Celebrate the Spookiest Season of the Year at the Most Haunted Places in Illinois
CHICAGO – With Halloween just around the corner, the Illinois Office of Tourism compiled a list of some of Illinois’ most haunted attractions, spooky stays and fun-filled frights that any thrill-seeker can enjoy this fall!
Images and b-roll for the attractions can be found here
- Lincoln Park Zoo – Lions, and tigers, and ghosts – oh my! Take a stroll through scenic Lincoln Park Zoo on a crisp fall day and you’ll actually be walking through one of Lincoln Park’s most haunted attractions – the area that once served as the city’s cemetery. Lincoln Park Zoo will host a ton of events this fall for the public to enjoy including Fall Fest, Spooky Zoo and Adults Night Out.
- The Drake Hotel – The ever so posh Drake Hotel, located on Chicago’s famous Magnificent Mile, is allegedly haunted by the “Woman in Red” who fell to her death from the hotel roof on New Year’s Eve shortly after it opened its doors in 1920. Guests of the hotel have reported seeing her apparition wandering the Gold Coast Room, the Palm Court, and the tenth floor ever since.
- Chicago Riverwalk– Many people don’t know this, but the beautiful Chicago Riverwalk is the scene of the deadliest event in the city’s history — the S.S. Eastland disaster, during which a passenger ship capsized between Clark and Lasalle, killing 884 people. Since the disaster over a century ago, Riverwalk pedestrians have reportedly heard screams and splashes from the River only to turn and see tranquil waters.
- Chicago Historic Water Tower – Although known for being one of the city’s signature buildings along the Mag Mile, legend has it that a noble stayed behind during the Great Chicago Fire to man the water supply, dying in the process. Pass it while on a Mag Mile shopping spree and you could catch a glimpse of his ghost in the tower’s rafters!
- Best Spooky Activity: Ghost Tours throughout the city – Discover the truth about Chicago’s history and the city’s most famous ghost stories! Tours take place nearly nightly summer through fall and private tours for groups.
Alton (America’s Most Haunted Small Town)
- McPike Mansion – Thousands of visitors and paranormal investigators flock to the grounds of the notorious McPike Mansion every year claiming spirits still roam the property – more than 11 total have been experienced in recent years! Tour dates for 2018 include September 8th, 21st and 29th.
- Alton City Cemetery – Visitors of this creepy cemetery can take a haunted ghost tour and even walk inside an empty crypt if they dare!
- BOO-zy Halloween Activity: Haunted Craft Beer Walk – On September 21st, visitors can go on an interactive ghost hunt in some of Alton’s most historic haunted locations beginning at the Ryder Building and ending at the Old Piasa Masonic Temple paired with a five-ounce pouring of one of five different Old Bakery Brews! Tour covers one mile and attendees must be 21 years of age to participate.
- Old Joliet Prison – The gates of Old Joliet Prison have been reopened, and visitors can walk the grounds of the historic site as some of Chicago’s most notorious killers like John Wayne Gacy, Richard Speck, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. With numerous executions having taken place at the prison, rumor has it that many of the inmates may be serving time as ghosts. Tours are currently being offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- Rialto Square Theatre – Originally designed and operated as a vaudeville movie palace, the Rialto Square Theatre now hosts musicals, plays, concerts and stand-up comedy shows on a daily basis – and apparently some ghosts as well!
- Family-Friendly Halloween Activity: A visit to Haunted Trails –Haunted Trails offers a variety of family-friendly attractions for all ages that are guaranteed to raise your spirits with a monstrous amount of fun! With activities like laser tag, go-kart races, mini-golf and batting cages, there’s something for everyone.
- Embe Eatery and Lounge – Patrons of this beloved Galena go-to might get a little bit more than delicious homemade deli-style food and live music when they visit! Like many of the 19th-century buildings housing shops and restaurants on Galena’s main drag, this one’s haunted, at least according to owner Mary Beth, who reports seeing items in the kitchen go flying off the shelves.
- DeSoto House Hotel – The DeSoto House Hotel is one of the oldest operating hotels in Illinois and has lodged famous guests including Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas and William Jennings Bryan. Today guests of the hotel can enjoy the lavish Victorian-style rooms while enjoying stories of the spirits that seemingly never checked out!
- BOO-zy Halloween Activity: Haunted Pub Crawl – Craving a “spirit” or two as you search for ghosts and paranormal activities? Then we’ve got just the tour for you! Amelia’s Haunted Pub Crawl visits some of the most haunted pubs and taverns in Galena. On this 2½ hour walking tour, you’ll enjoy spooky tales from our knowledgeable local guides as well as a taste of downtown Galena while partaking in some blood-curdling drink specials. Tours are going on now through end of November.
For images and b-roll of the attractions click here
For more fall travel inspiration visit EnjoyIllinois.com/FallGetaways
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents.