Spookiest places in Joliet

Lawson Sizemore, Sports Editor

1. Congress Plaza Hotel

Located on 520 South Michigan Avenue, the 125-year-old building is the most haunted location in the Chicagoland area. Rumor has it that Al Capone committed some gruesome acts in this hotel. In the South tower, there is a spirit named “Peg Leg Johnny” who was a hobo that was brutally murdered behind the hotel. In the North tower security guards have reported seeing a playful young boy on the 12th floor. It is believed that the child is the spirit of a kid who was thrown off the North tower by his immigrant mother. Room 441 even had reports of people seeing a silhouette of a women, objects moving, and lights turning on and off at random.

2. DeathAlley, Behind Modern-Day Oriental Theater

Located at 24 West Randolph Street, the over hundred-year-old theater had a horrible fire in December of 1903. The huge fire killed 602 people, with 212 of those people being children. While retrieving the deceased after the fire, the bodies were placed in the alley behind the theater. There have been reports of hearing faint cries, apparitions, and the feeling of being pushed or touched by invisible entities.

3. Graceland Cemetery

Graceland Cemetery on 4001 North Clark Street, was built in 1860 and is the resting place for some of Chicago’s most notable individuals. According to Jeff Morris, the author of “Chicago’s Haunted Handbook” says “People sometimes feel unexplainable drops in temperature. Perhaps this is caused by one of the departed residents walking past.” There have also been reports of a girl who resembles a statue wandering through the cemetery and the vanishing. This happens during thunderstorms; some people think it is due to the cause of her death by a lightning strike.

4. Al Capone’s Hideaway and Steakhouse is in St. Charles, Illinois, and was built in 1917. This is where Al Capone would go to hide to avoid authorities. Some people believe that this place is haunted by both Al Capone’s and Bugs Moran’s gangs, which was Al Capone’s rival. People have claimed to have seen human figures that look identically dressed as members of Al Capone’s gang from the second-floor windows. People have also heard partying and loud laughter coming from inside the building, although the building is empty now.

5. The Murder Castle is in Chicago on West 63rd Street and was bought by H.H. Holmes in 1886. H.H. Holmes was a pharmacist and had a drug store on the lower level of the building. Holmes turned the remainder of the building into one hundred rooms for rent and constructed death traps throughout the building. He built walk-in safes with gas lines leading into them, to eventually kill his victims. Lastly, he set up detailed dissection tables, which he used to remove flesh from the bodies, and sell their skeletons to nearby medical schools. People often heard cries for help and have seen apparitions throughout the hallways through the building many years later.