That “Haunted” Feeling

Some places just SEEM haunted. When we go to haunted places on the tour, we can usually tell right away whether any given spot is “active” that night or not – it’s a sort of feeling. Ken describes it as a form of psychic ability; I’d describe it more a something similar to telling whether it’s hot or cold outside. As a skeptic, I always ask myself if I’m feeling this way because the place is haunted, or if it’s just environmental effects that have the pychological effect of making me FEEL like it’s active. Who knows? Maybe those environmental effects are the very things that allow ghosts to manifest. We never can tell with these things.

In any case, no haunted place is ALWAYS active. Some might be active regularly for a few months, and then just seem dead (if you’ll pardon the pun) for the next couple of years. We try to avoid places that haven’t been active lately on the tours in favor of places that have as much as possible. And, while weird pictures and experiences are always great to get on the tours, the best way for us to tell if a place i active is just whether we get that “haunted” feeling there.

Take, for example, the former funeral home that we often visit on tours. If I’ve ever believed a place was haunted, it’s this place. I’ve heard strange voices and sounds in there. I’ve felt things tapping at my shoulder or flicking my ear, and I’ve seen shadows on the wall of people who weren’t there. I’ve felt temperature drops and smelled formaldahyde. But sometimes when we go there, nothing happens at all. Sometimes it’s just not that scary in there. I can usually tell whether it’s going to be an active night (the kind where people get especially spooked, and when we’re likely to get good pictures) or not the second we step into the building.

Last night, for instance, I felt it rather strongly at this place. And, lo and behold, it was a weird night. Just about everyone down there was hearing strange noises – myself included. Noises distinct from the noises that come from the pipes and furnace, which I know pretty well by now.

I certainly cant say for sure that these noises, or that feeling, were cause by dead people floating around – but that’s part of the fun! All we can do is wonder – we never REALLY know what we’re dealing with, no matter what kind of pictures we take or anything like that. As I always say, there’s no such thing as GOOD ghost evidence – only COOL ghost evidence.

Will Roosevelt’s Ghost Endorse a Candidate for 2008?

A few days before Super Tuesday, we ran a miniature investigation in the Florentine Room of the Congress Hotel, a hotel reputed to be haunted by Theodore Roosevelt himself, to see if we could get his ghost to endorse a presidential candidate.

While Roosevelt may or may not haunt the hotel, he does have a lot of history there. It was in the Florentine Room in 1912 that he jumped onto a table and announced that he was leaving the Republican party, since they weren’t going to nominate him for a third term. Six weeks later, he was back in the same room, forming the Bull Moose Party, which was officially called The American Progressive Party. It was probably the most liberal major party that had been formed at that point, and served to draw a good deal of the liberals who had been Republicans at that point out of the GOP. He didn’t win the election, but the Bull Moose Party DID come in second, beating President Taft pretty handily. As a side note, his nomination was seconded by Jane Addams of Hull House.

We here at Chicago Unbelievable feel that Col. Roosevelt has been TOTALLY, UNFAIRLY ignored by the “mainstream” media this election cycle. And, though we don’t find it likely that he actually haunts the place, we thought we should give him a chance to say his thing. We really have no idea who he’d endorse today – we can find things he’d like about all three of the major candidates. Alas, if his ghost was there, it kept its mouth shut.

However, during the investigation (which was conducted during one of our tours), a guest named Kayla Hendricks took this picture:

Some say that they see the face of an angry Roosevelt in the flash – he’s back, and he’s PISSED! In reality, this is probably just a psychological trick – our brains are trained to look for shapes like faces in random noise like this (and the fact that we’re happy to tell you this is one way you can tell that we’re REAL ghost hunters here at Chicago Unbelievable, not quacks!) But you never know…

We’ll be back in the Florentine Room several times between now and election day – plenty of time for TR to make an appearance!