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Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum paranormal

Photo by: Marianne Donley
Location submitted by: sdonley on 11/19/2019
DBA Approved: Y

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PANICd#: 2118

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Chicago History Museum (formerly known as the Chicago Historical Society (CHS)) was founded in 1856 to study and interpret Chicago's history.The CHS adopted the name, Chicago History Museum, in September 2006 for its public presence.

1601 N Clark St
Chicago , IL 60614
Phone: (312) 642-4600
Open to the public: Yes

Lat: 41.911980
Lon: -87.631500

Database Summary:

Demographic Rank: 6
History: 1
Stories: 1
Claims: 3
Evidence: 0
Resources: 8
Retrievals: 11380
Vistor Rating: 1.0
Votes: 1

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History information is some background and history about the location. This is meant to be a basic summary. Below the history records you will find sources in which you can click on to find out more information. There may be multiple history records per location.

Much of the early collection of the Chicago Historical Society was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, but like the city, the museum rose from the ashes. Among its many documents which were lost in the fire was Abraham Lincoln's final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. After the fire, the Society began collecting new materials, which were stored in a building owned by J. Young Scammon, a prominent lawyer and member of the society. However, the building and new collection were again destroyed by fire in 1874. The Chicago Historical Society built a fireproof building on the site of its pre-1871 building at 632 North Dearborn Street. The replacement building opened in 1896 and housed the Society for thirty-six years. The building was later added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Old Chicago Historical Society Building.

Charles F. Gunther, a prominent Chicago collector, donated some items to the Society. In 1920, the Society purchased the remainder of the large history collection from his estate, with the intention of changing its focus from only a research institution into a public museum. Many of the items in Gunther's collection, in addition to Chicago, were related to Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War. These include Lincoln's deathbed, several other pieces of furniture from the room where he died in the Petersen House, and clothing that he and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln allegedly wore the evening of his assassination. The collection also contains the table on which General Robert E. Lee signed his 1865 surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant, an official act that ended the American Civil War, at the McLean House in Appomattox, Virginia.

After 36 years in the Henry Ives Cobb structure on North Dearborn Street, the museum and library moved to the current structure in Lincoln Park. The current home of the museum was designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and constructed in 1932 by the WPA, with the aim of creating an expanded public museum.

The 1932 Federal-style structure has been expanded twice. The first addition, clad in limestone, opened in 1972 and was designed by Alfred Shaw and Associates. The second addition, designed by Holabird and Root, was made in 1988 and included refacing the earlier expansion in red brick to give a unified look to all three portions of the building. Both expansions occurred on the west side of the 1932 structure, leaving intact its original porticoed entrance facing Lincoln Park. The main entrance and reception hall, however, was moved to the new western addition facing Clark street. The 1988 extension, in addition to expanded exhibition galleries, also contains the museum's store and public cafe.

Added by: sdonley on 12/03/2019 DB#:550


Stories are just that. Stories and personal accounts that have been reported about the location.

The building that houses the museum is built over a former cemetery in the Lincoln Park area. There have been reports of strange occurrences happening within the museum and on the grounds surrounding the building. See the video report below from WGN News.

Added by: sdonley on 12/03/2019 DB#:1548

Paranormal Claims

Here are the paranormal claims for this location. These have been found through Internet research, reports from members, or reports from personal interviews. To add a claim, please contact, and we will review and add your information.

Claim # Added Added By Claim
3224 12/03/2019 sdonley People have reported eerie feelings inside the museum and on the grounds.
3225 12/03/2019 sdonley People have seen mysterious shadows moving throughout the property.
3226 12/03/2019 sdonley Strange noises have been heard within the museum after it has been closed.

Paranormal Evidence

Paranormal evidence is based on claims that have been reported for this location. There can be several types of evidence; however, we have grouped them based on media type for better organization. Here you will find evidence that are logs, audio, video, or photographic.

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Additional Resources

This is a collection of Internet resources for this location. This section will house links to other websites that contain information related to history, claims, investigations, or even the location's website.

Wikipedia Entry
Added: 12/03/2019 By: sdonley
Wikipedia entry for this location.
Online Store
Added: 12/03/2019 By: sdonley
Information about the location, see link for details.
ChicagoHistoryMuseum (@ChicagoMuseum) | Twitter
Added: 12/03/2019 By: sdonley
The latest Tweets from ChicagoHistoryMuseum (@ChicagoMuseum). We share Chicago's stories. Chicago IL
Facebook Page
Added: 12/03/2019 By: sdonley
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Chicago History Museum | Choose Chicago
Added: 12/03/2019 By: sdonley
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Chicago History Museum - 2019 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - TripAdvisor
Added: 12/03/2019 By: sdonley
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Chicago History Museum | Museums in Lincoln Park, Chicago
Added: 12/03/2019 By: sdonley
Founded in 1856, the Chicago History Museum is home to more than 22 million artifacts, documents, photographs and a world-renowned costume collection blown in f
Chicago History Museum | Museu.MS
Added: 12/03/2019 By: sdonley
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