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Chicago Is Named The 'Most Haunted' City In Illinois

By Kate Shepherd in News on Oct 9, 2015 9:15PM


Chicago's history is full of gruesome stories from the St. Valentine's Day Massacre to H.H. Holmes' murder castle to Lincoln Park Zoo being built on top of City Cemetery. So it's no surprise that Chicago's the most haunted city in Illinois, according to ghost site Mysterious Heartland's ranking of Illinois' most ghostly cities.

Chicago gets credit from the site for one of the world's most famous ghost stories even though it technically takes place outside city limits. Resurrection Mary is a vanishing hitchhiker who many men claim to have picked up along Archer Avenue before she disappeared into Resurrection Cemetery in suburban Justice. The story has taken on a life of its own and inspired everything from tours to a 5k run to a terrible looking movie. The sightings started in the 1930s and continue to the present day.

Experts believe that Mary is either the ghost of Mary Bregovy, who died in a 1934 car accident in the Loop, or Anna "Marija" Norkus, who was killed in a 1927 car accident while on her way home from the Oh Henry Ballroom, according to Chicago Now.

What are the most haunted places within city limits? According to Mysterious Heartland, they are:
1. the Congress Plaza Hotel in the Loop
2. Excalibur Club/Castle (now closed) in River North
3. Red Lion Pub in Lincoln Park
4. the Drake Hotel in the Gold Coast
5. Tonic Room in Lincoln Park
6. Holy Family Church in Little Italy
7. Adobo Grill in Old Town
8. Ethyl's Party/Tito's on the Edge in Chinatown
9. the Oriental Theatre in the Loop
10. Lourdes High School (closed) in West Elsdon

The Congress Plaza Hotel is so haunted that an Australian celebrity chef made headlines last year when he left the hotel terrified in the middle of the night. He wrote about his experience at the hotel in a Facebook post:

"The walk from the elevator to room 447 was one of the weirdest experiences ... it suddenly felt airily cold and I sensed that something just wasn't quite right with the energy, not only in the hallway, but even more so once I was inside my room.

"I tried to shake it off and tell myself it was all in my head, but the extremely uneasy feeling didn't go away, if anything it became more intense, so I grabbed my bags and pretty much ran out! I bypassed check-out, jumped straight in a cab and got the %$&# outa there."

"Check them out if you like, it says it's the most haunted hotel in the USA."

If you want to get creeped out, Trip Advisor is full of people's first-hand accounts of ghosts at the Congress Plaza.

Although it's technically located in suburban Midlothian, Chicago also gets credit for one of the most famous haunted places in the world, Bachelor's Grove Cemetery. The tiny, abandoned cemetery is in a Cook County forest preserve and hard to access. Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures investigated Bachelor's Grove and Excalibur/Castle in 2012 and you can watch the highlights here.

The other cities to make Mysterious Heartland's list include: Alton, Rockford, Peoria, Carbondale, Springfield, St. Charles, Decatur, Galena and Naperville.

h/t NBC Chicago