Al Capone’s Haunted Chicago Cullerton Hotel

This the original article I wrote for the first investigations ever done by a paranormal group at this historic location.

Al Capone’s Cullerton Hotel

It was published on Extreme Vision Paranormal’s blog, Examiner and the Chicago Tribune.
Thanks again to Ed Shanahan for the feature and invitation to this location.
Snippets were also featured in a recent Chicagoist article.

More photos from the investigation can be found here: Flickr-Photoschmoto.

Links are posted below:

Chicago Tribune

Extreme Vision Paranormal

Chicago Now


An Afternoon at Blue Star Auto with Extreme Vision Paranormal 
by Anna Aaron.

Located in the heart of rising affluent and diverse neighborhoods of the South Loop, Blue Star Auto, at a quick glance appears to be a leftover structure from the early 1970s. With a retro auto store occupying the first floor, one would never guess that this is actually in fact, a very historic building. It was known as the Cullerton Hotel, aka Al Capone’s hotel.

Located in one of the most criminally depraved parts of the city known as The Levee, Chicago’s red-light district, formed in 1893 with bordellos, gambling halls, peep shows, saloons, pool rooms to cocaine parlors, operated up until the 1930s. And what would be considered today as child prostitution, many underage females were housed and abused in tiny rooms. Inside this historic building are four floors and a dirt-floor basement of amazing history hidden from the hustle and bustle of the modern world, very much frozen in time.

Extreme Vision Paranormal, the Midwest’s premiere paranormal group, was the investigative support team for Chicago Psychic Reader and Channeler, Edward Shanahan at this location twice. These are our accounts from our second visit. Our initial visit yielded much activity but the second time around was more intense and specific. The location is very active and not surprising considering it’s dark history. With that in mind, you will understand our personal experiences and the evidence that we captured.

For our first EVP session (EVP stands for electronic voice phenomena), we decided to go back to the second floor. The second floor comprises of old offices and sections of the former brothel. There is a corner office where we experienced spiking K-2 meters, answers on our ghost box and responses via our dowsing rods.

Usually in our investigations and during EVP sessions, “sensitives” or psychics will accompany us. They share impressions along with confirmations from our many devices (ie. Ovilus, ghost box, GhostRadar) or vice versa as our devices will also confirm their impressions!

The name “John” came back up again and this time with the last name of “Augustine”. Put together along with some research and you’ve got the name of a priest who did live back in that time combined with a story often noted with the Levee District, of a priest who would stand on the corner and preach against The Levee- the Sodom and Gomorrah of it’s day. Now whether this is in fact is the actual priest’s name who lived in that time is another question. However it is interesting to note nonetheless.

The progression of the EVP session also produced a personal message for a visitor from several of their own deceased family members. The names of their relatives had come through the ghost box. This happened the last time with a woman who’s brother-in-law had passed away recently. As recently as attending the wake the day before she came to Blue Star Auto. Her relative came through the ghost box and was communicating. It’s interesting to note that these occurrences were happening at this location as it contains what is already apparent – much emotional intensity and tragedies that are still unresolved to this day. This creates quite a place of energy and activity.

We weren’t disappointed when we headed to the back rooms where most of the women were kept. A tiny back room with old wallpaper made everyone feel uneasy. The impressions of painful abortions and child prostitution was evident as responses came through our devices and the sensitives present. A strong female presence was noted perhaps the “madame” of the brothel.

Our final session was in a concealed section of the hotel which can only be accessed through permission of the owner, who himself has confessed of the uneasy feeling he gets when he’s up there. Added to the fact that the section is not safe as the floor boards can easily give way. Two investigators, myself included along with a psychic went to the area with a raw intensity of danger not previously felt.

I had heard the floors and stairs creaking behind an investigator who was standing with her back to the opening to the other room. Initially, I thought someone had followed us up. No one was there. Her name came clearly through the ghostbox during our EVP session. Along with the word “demon” being repeated twice. We asked what it’s name was. We heard the word “azul” repeated many times in a low deep voice of a man almost growling. “Azul” oddly enough is a Spanish word for blue and the place is called Blue Star Auto. Was it telling us it was a “blue demon”? There is much that is known and yet unknown about demons. A tomb that was discovered back in 1985 in Monterozzi, which is an Etruscan necropolis in Italy, has paintings of blue demons on the wall.

Seen here: There is also much discussion in the paranormal field on the subject of Djinn. Djinn are a class of beings that are tricksters in nature and who are thought to live in a parallel dimension but like to inhabit caves, deserts and desolate places. There are types of djinn that are blue.

But back to our encounter with the “blue demon”, it very clearly wanted us to leave. The palpable sense of discomfort, danger and anger was very apparent. The concluding Circle of Energy that was conducted by Edward Shanahan, also had interesting responses via the Echobox. Extreme Vision Paranormal is appreciative for the opportunity to be the first paranormal team to investigate. Blue Star Auto is an intriguing place of despondent history and valid activity.

Al Capone’s Cullerton Hotel – Interior that hasn’t been seen in decades.

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