Hull House

Info

Hull House

Originally built for restate promoter Charles Jay Hull in 1858, Hull House is a main stay of many Chicago area ghost tours and up until recently was the home of the Jane Addams Hull House Association, which closed it’s doors on January 19th, 2012.

Brief History

Charles J Hull, credited with developing much of Chicago’s West Side, had the home built for his family in 1858, however in 1860, just two years after moving into the home, Mr. Hull’s wife passed away, leaving him to care for their two small children. Before her passing, Mrs. Hull asked her cousin, Helen Culver, to care for the children once she was gone, which she agreed to do, giving up her teaching job and moving into Hull House full time. Sadly, both Hull children would end up passing away of illness the first in 1866, while the family still lived in the home, and the second in 1874. In 1868 Mr. Hull vacated the residence and in 1870 an organization called Little Sisters of the Poor moved in, using the home to care for the elderly, during this time, the home saw many deaths due to natural causes.

After being vacated by Little Sisters of the Poor, Hull House spent a short time as a second hand furniture store, followed by a store room and office space for a factory located behind the house. In 1889 Hull House became a settlement home, co founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr and opened it’s doors to recently arrived European immigrants, by 1911 had grown to include over 13 buildings. Operating as the Jane Addams Hull House associate, it’s mission was to improve social conditions for undeserved people and communities by providing creative, innovative programs and by advocating for related public policy reforms. ¬†On June 23rd 1965 Hull House was designated as an United States National Historic Landmark. The Jane Addams Hull House Association continued to thrive until 2012 when it closed it’s doors and field for bankruptcy, but will always be remembered as one of Chicago’s largest non for profit social welfare organizations.

Paranormal History

Not long after the death of Mrs. Hull, people began to report strange happening in what used to be her bedroom, this included things like disembodied foot steps and the rocking chair seemingly rocking on it’s own. Several individuals have reported seeing the ghostly figure of a lady in white, though it is not clear if this is the spirit of Mrs. Hull.

There have been several reports of shadowy monk like figures witnessed over the years at Hull House. Witnesses claim that as many as 4 monk like apparitions haunt the home, appearing in various locations and in varying numbers.

The apparition of a man smoking a pipe and reading a newspaper has been reported, though infrequently, at Hull House. Witnesses claim that after the ghostly figure fades from view, he leaves behind the strong smell of cherry pipe tobacco.

Some paranormal researchers also speculate that the house may be haunted by various individuals who died, mostly of natural causes,during the homes use by Little Sisters of the Poor.

Perhaps the strange ghost stories associated with Hull House centers around the birth of a so called devil baby, which some believe resides in the buildings attic to this day. There are two many versions of the story, the first of which states that during an argument the atheist father of the soon to be born baby tore a picture of the Virgin Mary off the wall, which belonged to his religious wife, and shouted, i’d sooner have a devil in the house than that picture. Soon after this the mother to be went in to labor, during a devil baby was born, complete with cloven hooves, pointed tail, red hued skin and horns. In another version of the story, the father, who already had 6 daughters, stated upon learning of his wives pregnancy proclaimed that he would rather have a devil in the house than a seventh daughter, which of course, led to the birth of the devil baby. In some versions of the story the baby sprang up after birth and ran about a table, shaking his finger in deep reproach at his father, in other versions the baby was delivered by a shocked doctor and a nurse who fainted at the side of the child. In both versions of the story the parents, not knowing what to do, took the child to Hull House where Jane Addams attempted to have the child baptized to save it’s soul, and after failing, confined the child to the homes attic. This story caused a huge uproar in the neighborhood and brought many people to the Hull House to see the baby, though when they arrived they were informed that no such child existed by Ms. Addams and her staff.

Physical Address

800 South Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Offical Website

www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull

Written by Sean – PACC Admin

See something at Hull House? Submit Your Sighting →

Member Sightings at Hull House

Skip to toolbar