THE CHICAGO WATER TOWER is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city and according to some stories, a very haunted place as well!

Without a doubt, the most tragic event to take place in the history of Chicago was the Great Fire of 1871. The blaze swept through the city, leaving more than 300 people dead, 100,000 homeless and a swath of devastation that was four miles long and two-thirds of a mile wide.


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Standing among the ruins of the city was the Water Tower. It had been built in 1869 from pale Lemont limestone and loomed 154 feet above the streets of the now-blackened city. Some believe that the tower is haunted by the ghost of a man who perished there during the fire. This heroic worker stayed behind as the fire came closer, manning the pumps instead of fleeing for his life. Just before the flames reached him, he hanged himself in the structure rather than be burned to death.

According to legend, tourists and locals often glimpse the shadowy figure of a hanging man through the tower's upstairs windows. Recently, a group of tourists were greeted with this sight (much to their shock) and they flagged down a passing police officer... who also saw the same thing!

The tower is located in an area of the city that is known as "Streeterville", named for the pioneer Captain Streeter. He originally laid claim to all of the land in the area and was enraged when it was taken from him by the fledgling state of Illinois. Streeter cursed the property and strangely, odd incidents have occurred here, and at the nearby Hancock Building, ever since!

The Water Tower is at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Chicago Avenue and the "Streeterville" district starts here and extends past the John Hancock building.