Haunted Chicago – Part 1
Every city has its own set of local lore . . . legends passed down from generation to generation. Especially cities as old and as steeped in vintage architecture as Chicago. With buildings that date back to the 1800’s and multiple graveyards that are even older, there are more ghost stories here than I have enough time to tell. But today I’d love to share one locale I find particularly fascinating – Graceland Cemetary.
Graceland was created in 1860 and is home to several haunted legends, including my favorite – Inez Clarke. The plaque on the memorial for this young girl reads:
“Inez” Born Sept. 20, 1873, Died Aug. 1, 1880.
Local ghost-lovers once believed little Inez Clark died in 1880 – a victim of a freak lightening strike after being caught in a storm while on a picnic with her parents. This story eventually evolved into the theory that Inez was locked out of her home as a punishment, and was struck by lightening. According to both legends, her family was so distraught by her death that they had a life-sized sculpture of her created and encased in glass. Shortly thereafter, rumor has it that cemetery groundskeepers frequently reported the glass case being empty during thunderstorms and hearing childlike giggling throughout the grounds on multiple occasions. *shivers*
Problem with this legend? Local historians have proven that Inez Clarke didn’t exist. Near the sculpture lies the body of a little boy named Amos Briggs. There is no record of an Inez Clarke in the cemetery, or even living in Chicago during the late 1800’s. So what really happened here and who is the little girl in the sculpture? According to some, the existence of the sculpture is as creepy as the story of the ghostly girl that some believe it was fashioned after. For others, it is nothing more than an advertisement for a local sculptor of the time –marketing per-se for his services. Whatever the reason the statue and faux memorial stands there, it’s seriously creepy and draws thousands every year.
So, what do you say? Coming to visit me in Chicago so we can pay our respects to Inez? Or at least, to the sinister vibe that Inez conjures up?
* Up next on Haunted Chicago Part 2 – the story of “ETERNAL SILENCE” and Dexter Graves.