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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

The Congress Hotel In Chicago

Most Haunted Hotel In Chicago

Chicago Hauntings: All Kinds Of Ghosts At The Congress Hotel

When we booked our stay at the Congress Plaza Hotel we chose it for its convenience and reasonable price. After the fact we had found out it had a reputation for being one of the most haunted hotels in Chicago. It did not deter us at all. Not believing in ghosts we figured wed take our chances but wanted to know more about its history. Its a great old hotel with lots of character and a colorful past. We wanted to explore the beautiful ball rooms, which are kept locked, so one late night we inquired about viewing those rooms. With a little prodding we were taken up to the secured rooms and given a private ghost tour, not actually seeing or hearing any spirits present. They were spectacular and worth letting your imagination run wild. We did a little further exploration on our own but found no sign of ghosts. Just a big, sprawling old hotel with a a luscious past, helpful staff, and great proximity to culture, entertainment, and transportation. Would recommend it to anyone. The only thing I would note is that if you are in a room that faces the back you will hear the trains go by all day and night.More

  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
The first section, the north tower, of the Auditorium Annex.
Peacock Alley, Circa 1908.

The Congress Hotel.

Benny Goodman And His Orchestra, live from the Urban Room at the Congress Hotel In Chicago. Originally Aired January 6, 1936, 30 minute program.


Chicago Hauntings: The Congress Hotel The Home Of Presidents And Ghosts

CHICAGO — The Congress Hotel officially called the Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center is a striking sight along the Michigan Avenue streetwall downtown. Its red neon sign is particularly resplendent at night especially when seen as a backdrop to Buckingham Fountain during the summer.

But have you ever actually been inside? Tony Szabelski of Chicago Hauntings Ghost Tours has, and he says he always tells people on tours that if there’s any place in Chicago that’s haunted, it’s the Congress Hotel. He describes it as being “very creepy” inside.

The hotel at 520 S. Michigan Ave. opened in 1893, in anticipation of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It was originally called the Auditorium Annex as an adjunct to the Auditorium Building across what is now Ida B. Wells Drive.

“The original conception was an annex with a façade designed to complement Louis Sullivan’s Auditorium Building across the street, at the time housing a remarkable hotel, theater and office complex,” the hotel says on its website.

The Auditorium Annex was built by hotel developer R.H. Southgate, and the first section or the north tower was designed by architect Clinton Warren, with the renowned Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan serving as consultants, the hotel website reports. It included a marble underground tunnel to the Auditorium Building called “Peacock Alley,” the hotel website notes.

But the Congress Hotel also has a longstanding reputation as the home of ghosts.


The Ghosts Of Jane Addams Hull House Museum And Where To See Them

First, in 1913, Hull House got one of its most unexpected residents â a devil baby. Its said that a young Italian couple allegedly abandoned their deformed son on the steps of Hull House. Addams tried to protect the boy from the onslaught of media interest and gawking spectators. No one really knows what happened to him, he just vanished one day. Now, witnesses reportedly see him staring out the attic window. You may get a glimpse of his spirit as hes active during the day and night.

The second floor also has another ghost, a woman in white. She haunts the main bedroom in the northeast corner.

Then, there are the three fountain girls. They used to play chase around the fountain, located just outside the house where their spirits continue to play to this day. You may hear their laughter and feel a cool breeze when they run by you. Dont get too close to the fountain, though. Some say its a portal to hell.

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Hosting Presidents And Major Events

Over the years the Congress has welcomed many presidents as well as hosted major events.

Presidents who have stayed at or visited the Congress include Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Franklin Roosevelt.

In June, 1912, Theodore Roosevelt stayed at the Congress Plaza when the 1912 Republican National Convention was held in Chicago. Roosevelt, who at that time was seeking the Republican nomination for President, spoke from the balcony of his room at the hotel to a crowd assembled across the street in Grant Park.

