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Local Ghost Stories To Get You In The Halloween Spirit

Inside of the St Andrews Inn

Ready to get your inner ghoul out this Halloween? Here are a few local haunts to get you started right.

In Edgewater, the most famous haunting is probably the sadly closed Old Saint Andrews Inn. The story goes that the original owner, Frank Giff, was so devoted to his bar and his drinking that he died on his barstool. Not realizing that he was now dead, he occasionally still helped out behind the bar when he wasn’t stealing vodka or inappropriately touching female customers.

Another bar being haunted by a former owner is the Edgewater Lounge, with its resident ghost Mary. The story goes that Mary is keeping an eye on her old place after a bad experience renting it to a former employee who tried to burn the place down. She’s mainly seen on the top floors although a few people have reported seeing her at the first tap at the bar.

Yet another semi-bar-related creepy tale is that of Rosehill Cemetery. It was originally named after local barkeep Hiram Roe and called Roe’s Hill until a mapmaker mistakenly changed the name. Rosehill competes with Uptown cemetery Graceland as most haunted graveyard in Chicago. My favorite Rosehill story is that of business rivals Aaron Montgomery Ward and Richard Warren Sears. Not content to leave their rivalry in death, the ghost of Sears is seen stalking towards Ward’s grave, perhaps to continue unfinished business

Grave of Inez ClarkeIn Uptown, one of the most famous Chicago ghost stories comes from Graceland. Home to noted Chicago names from Fields to Burnham, the most chilling story is that of Inez Clarke. Her grave is marked by statue of a little girl in a glass box. Legend says that she was killed by lighting during a lakeside picnic and during thunderstorms the box is empty as the statue hides from any potential lighting. Other stories say that the box is there to keep the statue from wandering. Reports also include the statue crying and playing hide-and-seek with children.

The main mystery of the story is that there isn’t any record – birth, death, or otherwise – of Inez Clarke. Historians and genealogists have a couple of theories – from the statue being an advertisement for the skills of its sculptor Andrew Gagel to it being the grave of a child from a previous marriage.

A few other great haunted places in the area include the Green Mill, which has a variety of ghosts from mobsters to toddlers; and the Profiles Theater which has mischievous, ghostly stage hands.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!


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