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  • Erin Egnatz

The Chicago Water Tower

All of my fellow Chicagoans know the old Water Tower that sits in the middle of Michigan Avenue. It's a historic sight right in the heart of the shopping district. The towering limestone structure dates back to 1869 when it was built to hold water for city purposes.


Just two years after it was built, the Great Chicago Fire broke out in 1871. The fire claimed the lives of over 300 people as it swept through the area burning virtually everything in its path. Most everything was destroyed. Surprisingly, the Water Tower was one of the few structures that somehow survived.


During the fire, the Water Tower was said to be manned by a single worker who did not flee the area when the fire broke out. Instead, he stuck around and ultimately perished. Some say he hung himself when the flames became too intense, others say he passed due to smoke inhalation. Though it is unknown how he ultimately died, the story of his passing is one of tragedy.


To this day, many people claim that the old Water Tower is haunted by the man who died in the fire. Objects have moved on their own, people have reported being touched by a phantom entity and ghostly sounds have been heard within the tower. Most unnerving of all, reports of an apparition (sometimes in shadow form) has been seen hanging at the top of the tower.


I personally have never seen this ghostly activity, as every time I'm in Chicago, so are millions of my closest friends, making it a bit hard to notice the ghostly activity that is said to go on there. None the less, I do believe it's haunted, there are too many claiming to have had interactions for it not to be.


Photo By Rudy Balasko

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