Ghosts of Old Chicago

It’s that time of week again–time for Friday Fictioneers on Wednesday. (The prompt shows up early Wednesday morning, and we have the rest of the week to respond with our 100-word stories.) This week’s prompt is courtesy of yours truly, a photo taken from the sky deck of the historic Inn of Chicago. My accompanying story weighs in at exactly 100 words.

2016 04 01 Marie Gail

Copyright Marie Gail Stratford

Ghosts of Old Chicago

“Haunted by mobsters or ghosts from my high school days—pick one.”

“I’d rather attend the symphony in peace.”

“We have to spend the night somewhere. The Congress or the Marriott?”

“Tell me about these high school friends of yours haunting the Marriott.”

“Stereotypes from the early ‘90s mostly. Cheerleaders with cute names. Wannabe football players from rival high schools threatening one another in the lobby.”

“Anyone you had sex with?”

“Well, I was 17—but no. None of them were that lucky.”

“Then I vote for the Congress. The ghost of Al Capone could use a good ass kicking.”


Apparently, Al Capone has a full staff of spectres working alongside him at the Congress Plaza Hotel. You can read more here.

40 thoughts on “Ghosts of Old Chicago

  1. Good stuff. I knew it was Chicago because I recognized the Marriott. You can also see Marina City way down on the right. Love that town.

  2. Dale says:

    Visited Chicago for the first time a few years ago and fell in love with it. Thanks for a great photo and loved your story!

    • storydivamg says:

      Thank you, Dale. I love Chicago too. Lived in a southern suburb for 5 years. When we visited this past fall, my spouse and I had a long conversation about whether or not we might move into Chicago proper. It won’t happen for a while at least, but I’m not entirely certain the conversation is over. 🙂

  3. Mike says:

    Listen up, Sky Riser’s, best time to the top of the tower and back down via the staircases only. No stopping for ghosts or sex thank you. My time 45 minutes but it was the Willis Tower. (One day I hope to visit Chicago)

  4. I think I’d also have preferred the ghost of Al Capone to the high school ghosts! Thanks for the photo prompt this week 🙂

  5. draliman says:

    Yeah, I’m sure high school kids are even more annoying after death. Go get Capone!

  6. Sandra says:

    I agree with Draliman, no way do I want a bunch of high school kids disturbing my night. Wise choice for the lady. Interesting photo M-G.

  7. IfeomaO says:

    Oh I recently stayed at the Congress Plaza hotel- I knew I saw Al Capone!! Lol. Great job.

  8. Dear Marie Gail,

    I’ll take mobsters over cheerleaders any day. 😉 At least we expect mobsters to be brutal. Very well done and thank you for the photo. ❤



  9. oldentimes says:

    Nice story, and great picture. Thank you

  10. wmqcolby says:

    That’s really a great story, Marie Gail. The dialogue works fine and so much to it, too.

  11. k rawson says:

    I know a few ghosts in Chicago myself. Makes me want to get back. Nicely done!

  12. gahlearner says:

    I ain’t afraid of no ghosts, but I’d have gone with that of Capone, too. Great story, and that was an interesting picture.

  13. No jumpers? Refreshing story, even if it has ghosts! I would take Al Capone any day.

  14. madamewriter says:

    Cool tie-in to paranormal culture. We went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras – haunted hotels and tours are a big deal. It can be a lot of fun, but Nope – the skeptic did not see any specters.

  15. Good story, Marie Gail. My daughter lives in and “loves” Chicago. She tried New York City recently, but moved back to Chicago. She acts, does teaching workshop, voice overs, improv, and stand-up comedy. I don’t know if she’s aware of the ghosts. Thanks for the great picture this week. 🙂 — Suzanne

    • storydivamg says:

      What’s not to love about the Windy City? A lot of people don’t realize what an amazing hot spot it is for performers–especially comedians. Maybe your daughter could tap into the city’s ghosts for material next time she writes a stand-up routine.

      All my best,

  16. Margaret says:

    Your characters are very brave. I’d be steering well clear of both hotels. Good story, lively dialogue. Thanks for the picture – very atmospheric.

    • storydivamg says:

      In that case, Margaret, you probably don’t want to spend the night in a Chicago hotel. The only one that is for sure not haunted is Trump Tower Chicago, and that’s just because Trump is so mean he ran all the ghosts off by threatening to charge them rent. 🙂

Comments, compliments and constructive criticism are always welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s