Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Windy City

So I've had my nose stuck in the Dresden Files for going on a year now. I've made it to book 7 (out of 13 so far), and with every page I find myself not only loving the characters more and more, but also the setting. Harry Dresden takes up practice in the Windy City of Chicago. As a "Wizard for hire," he moves all around the Illinois-based metropolis seeking out all manner of baddie for the good of the world (or at least his immediate area). And while I have never been to Chicago (yes, I know it's only a few hours away), I feel in touch with the city on a lot of different levels. So, in honour of that, I thought I'd take a look at the darker side of Chicago and see what I might find lurking in the shadows. Today you'll read about just a snippet of what I found across the internet. Here are two locations you'll be dying to check out! Well, let's hope not literally.

What goes on here?

Along S. Michigan Ave. sits the Congress Hotel. Originally called the Auditorium Annex, the hotel was built in 1893 to house guests from the World's Columbian Exposition. Since its beginning the hotel has grown and become one of the nicest hotels in Chicago. Among all the gilded halls and comfortable beds, however, people have reported some shady goings-on.

The most noted are the hotel's "cold spots," specific places in the hotel that have a much lower temperature than the air around them. There aren't any certain cold spots, but rather they come and go all over the hotel.

Poltergeist activity abounds in the hotel, and there have been reports of objects being moved, doors slamming and even a few things thrown at guests by some unseen force! This, along with voices from nowhere and echoing footsteps make the hotel one active location. It's also rumoured that the ghost of Al Capone haunts the floors, as he once owned and operated out of the hotel, but there have been no confirmations of such. Besides, we all know he haunts Alcatraz, right?

Our next stop takes us to an Indian burial ground in the heart of the city itself. Robinson Woods was given to Andrew Robinson, a man of mixed blood, by a chief in the Chicago region. After years of living in Iowa, Robinson and family settled on the land and built a house. Rumours abounded about the family's habits- their luscious parties and unseemly activities going on in the mansion in the middle of the woods were the talk of the town! The family endured and stayed in the house until 1955, when the house burned to the ground. That wasn't the end of the activity, however. Later that year the bodies of three men were found in a ditch bound and naked.

Many different events have been witnessed here. Native Americans have been seen walking the grounds, and drum beats of the past were captured on recording in the 70's. Shadows have been seen, as have both red and white orbs. The scents of lilac and lavender can be smelled all year round, even when nothing is in bloom! EVPs, disrupted photographs, there's a plethora of activity in these woods. Apparently most of it happens right around the Robinson family burial monument. Perhaps the Robinsons never wanted to leave their luxury home, or what might have gone on inside.

After all my research, it would seem there are a lot more hauntings in Chicago than I previously thought! You know what this means, folks. There will be plenty more blogs devoted to that famous city herself!

As usual, if you'd like to know more, or see where my pictures come from, click the links below!

Photos: (Congress Hotel) (Robinson Woods) (Robinson Woods) (Chicago skyline)

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