay on the 8th. Or twelfth floor either! I would stay again. :~/

    ReplyDelete
  21. I stayed here in the summer of 2015, on the 11th floor. We went exploring on the 12th floor of course. When we went to take the elevator up one floor (I know were lazY) we pressed floor 12 multiple times. Nothing happened for about a minute, but finally when I pressed 12, the elevator shot down to the lobby, opened, and there was no one there. We pressed 12 again and it shot us straight up to 12 (fastest ive ever gone in an elevator). we walked past the bolted door on floor 12. We could hear an alarm going off from one of the rooms, and came to the conclusion that it was the bolted room. We thought it was really strange, but didnt think much of it until we walked back by the room again about 10 minutes later, and the alarm was still going off inside the bolted door (its 2 am at this point). Great experience and would definitely stay there again!

    ReplyDelete

World