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I Stayed At The Most Haunted Hotel In Chicago And Lived To Tell The Tale

Ghosts don't fuck around.

Hi. I'm Anna, and I'm obsessed with everything spooky — so when I got the chance to stay the night at Chicago's most haunted hotel, the Congress Plaza, you bet your ass I went for it.

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Built for the 1893 World's Fair, the place has a colorful past. / Ren Patrick for BuzzFeed

Serial killer H.H. Holmes would supposedly meet women in the lobby before taking them to his "murder castle," multiple people have jumped to their deaths from windows, and Al Capone's spirit lingers — and those are just a few legends surrounding the Congress.

So after some research and dusting off my Ouija board, I grabbed my spookiest friend, Ren, to stay a night with me on the hotel's fourth floor, which is said to be the most haunted. /

We both believe in the paranormal, so we went in hoping we'd get a message from beyond, find a terrifying clue in a forbidden room, or even catch a ghost in one of our pictures — just that ANYTHING spooky would happen, really.

From the moment we walked into the lobby, we got a very Tower of Terror–like vibe. The place is gorgeous and filled to the brim with history, but also feels like something dark is lingering in the air. It's hard to explain.

Anna Kopsky /

LOOK AT THAT ELEVATOR!!! It's like The Shining.

We went ~ghost hunting~ using the free app called Ghost Detector and found ghosts named Dora and Mabel. In our room, we met one named Mary. More on Mary later.

Ghost Detector App / Anna Kopsky

We could also ask them questions using the app, and every few minutes it'd freeze and respond with something horrifying, like, "TIME 4 SOME FUN," or "LEAVE THE ROOM." WHAT THE SHIT???

We then began exploring, and Ren was the bravest, so she started knocking on doors and opening sketchy closets.

Anna Kopsky

Look at her. Queen of adventure.

We also noticed a lot of rooms were locked from the outside, and learned that rooms in the hotel are supposedly off-limits to guests when too much paranormal activity is reported.

Anna Kopsky

This hotel is NICE, okay? Still, it's so spooky to just have, like, middle school locker locks on doors in a famous hotel along Lake Michigan.

We trekked up to the 12th floor to find the most famous room that'd been boarded up. When we knocked, it was completely hollow, and SOMETHING moved inside, because it sounded like a knock back. We could have just been imagining it, but it scared the shit out of us, so we BOLTED.

Ren Patrick

My heart dropped and WE JUST RAN. I might've almost pooped my pants. Don't judge me because you would, too.

Here is a photo I took while running/falling down the stairs:

Anna Kopsky

We decided to take a break to calm down, and then we slithered down to the most notoriously haunted room in the ENTIRE hotel: room 441. Just looking at the door, it seemed like someone had gone out of their way to make it look terrifying:

Anna Kopsky

Did someone just steal numbers from other doors and nail them to this one???

Ren started knocking on room 441 and lying on the damn floor to see if she could see inside.

Anna Kopsky

It was early in the evening — the front desk said it'd be occupied later in the night — so when she knocked and we thought we heard something again, we RAN. We weren't about to be eaten by a ghost, folks.

We also played with my Ouija board in our room, but nothing happened.

Anna Kopsky

This was kind of disappointing, but also not disappointing, because I didn't need any demons attaching themselves to me and my friend. Thanks, demons.

The two of us were also fascinated by just how terrifying the whole hotel felt. It felt like we were in The Shining, though we 100% obviously were not. Here's some photo proof that Jack Nicholson's character would've definitely gone mad here, too:

Anna Kopsky

CAN YOU FEEL THE CREEPINESS? NO? Then you're brave. Get out of here!!!

Okay, so here was the scariest part of the night: reuniting with Mary, the ghost we met in our room.

Ghost Hunter App / Ren Patrick

Legend has it there's a ~shadow woman~ who kicks guests awake in spooky room 441. Her name isn't known, but Ren and I were pretty damn sure this woman was Mary — especially since we were staying just a few doors down.

It was around 1 a.m., and we were determined to come in contact with the spirit the Ghost Detector app had located in our room earlier. So I pulled out my phone again, which said we found a demon this time. Could it be an angry Mary, because we were disturbing her quiet, peaceful night?

For some reason, I yelled, "Hey, Mary, suck my ass!" because I was delirious and this is the person I am. Immediately we heard a huge BANG in the corner of our room. It had to be demon Mary. It freaked me out, and I swear I felt my stomach drop out of my ass, but I kept repeating over and over that it was a coincidence — the building is old, so it could have been pipes, right? RIGHT???? Ren wasn't convinced and it scared the shit out of her so much that she didn't sleep all night. We sat in nervous silence until I eventually fell asleep.

Ghost Hunter App / Snapchat
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Anna: Staying in a haunted hotel wasn't as terrifying as I thought it would be, but that could be because I wasn't alone. Plus, when anything creepy happened, I brushed it off as not being paranormal, which calmed me. Us girls are really friggin' brave — we stayed in the most haunted hotel in the entire city of Chicago! If you're interested in staying at a haunted place of any kind, I truly, truly recommend it, because you learn a lot about yourself.

Ren: I was pretty creeped out by the hotel and experience. It could be because I knew that I'd be sleeping in a haunted place, or it could be because Anna decided to tell one of the ghosts to "suck her ass" and still managed to fall asleep later, even though I stayed up the whole night complimenting Mary so she didn't end up murdering us or holding us hostage like John Cusack in 1408. We survived though, so I would most definitely return for another creepy adventure. 👻

Stay spooky, kids! Oh — and don't look behind you.

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