A couple weeks ago, I posted an article about the scariest places in Chicago. Well, I decided to visit one of them: The Congress Hotel. To recap, the Congress Hotel is considered one of the most haunted hotels in the windy city. There are several chilling tales about the ghosts that haunt those halls including children on the twelfth floor who can be heard running and giggling through empty hallways, a creepy woman who resides in the most haunted room at the congress hotel, room 441, and even a haunting by Mr. Al Capone himself who used the hotel for business purposes.
It was on a chilly Friday the thirteenth when my friends and I decided to venture into the South Loop where the hotel looms on Michigan and Congress. Me and my two friends, Ali and Sam pushed through the revolving doors of the hotel wondering what ghouls we would encounter. In a way, the three of us each fulfilled a role for our little ghost hunt. I knew of the stories about each haunted area and ghost, my friend Sam, kept track of where in the building the scary things would be and Ali, the bravest, would be the first to open doors into knew creepy hallways, in case a creepy ghost lurked behind them.
We walked towards the elevators in the lobby, avoiding the hotel clerks. When the elevators chimed open, I noted how creepy it was that the elevators were lined with mirrors remembering that sometimes you can see ghosts in mirrors out of the corners of your eyes. I pressed the button for the twelfth floor, allegedly the most haunted floor. The story goes that a woman became so crazy that she threw her kids out of the window and now the floor is haunted by them. On the twelfth floor, there is also a room that is so haunted that the hotel staff had to seal it and lock it shut.
We walked through the floors, getting a feel for the place. Honestly, it felt very off. In a way, the Congress Plaza Hotel is very ran down, however, one thing that is most peculiar about the place is the carpets, which tend to look very old fashioned, but like spooky horror film old fashioned, as if it’s the same type of hallway carpet you would see in the "Shining", when the twins are standing in the hallway. Congress is also split up into four wings, but there is only one elevator, so you have to go through these crazy and creepy corridors to even find the right rooms. It’s very, very easy to get lost. While we were roaming the twelfth floor, we came across the room that was sealed shut. Immediately, I felt pressure in my chest and a cold spot right by my neck. I wasn’t sure at first because it seemed like a "Ghosthunter" cliché but I definitely felt a cold spot and there’s no place I would even feel a draft because I couldn’t see any ventilation that would have blown air. It just felt cold. My friends and I a little spooked by the place and that the sealed off door was real, left the floor and found the elevator. The next stop: the fourth floor.
On the fourth floor is the most haunted room of the hotel (that you can stay in.) The legend is that at night, a creepy woman will shake your bed. The room is responsible for the most phone complaints from guests. We didn’t enter the room, but we did notice that the numbers on the door were different than every other number in that hallway which seemed particularly eerie. After seeing the spooky room, we realize we were sort of lost and didn’t quite know where the elevator was since we had to go through so many corridors to even find the room. We decided to take the stair down instead, which proved to be just as creepy as most the hotel. The staircase was small and steep and turned a little. I couldn’t help but feel paranoid as I ascended. I realized I really wanted to get out of the hotel and I didn’t know why. We made it to the third floor before we realized we reached a dead end. Then we found ourselves in an area that appeared to be a ballroom and there was music playing over a radio, which seemed very weird since it was at least nine at night. Ahead of us were a pair of escalators which seemed uncharacteristic since the hotel had an old, shabby look to it. We heard a voice come out of nowhere, which made me jump. It was a security guard telling us that we can’t be on this floor. We walked down the escalator stairs and finally made it down to the first floor lobby.
I felt relieved that we had made it out as the hotel felt like a paranoid maze of tacky carpet and low lit hallways that seemed to lead nowhere. My friends and I gleamed at the fun time we had exploring the haunted hotel. Honestly, I would highly recommend visiting this hotel if you want something spooky to do. All in all, it was a fun adventure.