The Devil Baby of Hull House

The Devil Baby of Hull House

We’re going to switch up the weekly ‘Did You Know, Chicago?’ for October to give you facts about Chicago’s most haunted venues. Kicking it off: Hull House.

You’ve most likely heard of Jane Addams, and you may have even heard about Hull House, but did you know it’s one of the most haunted places in Chicago?

First, a brief explanation of Hull House:
Hull House was and still is an amazing organization. It was founded by Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in 1889 as a settlement house, providing education and services to help the city’s working class and new European immigrants classes. The house and its workers sparked many reformations in Chicago. Today, the Jane Addams Hull House Association still helps countless Chicagoans every year. Click here to read more about how incredible this organization was and still is today.

And Jane Addams thought Hull House was haunted.

The Lady in White
Hull House was built in 1856 by wealthy real estate developer Charles J. Hull. His wife died in the second floor bedroom and only a few months later it was reported that her ghost had begun haunting the bedroom. After the Hulls vacated the house, the Little Sisters of the Poor and a used furniture store occupied the building and claimed that Mrs. Hull continued to haunt the room. Even Addams herself talked about the ghost in her book, “Twenty Years at Hull House.”

The Devil Baby of Hull House
The most popular Hull House ghost story is the The Devil Baby. According to legend, when a Catholic woman tried to put up an image of The Virgin Mary in her home, her atheist husband tore it down saying he’d rather have the devil in the house. When the couple had their first child, it was born it had pointed ears, horns and a tail. The parents, not knowing what to do with the devil baby, took it to Hull House. The house staff tried to have the baby baptized, but when it escaped and laughed at the priest it wa locked in the attic until it died. It’s said that this story inspired the book/movie “Rosemary’s Baby.”

There’s debate over how true this story could be. Addams wrote in her autobiography that this story was completely false. Many people think that perhaps a baby with deformaties was taken in the house and rumors spun out of control. Whatever the real story is, neighborhood residents say even today that on certain nights you can see an evil face of a little boy peering out of the top floor window…..

 This is a pretty famous image taken by Dale Kaczmarek in 1980 that shows monk-like ghosts floating down the Hull House staircase.

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