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Red Lion Pub –


2446 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60614

Phone: (773) 348-2695


The Red Lion Pub can be found in the North side of Chicago, Illinois, at 2446 North Lincoln Avenue, in a now up and coming neighborhood, remodeled and fixed up to attract people with money to spend, though the area has still hung onto it's ethnic character. Many Greeks, Assyrians, and gypsies still live there, despite the invasion of yuppies, who did bring money into an area of the city that needed the income.


Described as an upscale English Pub, it has three floors in it's wooden and brick structure. The first floor is currently used as a bar/restaurant. A second bar/restaurant dining room, renovated into an authentic looking English pub, is on the second floor, and the apartments on the third floor are used as overflow storage.


The Red Lion Pub building was originally built in 1882, on the Northern outskirts of Chicago, surrounded by farms and countryside. The city grew up around the building, and the neighborhood became a traditionally rough part of town. John Dillinger saw his last movie in the Biograph Theater, located across the street from The Red Lion, before he was gunned down by the G- men, right outside the theater. Al Capone and his thugs hung out in this neighborhood during Prohibition. In the 1940s, Red Lion Inn building was a "Wild West-type" saloon, that respectable people stayed out of. It was described as a real dump, and the second floor housed a flourishing bookie joint, actively involved in the illegal gambling industry. The third floor was always used as apartments, until recently when they became an over flow storage area. Throughout the years, various businesses came and went, such as a produce store, a laundry facility, and a nick - knack/novelty shop. The building was rescued from disrepair by a well-known Chicago architect, John Cordwell, an Englishman who thought it might be fun to renovate it into an old English Pub, as a hobby. John, his wife, and his two sons ran the place now as a side business.

John Cordwell has since passed on, but his sons and wife still run the pub as a side business.


About seven male and female ghosts, thought to be past patrons /workers who have died in the building itself or nearby, make The Red Lion Pub their home. Also, a family member of John Cordwell also hangs out there.

Past Patrons:

A) The Scruffy-looking Cowboy

A psychic by the name of Sheila Bitely who visited the Red Lion saw an ill-groomed apparition of an unshaven, young man in his twenties, who was wearing western clothes and cowboy boots, clumping through the upstairs dining room.

B) 2 Male Apparitions; deceased as a result of a fight

1) The psychic Mrs. Cordwell reports seeing a young male apparition that has black hair and a beard, wearing a black hat, in the company of a blond male apparition with a Slavic, broad face. Using a Ouija board, she found out that the Slavic-looking apparition had killed the black-haired, bearded young male apparition in a fit of anger, over a bad gambling debt.

2) While John's son was working the downstairs bar one night, he heard a terrible crash on the second floor. Perhaps the Slavic ghost is still frustrated and angry. The son found that the cricket bat, that had been hanging on the wall as a display, had been thrown across the room. No one breathing was there at the time to have done it.

C) A 1920s Era Female Ghost.

1) The psychic Mrs. Cordwell has also seen a female apparition that is wearing clothes and sporting the grooming style typical of women making a fashion statement, who lived during the 1920s.

2) Perhaps this is the mischievous ghost who likes to hold the ladies rest room door shut on the second floor, so female patrons or workers are trapped in the bathroom for at least 15 to 20 minutes, before the door all of a sudden pops open without a problem.

D) Ghost of a 20 Year old Retarded Woman

In the second floor dining room, many are treated to an overwhelming smell of lavender perfume. While alive, this young lady didn't know how much perfume to put on, so she usually put on way too much, unless someone helped her.

E) John Cordwell's Father

{Not feeling like they had gotten a proper burial has caused spirits to be restless in other ghost stories reported in other states on our web page map}

After completely renovating the second floor, John put a beautiful stained-glass window in over the stairway to the second floor, placing a memorial plaque underneath it, as a dedication to his father who was an artist, as his father has no headstone on his grave back in England. After doing this, the following manifestations began. Why? {John felt the window and plaque really pleased his father, who told John that he would come back and visit him, after he died, because "there was a spirit world." )

1) John Cordwell, his pianist, and other people have experienced a friendly tap on the shoulder, when no live human being was there.

John claims that his father suffered from dizziness, near the end of his life due to his physical problems, and this phenomena described below is caused by his father, letting the living know he is there.

2) People passing by the stained glass window have all of a sudden have dizzy spells. At the end of the upstairs bar, right by the stairs, is the exact spot where people have had the experience of feeling dizzy all of a sudden.

3) John Cordwell has felt the strong presence of his father on the second floor.

F) Female Ghost

A woman died from an epileptic seizure in the restaurant area, from not being able to breathe.

Several people have felt their throats constricting so they couldn't breathe for just a moment, and attribute it to her.

G) Unknown Male Apparition

During closing time, when only a patron and John's son - in-law were there, the patron, Steve, was left alone for a few minutes, and saw a male apparition walk down the middle of the first floor bar and continue to clump up the stairs. When the son-in-law came back into the room, both men heard the clumping feet up on the second floor. When the second floor was checked, not a living soul was there.

Still Haunted?

Yes indeed.

The ghosts are active when not many people are in the pub. Favorite times seem to be late at night, or on Sundays.






The Ghostly Gazetteer
by Arthur Myers

The National Directory of Haunted Places
by Dennis William Hauck