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5 lesser-known haunted places in Chicago

Written by
Adam Selzer

It’s no secret that Chicago is home to dozens of places that are said to be haunted, and we have plenty of haunted tours to back those up. Whether the ghosts are real in any of these spots is above my pay grade, but I’ve spent years researching the history at these locations, as well as tracking down firsthand accounts of ghost sightings. Some places, like Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery and the former Excalibur Club, are fairly well-known for their ghost lore (despite the fact that the backstories don’t always check out), but here are a few lesser-known haunts around the city.


The former Marshall Field’s location is said to have served as a morgue after the deadly 1903 fire at the nearby Iroquois Theater. It was more of a hospital, really, but many victims died there. An employee recently told me some of her co-workers didn’t like to go to one particular floor because they sometimes saw apparitions like ominous coffins.

Fine Arts Building 

A grim backstory on this building is hard to come by (unless you count the fact that H.H. Holmes’s daughter Lucy had a wedding here in the 1920s), but several people have told me they've seen people dressed in “old-fashioned” clothes who appear and disappear before their very eyes. 

Bethania Cemetery

Overshadowed in ghostlore by the nearby Resurrection Cemetery, this graveyard in Justice is said to be home to the ghost of an elderly woman who appears by the gates and cusses people out. This is the kind of ghost every Chicagoan should aspire to be. 

Lincoln Park Zoo

A zoo seems like an odd place to see ghosts—until you remember that this section of Lincoln Park was a cemetery for a couple of decades before the Civil War. Bodies are still dug up in the area pretty regularly. It makes one wonder whether the zoo's animals are haunted by centuries-old spirits.

Harpo Studios

Part of this West Loop building and former home of the Oprah Winfrey Show is the old Second Regiment Armory, which served as a morgue after the Eastland disaster a century ago. Several employees have told me about hearing a woman crying in the middle stall of one of the bathrooms, but that could very well be Oprah working through some issues. 

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