I ain’t afraid of no ghost.

Elena Tucker
3 min readJun 25, 2021
Photo by Tandem X Visuals on Unsplash

I was scrolling through some news when I saw an article from The Insider magazine, written by Frank Olito. In it, Mr. Olito spent three nights at the Congress Plaza Hotel, in Chicago, on Michigan Avenue.

Why? The Congress Plaza Hotel has the reputation of being one of the most haunted hotels in the United States. Some guests have reported that blankets were snatched from them as they slept. Others complained of ghostly whisperings at the foot of their beds.

Normally, if I read a little fluff piece like this, I would not comment or bother unless I really liked it or really hated it. And, I really hated it. It bothered me, because there was the tease of something happening, and nothing happened. Nothing.

The entire trip Mr. Olito was “creeped out,” had trouble sleeping (sleeping with the lights on, finally) and finding the empty hallways eerie and disturbing.

With the headline that compared a stay in the downtown hotel to that of the horror movie The Shining, I expected to see at least one unnerving, staring, dead-pale little child in the hallway — although creepy twins would have been better. But no, Mr. Olito did not encounter any strange children. No bumps in the night. No voices. No unexplained movements. Not one ghostly murmur reached his ears — not one gauzy silhouette was outlined menacingly anywhere. He was freaked out on potential alone.

Yes, the hallways and the restaurants were empty. There were a lot of photographs Mr. Olito took of empty places. But we are living at the time of the pandemic. For safety, many places are simply . . . empty. Given my druthers, I’d stay home and not galivant about inside hotels where people breathe and cough all over. And sure, I’ve been spooked by shadows myself — its not that difficult to have your imagination run away from you. Granted, a chair wedged against the door handle would deter a burglar (and cleaning service), but certainly not a ghost.

I do not know Mr. Olito. I have not even seen a photo of him. But, justly or not, I have formed a picture of him in my mind. I see a slight man, not too imposing in stature, medium in built and form. Perhaps his eyebrows are bit too rounded, so he looks slightly surprised at most things. He has large, expressive eyes. He also has long, delicate fingers, somewhat…

Elena Tucker

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.