Water Tower

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This 1869 limestone tower, one of the symbols of Old Chicago, was built for use in firefighting. It is said to be haunted by a man who died in the Chicago Fire of 1871. Instead of fleeing, the worker stayed to man the pumps, and it is said that when the fire got too close, he chose to hang himself in the tower over being burned to death. Locals will tell of his shadowy hanging figure they sometimes see through an upstairs tower window.

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Geographic Information

806 N Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois
United States

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41.897226463640536, -87.6244324074097
Cook County, Illinois
Nearest Towns:
Chicago, IL (3.5 mi.)
Cicero, IL (7.6 mi.)
Oak Park, IL (8.3 mi.)
Lincolnwood, IL (9.2 mi.)
Berwyn, IL (9.3 mi.)
Elmwood Park, IL (9.6 mi.)
Stickney, IL (9.7 mi.)
River Forest, IL (9.7 mi.)
Forest Park, IL (9.8 mi.)
Evanston, IL (10.5 mi.)


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Comments (4)

  1. I was on Chicago for a week and we used the water tower as our rally point so I looked at it as various times of the day for several days. I didn’t get any feeling from it but it is very ornate and surrounded by all sorts of flickering lights from traffic and stores so it would be very easy think you saw something.

  2. Well, this IS a great story, but there are MANY more spirits in that place. I am saying more than 50. I saw them and met a few while working there one night. The cleaning lady was the only one to insure me that what I saw and I wasn’t insane, This was around 2011 or 2012.

  3. The Chicago Water tower was not built for fire fighting! It was built to hid a big stand pipe to equalize the water pressure from the pump house next door the story about the man is nothing more than urban legend! I have been inside of it there is nothing Haunted about it.

  4. My First visit to the water tower in 2011. I walked straight up to it for the first time the first window I looked in there there was the hangman. Baggy worker pants and disheveled hair hanging in his face. I never heard the story before. The security guard inside said he didn’t believe I’d seen anything. I went back outside confused thinking it was a decoration but it was nothing was in the window

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.