Day 299: The Congress Plaza Hotel

Once owned by Al Capone, who lived in suite 800, the Congress Plaza Hotel has an eerie reputation for being haunted . The first annual Chicago Ghost Conference was held at this haunted hotel at the end of October, 2007.

With hallways that have been described as “like in ‘The Shining’ “, and secret escape routes that still exist decades after Capone’s death, the Congress seems a sure bet for hauntings.  Once housing statesmen and celebrities, the Congress has outlived it’s celebrity.  Couple these facts with a mysterious murder that took place in the 20’s, and the fact that room “666” is allegedly sealed shut without explanation…

Congress Plaza Hotel was built during an era when Chicago featured cobblestone streets, gaslights and horse drawn carriages. Originally the hotel was called the Auditorium Annex, across the street from Louis Sullivan’s auditorium building. Built specifically to accommodate travelers to the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. In 1908 the name of the hotel was changed from the Auditorium Hotel to the Congress Hotel. Over the

years the hotel has had various owners, who updated the property.

The hotel was built over the site of a skating rink. There have been reports of noises coming from the hotel ballroom at night. When security guards open the ballroom doors to see what is going on the ballroom is empty and quiet.

There have been reports of haunting and ghosts in the hallways. Classic poltergeist activity at the hotel, such as appliances turning themselves off and on, have also been reported.

The Elevators leading up to the odd numbered rooms of the hotel.  These elevators were once probably grand now just look as though the life and luster have been sucked out of them.  They appear to be from a scene of a scifi movie taking someone off to another dimension.

As a hotel that has entertained a number of famous guests, there are legends about different well-known personalities who may haunt the hotel. One of the more notorious ghosts may be that of gangster Al Capone, who owned the hotel for a while and used it for his headquarters.

This entry was posted in Architecture, Chicago, Historic Landmarks, Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Day 299: The Congress Plaza Hotel

  1. Melissa says:

    We went on a ghost adventure while we were here, we found where room 666 should be but it is sealed off. The rooms sequence down so when we went to the next floor we seen room 766 was there, right above where room 666 should be. We then seen the molding that’s above each door was still there and the trimmings had been replaced to cover the door frame where room 666 had been.

    Something had to have happened for them to close the room off completely, why close off a perfectly good room? I’ve seen a lot of comments saying its a hoax and they just sealed it off, but when you think about it why seal out a good room that you could be renting out just like room 441. Room 441 is clearly haunted by a woman who just wants her own room.. But if thy went to the extents just to close off that room, something had to have happened or still happening behind those walls.

    • eaj81 says:

      Thanks for sharing, Melissa! That’s such an intriguing story. Now I want to go check it out for myself and do some research into why they would conceal a room like that!

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