In October 1916, US President Woodrow Wilson passed the hotel as part of his visit to the city. Over a hundred protestors from the National Women’s Party demonstrated in favor of women’s suffrage with a silent protest. Holding banners such as “Wilson is Against Women,” the demonstrators were attacked by a mob and their banners destroyed while police looked on and, in some cases, laughed, according to newspaper reports.

Events that have been held at the hotel include the 1963 Prohibition Party National Convention on August 23, 1963.

Check Into Living History On Chicagos Michigan Ave

Congress Hotel

Enjoy unparalleled value and gracious hospitality at one of downtown Chicagos most legendary hotels. Located near Grant Park on Michigan Ave., with views of Lake Michigan, the Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center has been a Windy City icon since 1893, playing host to U.S. presidents, international celebrities and performers, foreign dignitaries and elite travelers from around the world.

From the gilded lobby ornately designed with blind arches, marble and chandeliers to impeccable service and classically decorated rooms and suites, a stay at the Congress Plaza Hotel has long been a symbol of luxury and privilege among executives, families and leisure guests seeking to explore the best the city has to offer.

Guest rooms are appointed with everything todays traveler needs, from refrigerators and free Wi-Fi to room service, pillowtop beds and flat-screen televisions with cable and satellite channels. Our Lakeview Rooms offer Lake Michigan views that most downtown Chicago hotels can only dream of. If you are hosting a meeting, wedding or special event, our majestic Gold Room is one of the most beautiful venues in the Windy City.

Walking distance from the Buckingham Fountain, The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, the Art Institute and exclusive Magnificent Mile shopping, we offer a vibrant gateway to exactly the Chicago youve come to discover. Before you set out, be sure to treat yourself to our sumptuous breakfast in the Gazebo Restaurant.

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Congress Plaza Hotel Today

If youre looking for a prime place to stay in the Windy City, this hotel has 871 rooms available with stunning views of the city and the nearby park and lake beyond.

If youre feeling adventurous and looking for a great ghost hunt, then youll definitely find it here at 520 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

Our Chicago Ghost Tours

Are you visiting Chicago? Spending an evening in search of Chicago’s ghost is a great time. Join us on a Ghost Tour for a spooky night of fun!

Watch Out For Peg Leg Johnny

You cant help but get an eerie feeling looking up at the bold, blood red CONGRESS HOTEL sign lit up on the hotels roof. This hotel was built in 1893 to help house the traffic of the Worlds Columbian Exposition, also known as the Worlds Fair.

This large hotel has a dark and mysterious past. Rumors hold that Al Capone and members of his gang owned the hotel and committed some gruesome acts here, but these theories have met some criticism. Al Capone isnt known to have frequented the Congress Plaza as much as some other, more notorious hotels in Chicago.

Mob rumors aside, if you find yourself staying in the South Tower of the hotel, keep an eye out for Peg Leg Johnny, the spirit of a hobo that was brutally murdered at the hotel. The North Tower is not much better. Many security guards have been quoted as seeing an apparition of a young boy playing. This young boy is believed to be the spirit of a boy that was thrown off the North Tower roof by his mother who soon after committed suicide as well.

The oddest haunting seems to be that of Room 441. No one is sure why this room in particular, but visitors have often reported seeing the outline of a woman as well as objects in the room moving, or lights turning on and off at random. Room 441 to this date still receives the most security calls.

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Por Qu Elegir The Congress Plaza Hotel

