Chicago, IL

Lincoln Park Zoo: Chicago's Unexpectedly Haunted Attraction

Jennifer Geer

One of the most "haunted places in America" is one of the most unlikely attractions you might expect.

Condé Nast Traveler has published a report of 32 locations across the country selected by its editors as the most haunted places in America.

The report highlights locations across the country and includes hotels, theaters, abandoned prisons, and even Chicago's popular city zoo. Lincoln Park Zoo has been named one of the "32 Most Haunted Places in America".

Why is Lincoln Park Zoo thought to be haunted?

Lincoln Park was once the Chicago City Cemetery. From the 1840s to 1860, thousands were buried where the picturesque park sits today. When the city decided the scenic lakefront landscape would be better served as a park than a burial ground, it began moving the cemetery.

A campaign to move caskets began in the 1860s and became a common site along the lakefront. However, to get a grave moved, the city needed authorization from a family member.

This was, of course, impossible to do for everyone buried in the cemetery. The unclaimed graves were simply left behind, and built over.

Today, stories abound of haunted happenings in the zoo. One famous legend is of a ghostly Victorian-era woman seen walking around the lion enclosure. Others have reported hearing disembodied voices in the restroom in the basement of the lion's house.

Lincoln Park Haunted Tours

If you'd like to learn more about Lincoln Park Zoo's haunted history, it's one of the stops on Lincoln Park Hauntings Chicago Ghost Tour & Ghost Hunt. Tour guides begin at the Chicago History Museum and walk guests through some of Chicago's most haunted history.

About Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo is a 35-acre zoo founded in 1868, making it the fourth oldest zoo in North America. It's also one of the only zoos in the country with free admission.

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area.

Chicago, IL
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