Congress Plaza Hotel

Chicago, Illinois | C.1983

Photo Credit: Oksana Smolianinova

Built in 1893, The Congress Plaza Hotel has hosted a revolving roulette of the rich, famous, and influential — including eight U.S. Presidents — especially during its early years. But these days, it’s a slew of ghostly guests who have refused to leave the prestigious Hotel that are making headlines making the Congress Plaza Hotel the most haunted hotel in Chicago.

So, who are the some of the shadowy specters that still roam the 871 guest rooms of the Hotel? None other than the ghost of the notorious gangster Al Capone has been said to wander its halls. Guests are usually alerted by the tapping sounds of his two-two wingtips. While Capone never actually checked into the Hotel under his real name, it’s believed that he used the building as his headquarters — and his spirit has chosen to stay, but he’s not the only one.

“Peg Leg Johnny” and the “Hand of Mystery” are two other popular phantoms reported to frighten guests. Johnny was a homeless man who met an unfortunate fate when he was murdered in the Hotel. And as for the ghostly Hand? Well that allegedly belongs to a workman buried behind the walls of the Hotel during its construction. His hand can be seen reaching out through the walls of the Gold Room, maybe still looking for someone to pull him out from the rubble.

A number of ladies also insist on remaining at the Hotel in their ghostly form. In the Gold Room, bridesmaids from wedding parties of days past are reportedly seen posing for pictures at the piano — but never actually show up in any photos. And room 441 has earned a haunted reputation of its own as a ghostly woman has called on guests during their stay, prompting countless calls to hotel security.

For all its spooks and spirits, the Congress Plaza Hotel remains a magnificent historic establishment in Chicago. Just know that if you check in, you may not be spending the night alone!

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