DRINK WITH GHOSTS 5 Haunted Chicago Bars
The approach of Halloween means it’s time for most of us to prepare for zombie apocalypses, psychotic clowns, and mysterious shadows. But for many Chicago bars, patrons find more than just spirits on the shelves every day; ghostly-spirits walk the premises too. We take a look here at some of Chicago’s haunted bars. Up your ManScore by visiting some of them today—If you dare!
Red Lion Pub
Across the street from the Biograph Theatre where John Dillinger was shot and killed is the English pub Red Lion, opened by John Cordwell in 1984. However, the location's history dates to 1882, serving as the home to “Dirty Dan’s Western Saloon, a fruit and vegetable store and a head shop.” In fact, the pub itself has been torn down and rebuilt in the last few years. With all that history, it’s no surprise that many customers and bartenders have reported footsteps when no one else is around, felt cold spots, been rendered dizzy for no reason, heard voices and noticed objects moving on their own. Supposedly, a young woman who used to live there haunts the second floor and sometimes she locks women in the bar's restroom. And there have been other figures that have apparently appeared too, including a cowboy and Dillinger himself.
Side Door (Lawry’s)
Located in the former nineteenth-century McCormick Mansion, the Side Door staff has been quoted many times as saying they’ve spoken, seen or heard Mrs. McCormick in the building’s upper rooms. Today, the mansion is home to Side Door (an extension of Lawry’s Prime Rib), so don't be surprised if you find yourself dining in the company of the mansion’s original owner. Though at SideDoor, it's reported that she's friendly.
Go to the Liar’s Club and you just might have your choice of ghosts to see. Many believe the two-floor Liars Club is haunted by the ghost of a woman whose husband brutally murdered her in what was then their upstairs apartment. Others have seen the spirits of a homeless man who was killed by another homeless person with a Coke bottle. Meanwhile, around the corner from the Liar’s Clubs, patrons have reported seeing the ghost of a large woman who was dismembered by her much smaller husband after she had made fun of his size.
The former grocery store (circa 1900) turned pub after Prohibition has had many owners—its current owner, Steve, opened Guthrie's in 1986. It appears, though, the former owners won't leave as several people have reported hearing footsteps and various strange sounds for years. Several bar-goers have also claimed to have seen a phantom dressed as a Civil-War era soldier.
Hooters (660 N. Wells)
Yes, even Hooters has its ghosts. For more than a decade, staff members have witnessed many unusual occurrences in the basement, which just so happens to have once been a morgue that included victims of the Eastland cruise crash on the Chicago River that killed more than 840 people in 1915. Objects move, bizarre sounds are heard and creepy, phantom-like features move across people's view in the basement. The “Ghost Research Society” investigated the site in 2006 and confirmed what many people already knew: the place is haunted.