In September, 1902, the Ward family had what must have been one tense family reunion at Mrs. Ward’s house on Polk St near Halsted. Two months before, her son, Thomas, had threatened to kill her and even fired a gun at her, hitting her in the arm. At the reunion, he was up to his old tricks, beating her and threatening to kill her, until his brother pull a gun and shot him in the face.
A couple of months later, his ghost began to be spotted sitting on an empty ice box on the porch, which was visible from Blue Island Ave. Crowds would gather to see it, and, by the time it made the papers, onlookers were simply saying “Tommy’s on the ice box again!”
The sightings had apparently stopped by 1903 – we haven’t found a case of anyone seeing it since then.
Or have we?
The section of Polk and Blue Island where the ghost was seen no longer exists. Currently, the spot where the house stood seems to be right where the student center at the University of Illinois now stands – right next to Hull House.