The Haunting of the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago with Morgan Sterling #HauntedPlaces

I wanted to stay on theme and show off a haunted location from my main character, Craig’s hometown. I can imagine him telling visiting professors to avoid staying at my hotel highlight if they want a good night's sleep. 

The Congress Plaza Hotel is nestled in the heart of downtown Chicago. It was built in 1893 and has seen its fair share of illustrious guests, including U.S. presidents, celebrities, and notorious criminals. 

However, behind its ornate façade lies a darker, more sinister history that has earned it the reputation of being one of the most haunted locations in the Windy City.

The Congress Plaza Hotel’s haunted reputation is deeply intertwined with its long and storied past. Over the years, the hotel has been the site of numerous tragic events, ranging from mysterious disappearances to gruesome deaths. These occurrences have given rise to a plethora of ghost stories and paranormal encounters that continue to intrigue and terrify visitors.

One of the most infamous legends associated with the hotel is that of “Peg Leg” Johnny, a hobo who was reportedly murdered in the hotel during the early 1900s. His spirit is said to wander the hallways, his peg leg making a distinctive thumping sound as he moves. Guests have reported hearing these eerie footsteps late at night, adding to the hotel’s chilling atmosphere.

Among the many haunted areas within the Congress Plaza Hotel, the Florentine Room is perhaps the most notorious. This elegant ballroom, once a hub of social gatherings and grand celebrations, is now known for its ghostly inhabitants. Staff and guests have reported seeing shadowy figures dancing and hearing the faint strains of music long after the room has been closed for the night.

Another hotspot of supernatural activity is the Gold Room, a lavish banquet hall that has hosted countless events over the decades. According to legend, the ghost of a workman who died during the hotel's construction haunts the room. His apparition, often seen wearing early 20th-century work clothes, is known to appear in photographs taken by unsuspecting guests.

Then there is room 441. It is regarded as the most haunted room in the Congress Plaza Hotel. Over the years, numerous guests have fled the room in the middle of the night, unable to cope with the disturbing phenomena they experienced. Reports include the sensation of being touched by unseen hands, objects moving on their own, and the apparition of a woman standing at the foot of the bed.

The spirit of this woman is believed to be that of a former guest who tragically ended her life in the room. Her presence is so unsettling that the hotel management has considered sealing off the room permanently, but its notoriety continues to draw thrill-seekers and paranormal investigators.

In fact, the Congress Plaza Hotel has been the subject of numerous paranormal investigations, with experts and enthusiasts alike flocking to the site in hopes of capturing evidence of the supernatural. Many have reported feeling an inexplicable sense of dread in certain areas of the hotel, as well as experiencing sudden drops in temperature and witnessing objects moving inexplicably.

Despite the fearsome reputation, the hotel's staff remains largely unfazed by the tales. Many employees consider the ghosts a part of the hotel's charm and history, adding an extra layer of intrigue for the thousands of guests who pass through its doors each year.

The Congress Plaza Hotel is more than just a place to stay; it is a destination rich with history and mystery. Whether you are a skeptic or a believer, there is no denying the allure of the hotel’s haunted past. From the eerie footsteps of “Peg Leg” Johnny to the chilling encounters in Room 441, the Congress Plaza Hotel offers an experience that is both captivating and spine-tingling.
For those brave enough to spend a night in one of its haunted rooms, the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago promises an unforgettable stay. Just remember to keep the lights on.

Stellar Harmony
A Nerdy Love Affair
Book 1
Morgan Sterling

Genre: Urban Romance
Date of Publication: May 31, 2024 
ISBN: 9798883229052
Number of pages: 211
Word Count: 59,926
Cover Artist: Morgan Sterling 
Tagline: An Urban Romance Written In The Stars

Book Description:

In the vibrant streets of Chicago, Langston, an astrophysics professor, and Aurora, a gifted musician, find solace in each other's embrace. But as their love blossoms, they must confront societal pressures and personal demons. Will they find harmony in the chaos of their lives? Dive into this captivating urban romance filled with passion, self-discovery, and the wonders of the cosmos.


