Friday, October 8, 2010

The Chicago Water Tower that Survived the Fire

I ate dinner at a wonderful French restaurant in front of Chicago's historic water tower last night.  It was Steak au Pouvre with pomme fritte.  Yum.  I could travel the world for no other reason than to eat and look at buildings.  The building behind us, the water tower, is definitely worth the trip as well.   Between October 10, 1871 and October 12, 1871  downtown Chicago was destroyed by a massive unstoppable fire.   Due to its wonderful stone, Gothic construction the water tower was one of the few buildings not destroyed in the fiery inferno.  Apparently, Chicago was made mostly of wood in the nineteenth century and the water tower was one of the rare buildings made entirely of stone.  The water tower and the water pump station across the street are two massive, castle like structures that stand out of down town Chicago like a Gothic cathedral would stand out in Alabama.  The stone structure provided sanctuary to those fleeing the fire on October 10-12th. 

According Dylan Clearfield,  this tower that has born witness to Chicago's long history,  is haunted by those who died during the fires.   He believes that those who tried to reach the safety of the tower and failed still cling to the old structure finding the sanctuary in death there that they couldn't find in life.  According to Clearfield, ghosts have been seen in the windows of the water tower and they are sometimes even seen hanging by their neck.   There is no known reason for the ghosts to be seen in such a state, but the stories remain bearing witness to some haunted past that history has forgotten.    

4 comments:

Jim Fisher said...

Awesome building sounds like it was a great night.

Jayce said...

This is what i heard...
Some believe that the tower is haunted by the ghost of a man who perished there during the fire. This heroic worker stayed behind as the fire came closer, manning the pumps instead of fleeing for his life. Just before the flames reached him, he hanged himself in the structure rather than be burned to death.

so that's why they are seen hanging..

Creepy Petey said...

Having lived in Chicago about 4 months I've never heard of this story . I walked up to the tower for the first time the first window I looked in and there's a guy hanging from a noose in the window. I wonder what the heck is all that ???is that for an Art Exhibit that's coming.? Security guard tells me he doesn't believe me I saw something I go back outside and it was gone ....months later I see a web page dedicated to the GHOST hanged man

Creepy Petey said...

Having lived in Chicago about 4 months I've never heard of this story . I walked up to the tower for the first time the first window I looked in and there's a guy hanging from a noose in the window. I wonder what the heck is all that ???is that for an Art Exhibit that's coming.? Security guard tells me he doesn't believe me I saw something I go back outside and it was gone ....months later I see a web page dedicated to the GHOST hanged man