When there’s something strange in your museum who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!
I feel like if you’re in the museum business inevitably you will work in a location that is supposedly haunted. Full disclosure, every museum I have ever worked or volunteered at has had claims of paranormal activity. I jokingly refer to myself as a daytime ghost hunter because I think it’s so much fun to believe in ghosts. I think anybody who loves history would love an opportunity to interact with someone from the past which is what I think makes museum ghosts so appealing to me!
Growing up I was always told that the U-505 submarine at the Museum of Science and Industry was haunted. So, I took two of my fellow daytime ghost hunters on an adventure into regions beyond.
Here is what we know…
MSI was originally built as the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1893 Colombian Exposition. Since it held priceless works of art is was built soundly enough to stay standing after the exposition was over. With this type of history, the museum allegedly is haunted by at least three ghosts!
- Clarence Darrow- Remember him from the Scopes Monkey Trial? Well, he lived in Hyde Park and the bridge in the lagoon nearby is named after him. Supposedly employees have seen him wondering about. Not sure if I’m buying this one but okay.
- H.H Holmes- Well, I HOPE this guy isn’t haunting MSI!
- The Commander of the U-505
The U-505 came from Hamburg Germany where it served in World War II until it was captured by American forces in 1944. While we know there were multiple commanders of the U-505 the most popular candidate for hauntings is the second commander who committed suicide on the U-Boat. During an attack by British forces the commander, believing this to be the end, took to the control room and ended his life. It is believed his spirit has never left the U-Boat since. How true is this? Honestly, I can’t attest to this. Our docent was hesitant to speak on the supposed hauntings of the ships but did admit that the ship is particularly scary at night time with all the lights in the museum off.
We heard that the commander tends to pick on girls, who wear pigtails, and while this sounds like something made up to scare little girls we thought it was worth a shot and donned some pigtails. Alas, by the end of the tour we remained un-haunted.
So, is the Museum of Science and Industry haunted by a German U-Boat commander? I think not. However, check it out for yourself and don’t be too surprised if you run into a ghostly presence.