You might not have been frightened by the previous statement, but the following might give you goosebumps: It’s possible that you have unknowingly visited one of the most haunted places in the world if you have attended a show in Chicago.
According to a recent report by Condé Nast Traveler, a theater located in downtown Chicago has made it to the list of “42 Most Haunted Places in the World”. The report, which features a range of locations handpicked by editors, includes eerie sites such as remote forests, churches, hotels, and castles.
There are a total of 12 locations across the United States where you can find the Oriental Theatre in Chicago.
Back in 1903, the Iroquois Theater, now famously known, opened its doors at 24 W. Randolph Street. However, the same year witnessed a tragedy as almost 600 people lost their lives due to a fire that erupted during a performance of the comedic musical “Mr. Bluebeard.”
According to a report from Smithsonian Magazine, during the second act of the show at 3:15 in the afternoon, a spark from a stage light ignited the nearby drapery. Despite attempts to put out the fire with a basic retardant, it continued to spread rapidly across the highly flammable decorative backdrops. As the situation became clear, panic ensued as audience members rushed to exit the theater. However, most of the exit doors were blocked by curtains, leaving many trapped.
After undergoing a reconstruction and renovation in 1926, the Oriental Theatre was christened with its new name. Fast forward to 2018, and the theatre was rebranded as the James M. Nederlander Theatre, in honor of the founder of Broadway in Chicago.
According to belief, ghosts are said to linger even after death.
According to Condé Nast, despite the complete reconstruction and rebranding of the theater, the spirits of the deceased still linger. The street behind the theater, known as “Death Alley” due to the stacking of bodies after the tragedy, is a popular destination for Chicago ghost tours and has been witness to apparitions.
The James M. Netherlander Theater is presently showcasing Hamilton until December 30th.
Conde Nast has included several other U.S. locations in their list, including Louisiana’s Myrtles Plantation, Colorado’s Stanley Hotel, Pennsylvania’s Eastern State Penitentiary, and Florida’s St. Augustine Lighthouse.
The complete report from Condé Nast can be Condé Nast here.
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