Sometimes I have to travel for work. It isn’t often, but I try to make the most of it when I go places. My latest trip was to Chicago, IL. We were attending the big National Restaurant Association show and manning our booth. I was so pleased when someone said the hotel we were staying in was haunted. I did my research, but I didn’t find much online about the type of haunting or why —– someone told me a bunch of people died in a fire there, but I couldn’t confirm the information. Still, I was hopeful I might spot a ghost or two.
The thing is… I don’t believe in ghosts such as they are portrayed on TV or the movies. However, I have had experience with a couple of spirits passing from this realm to the next. (That is a story for another time.) That withstanding, I try to keep an open mind. So as soon as I got to my room I invited any stray ghosts to come in for a visit. Alas, all was quiet that evening, not a peep from the underworld.
The next morning, I woke up fairly early so I could jump on a treadmill before a full day of meetings. The workout room was at the very top of the hotel, Floor 25. I think that must have been where the famous now defunct Tip Top Tap Lounge used to be in the 1940’s. The elevator only went up to the 24th floor, so I had to take the stairs to get to the 25th. I considered the flight of stairs to be a decent warm-up.
I got a little excited when I opened the door to the stairwell and stepped in because I immediately smelled smoke. It got stronger as I moved toward the stairs. I remembered the story about people dying in a hotel fire and thought this might be some sort of supernatural smoke and I might actually see a ghost. As I rounded the corner, I could see tendrils of smoke and the smell was quite strong. Then it happened —I saw them— two people squatting on the steps grabbing a smoke because all the rooms are non-smoking of course.
Bummer. No ghosts and no ghost smoke. So I made my way to the workout room quite disappointed, but I was determined not to give up.
The next day I had a bit of hope that the ghost hunt was not lost. I kept hearing someone or something screaming in my bathroom. I thought to myself, “Hmmm, maybe my room isn’t haunted, but perhaps the bathroom is. After all, the toilet is pretty ancient looking.”
After a few flushes, I conceded that it was just the pipes protesting me flushing multiple times. Another disappointment.
So I got dressed and took a photo to text to my husband. He likes to make sure I dress properly. I have a tendency to put my clothes on inside out. When he saw the photo he freaked out, but I’m not sure why. I had everything on the correct way, so off to the show I went.
After a long day of working the show, I was pretty tired so I crawled into bed and was asleep before my head hit the pillow. I didn’t have any energy left to commune with the ghosts (except for the one in the bathroom. It screamed again.) I thought I was going to sleep straight through the night, but I didn’t. At about 3:00 AM I heard a weird sound coming from outside my window. I was so out of it, I assumed someone was just walking by on the street. But then my brain chimed in and said that could not be because I was on the 18th floor. Shit! I popped out of bed and pulled back the curtains hoping to see some sort of apparition floating out there. Nope. Just a really weird guy climbing the fire escape. I’m not sure how he got on the fire escape or why he was climbing it, but he was going for it. People in Chicago have some pretty strange workout routines.
Well, I have to say my quest for a haunted hotel is still unsatisfied. The Warwick was an OKAY hotel and if you have a chance to stay there, the staff is exceptionally nice. I can’t say that about the paranormal entities though because they never made my acquaintance.
Maybe another opportunity will come my way.
Cheers until next time.