Monthly Archives: October 2004

A ghost hunter in training / Frank Lloyd Wright

This same letter was sent to fellow ghost hunters/researchers Henry Pena, Dale Kaczmarek and John Cachel

Question: My wife and I have been interested in “ghost hunting” for years.  We have also been researching the subject for years.  We recently broke down and started buying some equipment (no touch infra red thermometer, EMF detector, assorted audio recorders) along with our existing Sony camcorder w/ night vision, digital and analog cameras.  So I assure you this interest is not seasonal.  Now I am starting to reach out to the Chicagoland paranormal community and see what is going on.  Does your club get together often, share info, that kinda stuff?

We have a little tour scheduled for the 22nd of October, kinda for my wife’s birthday on the 21st.  Nothing truly scientific, more for fun, seeing that we have 14 chicagoland spots to hit.  But I truly hope to begin scientific and professional investigations for fun.   We have taken a few popular ghost tours and always came away saying “we can do better”.  These tours always make me feel like a tourist in my own town.

Like I said I am just beginning to reach out to the community and see what is going on outside.

Have you heard of any activity at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park IL?  I work in Oak Park and have dealt with the “Home and studio” often.  I think I might get permission for an opportunity to conduct an extensive study in the building.  Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks, Steve

Reply:  There are certainly a lot of drawbacks to bus tours, just the nature of the beast: it’s hard to create an intimate atmosphere.  However, they are great for getting an overview of a bunch of interesting locations that you can then go back to on your own.  It’s like window shopping!  Before you go on  your self-guided tour, please send me your list of locations.  Likely I’ve been to most of them and I may have a good tip to share with you from my experience.

Unlike the others you eMailed, my organization is a production company that does a lot of different work.  It just so happens that we have produced a video and a book/CD-ROM about Chicago ghosts.  I consider myself a ghost researcher rather than hunter (though I respect anyone looking to learn more).  Other than speeches, we do not have events or meetings.  (UPDATE in 2013: We now lead tours and participate in investigations that are open to the public)  Of all of Chicago’s ‘names’ in this field, I would endorse anything Ursula Bielski does.

Not being a ghost hunter I cannot contribute much technical information, however I would say this:  don’t go anywhere without infrared camcorder or analog camera.  There are debates regarding whether or not digital cameras pick anything up.  I’m undecided, but tend to lean away from digital.  Troy Taylor would have most anything you’d want to know on prairieghosts.com.

As for the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, I have heard that it was haunted, but that’s all I heard.  We were given that tip too close to the deadline of our book to be able to research it.  Good luck and above all, be safe out there!