Elegir el alojamiento ideal para tus vacaciones siempre es una dilema. Priorizar el precio, los servicios del alojamiento, que tipo de desayuno esta incluido, si tiene o no pileta o spa para relajar luego de un dia de caminata, estacionamiento incluido para tener mayor comodidad y trasladarte en Chicago y más entran como opción a la hora de elegir dónde alojarte. Por suerte en Despegar te simplificamos la búsqueda y te ayudamos a optar por el mejor hotel para disfrutar tu estadia en Chicago sin estrés. Te proponemos agilizar tu búsqueda según las fotos del The Congress Plaza Hotel, servicios y amenities incluidas, valoración de limpieza, servicios, personal, wifi y precio/calidad según los huéspedes que se alojaron en el The Congress Plaza Hotel para que puedas tomar la mejor decicisón y elegir la mejor opcion para tu viaje. ¿No te convence? Te dejamos un consejo para ahorrar tiempo y estrés en la búsqueda de tu alojamiento perfecto. Como primer consejo anímate a mirar las opiniones de los usuarios que se alojaron en el The Congress Plaza Hotel y ver las descripciones de los aspectos positivos y negativos hacia él. El segundo tip es mirar el mapa de Chicago y los alrededores del The Congress Plaza Hotel. Allí vas a poder encontrar qué restaurantes cerca tienes recomendados, actividades y entretenimientos populares, distancia a los centros comerciales y los puntos turísticos más emblematicos de Chicago.

As I Got Closer And Closer To Room 441 My Heart Beat Faster And Faster

South Loop Shooting Near Congress Hotel

Although the hallway leading up to room 441 was no different than the others, it definitely felt different. There were two heavy doors at either end of the hallway, making me feel trapped.

I also noticed this hallway was completely silent. There was no noise coming from any of the hotel rooms. The feeling I was completely alone in this hotel crept up again.

I wish I could say I found room 441 and stood in front of it bravely. But truth be told, I freaked myself out. I ran out of the hallway and back toward my room without even stepping foot in front of the supposedly haunted room.

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Hotel Del Coronado San Diego

Kate Morgan has been the resident ghost at the Hotel del Coronado since 1892. The 24-year-old checked into a room on the third floor on Thanksgiving and stayed for five days, waiting for a lover to join her. When he didnt arrive, she took her own life, and her presence has been felt in the guest room where she stayed and in the hotels gift shop.

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Learn About Congress Plazas Rich Past

As the 19th century came to a close, the Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center opened in 1893 as the Auditorium Annex, built by famous hotel developer R.H. Southgate.With its unique façade as the centerpiece, the elaborately designed hotel soon became a favorite among Chicagos captains of industry, society, politics and culture. Today, following nearly 125 years of refinements and refurbishments, the Congress Plaza stands among the most historic hotels in Chicago with a story as rich and fascinating as that of Windy City Itself.

Early History

Originally constructed in 1893, the Congress Plaza Hotel featured cobbled streets, gaslights, and horse drawn carriages. The hotel was originally called the Auditorium Annex when it opened to house the throngs of visitors to the Worlds Columbian Exposition celebrating the 400th anniversary of Columbus discovering America. The original conception was an annex with a façade designed to complement Louis Sullivans Auditorium Building across the street, at the time housing a remarkable hotel, theater and office complex.

The Auditorium Annex was built by famous hotel developer R.H. Southgate. The first section, or north tower, was designed by Clinton Warren, with Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler serving as consultants. Peacock Alley, a celebrated feature of the new hotel, was an underground marble passageway that connected the new annex with the Auditorium Hotel.

Over The Years
Home Of The Presidents

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Mix Of Old And Updated Rooms All With Coffeemakers

The hotel’s 851 rooms and suites were renovated in 2016, but many still have a dated old-world style, with wood bed frames, gold bed throws, and cream patterned wallpaper. Garish curtains, stained carpets, and thoroughly worn out furniture are the norm. Updated rooms ditch the old world look for a modern white palette, consisting of white vanities and tables for two with gray chairs, on top of purple carpets. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, small 32-inch flat-screen TVs, and coffeemakers. Mini-fridges are available for an extra fee and rooms lack individual climate controls. The bathrooms have average shower/tub combos, though some suites get jetted tubs . Most rooms have city views, but upgraded rooms and suites have views of the lakefront.

