by Mike Kravitz
on Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 at 11:32am.
It may surprise you to hear that Lincoln Park wasn’t always a highly sought after area, and in fact has a turbulent past.
Before the 1830s the area that is now known as Lincoln Park was swamp land and home to Native Americans. Eventually a US Amy base was developed and as the area became industrialized and used for agriculture a community sprang.
Not long after smallpox broke out and claimed the lives of many. The dead were buried in shallow graves, and due to less than efficient drainage systems the cemetery had to be relocated, which meant digging up the dead. Makes your current job sound pretty appealing doesn’t it?
Fast forward to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Lincoln Park was leveled and many lost their lives. It was at this point that Lincoln Park was redeveloped and berthed many of the buildings still standing today.
You may be thinking, what’s that have to do with me living in Lincoln Park now? Well we were just painting the picture of Lincoln Park’s history. Now we can get to the juicy stuff!
2740 N Pine Grove Avenue
This is a story of murder and possession. In 1977 a respiratory therapist named Teresita Basa was discovered in her apartment dead (we know the apartment number, but if you live there you probably don’t want to know). The apartment was on fire and Basa was naked with a knife plunged into her chest.
Police immediately began the investigation of her murder. It wasn’t long after that they received a strange call. The legend goes that Basa’s co-worker, Remy Chua, was possessed from the grave by Basa. Chua’s husband says she was in a daze and was speaking a different language. During one of her episodes Chua appeared to channel Basa and named Allan Showery, an orderly from the hospital where they both worked, as the killer. She even said what type of jewelry Basa was robbed of and where the jewelry was located.
Although the circumstances were odd the police investigated Showery who was found in possession of the jewelry and later convicted of murder.
Do you believe Chua was truly possessed by Basa or was Showery set up?
1735 W. Diversey Pkwy
Now called the Lathrop Homes, this building was once a sausage factory owned by Adolph Luetgert, who was known as the “Sausage King” in the late 19th century. In 1897 Adolph’s wife, Louisa, suddenly disappeared. When police questioned Adolph he told many stories, ranging from her going to visit family to her running off with another man.
Further investigating proved that Adolph was violent with Louisa and their marriage was troubled. There was even speculation that due to financial difficulties Adolph planned on killing his wife and shacking up with a rich widow he’d been courting.
Police discovered that Adolph purchase arsenic and potash the day before Louisa was reported missing.
Then came the disturbing find. The officers searched the sausage factory and in a furnace they found the charred bone fragments of Louisa, a ring with the initials LL engraved on it, and, (gag) foul sausage. Although Adolph claims his innocence he was still convicted of murder and died a year later in prison.
So if you live here and ever wake up to the smell of breakfast sausage and you live alone, well now you know why.
2800 N Pine Grove Ave
Ever heard of a creepy little doll called Chucky? These apartments, known as The Brewster Apartments, were the location for the 1988 movie “Child’s Play.” If that alone doesn’t give you the heebie-jeebies, there’s more.
On July 31, 1895 a construction supervisor fell to his death from the ninth floor for reasons unknown, but referred to as a “freak accident” by onlookers. On the same date over a hundred years later the building’s water tower unexpectedly toppled and fell into an alley, almost crushing people walking below.
Some report feeling sick or nauseous after leaving the 9th floor of the building ‘til this day. We will check back in on July 31, 2017…
There are tons of creepy ghost stories throughout Chicago, a city rich with history! We hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween. Happy hauntings.