At a recent book signing event I was talking to a couple of fellow writers who also happened to be amateur ghost hunters. They shared a few stories regarding some paranormal experiences they had witnessed. This piqued my interest so I did some research, and stumbled across an unexpected subject – sports hauntings. Being a huge Chicago Cubs’ fan I of course looked into any paranormal activity related to the team, and was pleasantly surprised to find out Wrigley Field has several prominent ghosts which haunt the Friendly Confines.
In an interview by Jeff Belanger for www.ghostvillage.com, Don Gordon, the co-author of Haunted Baseball: Ghosts, Curses, Legends, and Eerie Events stated that Wrigley Field was the most haunted ballpark in the world. He based this on the many stories he had been told by security guards, grounds crew, and various other Cubs personnel. The ghost stories seem to center on three specific individuals who many believe are haunting Wrigley Field.
The first of these is the ghost of Charlie Grimm, a former player and manage. Grimm was an unremarkable player, but he managed the Cubs in the 1930s and into the 1940s. This stint as manager included Pennants in 1932, 1935 and 1945 – which coincidentally was the last time the Cubs were in a World Series.
Many security guards have witnessed the bullpen phone ringing in the middle of the night. This phone can only be called from the dugout which of course is completely empty when a game is not in progress. The thought is, this is Charlie Grimm still calling the bullpen to get a relief pitcher ready. Cubs’ executives have also told tales of seeing an apparition resembling Charlie Grimm roam the hallways at night. Rumor has it Charlie Grimm’s ashes are buried somewhere in left field. If this is true it might explain why the former manager still feels the need to make his presence felt.
In 1998 beloved Chicago Cubs’ broadcaster, Harry Caray passed away. Many fans have claimed to see unexplained mists in the press box and in the bleachers. Also, the Cubs went on to have a winning season that year, and fans attribute that success to Harry’s ghost inspiring the team. The stories continued to a point the Cubs; ownership actually hired Ursula Bielski and her team, Chicago Hauntings, Inc. to investigate. They did not discover anything in the broadcast booth, but reported experiencing unexplained cold spots and weird energy readings all over the stadium as well as odd electromagnetic readings in the famed Wrigley Field bleachers.
The ghost of Steve Goodman, the songwriter who penned the Chicago Cubs’ anthem “Go, Cubs, Go” is said to still attend games. Goodman was a longtime season ticket holder, and many Cubs’ employees report seeing his ghostly form sitting in the stands behind home plate. Goodman was such a huge fan in fact, his last request was to have his remains buried at Wrigley Field. Many believe Steve Goodman’s ashes are buried under home plate. Again, this could explain why Goodman’s spirit cannot let go of the team he loved.
Now as a Cubs’ fan who rarely misses a game on television I have witnessed many occasions when fans in the bleachers have scattered ashes of a loved on into the outfield ivy. Seeing as many of these deceased fans were never able to see their favorite team win a World Series while they were alive is it any wonder their spirits may not be resting in peace. Who knows exactly how many individuals final resting place is Wrigley Field. With all the strange occurrences which seem to plague the Cubs is it any more far-fetched to believe their stadium is haunted. Knowing how dedicated the Cubs’ fan base is I can well imagine diehard fans staying obsessed with their team even in death. Wrigley Field is closing in on 100 years old and is rich in history. The city of Chicago is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the country should one of its ballparks be any different.
Jeff Belanger, ghostvillage.com author interview”, www.ghostvillage.com
Taylor Maxwell, “Haunted Wrigley”, www.thewannabesportsguy.com