We reached across the table to clink our glasses together.

"No one understands me either," we said in unison.

I blushed. His scent of fresh soap and spiced cologne intoxicated me as if I could taste it on my tongue.

The server asked if we needed another round, but we both declined. Langston waved him off kindly and said we should get some air.

Outside, the cool night air felt good against my skin. The stars twinkled above us, and Langston pointed out constellations like reading a book. Orion, Cassiopeia, and others. I let out a small gasp when he told me there was one that resembled a man with a star for a crown.

"Wow. That's the first time anyone's ever shown me that," I whispered, goosebumps prickling my arms.

He smiled. "Imagine how people used to look up at stars, see images, paint pictures." He blew out a breath in a cloud in the cold air. His nose was starting to turn red. He looked adorable. But he didn't seem to notice the cold as he looked up. "Fantasies in the sky."

He looked down at me but said nothing as he wrapped his arms around himself to stay warm.

"So, tell me about your fantasies," he murmured into the silence.

"Huh?" I blinked, caught off guard by his directness.

He chuckled. "You know, what do you like to dream about when the stars come out? What turns you on?" His voice was deep and husky, sending shivers down my spine.

"I don't know," my eyes lowered nervously. "I've never really thought about it." My cheeks flushed as I realized how naive that sounded.

"I don't think that's true," he began, taking my hand into both of his. He blew onto them, his hot breath hitting my cold skin. And his lips, so soft, brushed against the palm of my hand.

A moment later Langston pulled me in for a warm kiss. When our lips met, a fire ignited, spreading like wildfire through my veins. Langston's mouth moved against mine with a fervor that matched the intensity of the kiss. His lips were soft and pliant, molding perfectly to mine.

I tasted the remnants of the wine on his lips, an intoxicating blend mingling with the sweetness of his breath. His heat enveloped me, seeping into my skin. Gathering my hair peeking from under my hat, he tangled it in his fingers, willing my head back, my lips parted. His other hand slipped past my bomber jacket, onto my butt, pulling me closer.

A moan escaped me instinctually. It was all he needed to pull me in further, his tongue exploring my mouth.

My pulse pulsed, feeling him press against me.

"God damn it," he said, pulling away, searching my eyes as I searched his back for answers to unasked questions.

"I think- I think I should head home." I took wobbly steps back, cold air rushing between us. I did not come to Chicago for this - the last thing I needed.

I waved briefly and left him confused on the cold Chicago street. And if he felt only a pinch of what I did, I also left him horny as hell.

About the Author:

Explore the captivating narratives of Morgan Sterling, a seasoned wordsmith whose storytelling prowess transcends boundaries. Spanning various genres, from contemporary to paranormal and urban romance, Morgan's narratives challenge conventional norms, spotlighting the allure of imperfection. Within Morgan's literary universe, characters are intricately layered, diverging from traditional romantic archetypes. Here, protagonists may embody antiheroic traits, and heroines navigate their journeys with authenticity and fortitude, illustrating the boundless nature of true love.

As a minority woman blerd (black nerd) with a penchant for romance and an imaginative flair, Morgan draws from personal encounters to craft authentic and diverse tales. Motivated by a quest for representation in literature, Morgan embarked on a creative odyssey to fill a void, merging romance with the fantastical realms of science fiction and fantasy.

Beyond her literary endeavors, Morgan is a polymath of varied interests. From indulging in cosplay to immersing herself in anime, comic books, and lingerie, she draws inspiration from her eclectic passions, infusing her creative process with vivacious energy. Influenced by literary luminaries like Octavia Butler, Dean Koontz, and Rebecca Roanhorse, Morgan's narratives transport readers to both familiar and fantastical worlds, captivating them until the last page.

Morgan lives in the Southern United States, but fully embraces her 1st generation status as a Caribbean-American. Though her pen allows her to live many lives, she lives real life with her husband, children, and pets.

Embark on a journey through Morgan Sterling's enchanting realm, where love transcends conventions, and imperfections are celebrated with reverence.

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