Vast Elegant Event Spaces Two Restaurants Lounge Bar 24

Congress Hotel Chicago editorial photo. Image of room

The hotel’s main draw are its historic meeting and event spaces, totaling over 50,000 square feet, including an elegant 8,300-square-foot ballroom that can accommodate 2,000 people. There are also a 24-hour business center and a 24-hour fitness center, though it’s equipped with old cardio machines. For dining, Gazebo is a casual American restaurant open daily for breakfast , while Rafaels takes over for lunch and dinner, serving American standards. The Congress Lounge has a pool table, beers, cocktails, and wine, along with a short menu of comfort food like chicken tenders and quesadillas. There’s also a sidewalk patio with outdoor seating. Valet and self-parking are available for a fee.

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That First Night I Could Barely Sleep Because The Ghost Stories Were Swirling Around My Mind

In bed in the dark, I couldnt stop thinking about the ghost stories I read when I first arrived at the hotel. At one point in the night, I turned on the lights in the room because I kept imagining a ghost in the far, dark corner whispering. I even imagined a ghost ripping the blankets off me.

Around 3 a.m., I made two decisions: First, I was going to sleep with the lights on, and second, if anything strange did happen to me, I would check out the next morning and get a new hotel.

Luckily, I fell asleep with the lights on and the rumored ghosts werent active.

The Room In The Congress Hotel

Rumors have long flown that it was a room here at the Congress Plaza that partly inspired writer Stephen King to create his short story,


, a gripping tale of a professionaland skepticalghost hunter who meets his match in a mysterious hotel room said to be too haunted to lease. Unbelieving, the young man convinces the hotels manager to let him have the room for a night, though the previous tenants all took their own lives during their stays in it. The real-life 1408 was always believed to exist on the Congresss most haunted floor: the 12th floor of the older North Tower. Some point to a room which is padlocked and say thats the one. Others say its the one thats been boarded up. Still others claim you cant even place it anymore: its been papered over to remove any sign that it was every there. This room does, in fact, remain. But its not on the 12th floor.

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Into Historic Settings With Modern Amenities

Constructed during an era when it was common for Chicagos elite to permanently reside in a hotel, the 871 rooms and suites at the Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center offer a grand bridge between The Windy Citys legendary past and cosmopolitan present. Befitting their historic design and character, all accommodations are uniquely configured and feature spacious floor plans, high ceilings, expansive bathrooms, and modern technology including in-room internet access and cable for the utmost experience with select rooms and suites featuring spectacular views of Grant Park and Lake Michigan.

All accommodations are appointed with standard amenities like free Wi-Fi, pillowtop beds, refrigerators, room service, safes and flat-screen televisions with cable and satellite channels. Our Lakeview Rooms offer unparalleled views of Lake Michigan, and our Deluxe and Lakefront Suites are equipped with in-room Jacuzzi tubs and splendid views of the Chicago skyline.

Our 21 semi-accessible rooms feature a bathtub and toilet handrails and wider doors for wheelchair access. Service dogs are permitted with certification and the owners valid ID.

Preguntas Frecuentes Sobre The Congress Plaza Hotel

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  • ¿Qué servicios incluye el The Congress Plaza Hotel?
  • Algunos servicios que ofrece el The Congress Plaza Hotel son: – Wi-Fi gratis en zonas comunes- Gimnasio
  • ¿Cuál es el horario de check in y check out de The Congress Plaza Hotel?
  • El horario de check in es de horario de check in: de 15:00 a 05:00 y el de checkout es de horario de check out: 12:00
  • ¿A qué distancia del aeropuerto se encuentra el The Congress Plaza Hotel? ¿Y del centro?
  • El The Congress Plaza Hotel se encuentra a 718 m del centro del centro de Chicago.
  • ¿Cuál es la valoración del The Congress Plaza Hotel según los usuarios que se hospedaron aquí?
  • Basado en los comentarios de 220 usuarios, este hotel tiene una calificación de 7.3.Mirá otras valoraciones de nuestros usuarios:- Servicios 7,1
  • ¿Qué idiomas habla el personal del The Congress Plaza Hotel?
  • En The Congress Plaza Hotel se habla: Inglés

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