Tag Archives: video

Haunted Galena, IL – Haunted Galena Tour Co.

Galena, Illinois is a former mining and steamboat town near the Mississippi River in northeastern Illinois.  It’s believed that Native Americans used this location to mine for lead for use in burial rituals two thousand years ago and the first European mining here took place during the French exploring/trading era of the late 1600s through the 1700s.  By the early 1800s shipping allowed the easy hauling of iron ore from the cite, leading to Galena becoming the first mining boom town in US history.

HauntedGalena-TedToday Galena is a beautiful, locked in time community… I mean literally locked in.  About 2.25 square miles of downtown is a preserved, historic district.  Of course, all that history, all that preservation helps those from the other side feel right at home here.

The Haunted Galena Tour Company, run by Ted Williams and Robyn Davis takes people through the downtown, occasionally even entering the historic sites, while pointing out favorable vantage points to try to capture paranormal photos while also showing some of the highlights of the best images caught on the tour.  I should also point out that they offer a “Spirits & Spirits Tour,” that is a haunted pub crawl that goes through three haunted watering holes.  Your $25 ticket nets you all of the history and hauntings at these places along with a specialty cocktail at EACH location.

HauntedGalena-DowlingHouseHauntedGalenaTourThat’s tough to beat, we imagine, but the key was in the presentation where Ted would go into a story in a somewhat expected way – telling of the significance of the location, before suddenly Robyn would appear and talk about a moment in history as if she were eye witness to the tragedy as a townsperson living in the relevant era, giving way again for Ted to finish the tale by talking about the paranormal happenings that are observed to this day.  It is theatrical and there’s a million ways it could come off as cheesy or over-the-top, but the Ted/Robyn duo absolutely hit the right tone.  Book your tickets by clicking here or the tour company logo above.

I know you’re saying, “Get to the damned ghost stories already!”  Well fine, pushy!  I’ll even reward your patience with a video clip.  It’s not uncommon for a walking tour to also feature a story about a location that’s too far to walk to.  In this case, it’s the Adly House, a site of an unknown number of murders.  Click on the video to hear the story directly from Ted & Robyn.

 

In rapid fire teasing, the tour leads into the re-discovered room in the basement of the DeSoto Hotel where the lady in black, Galena’s most famous ghost, has been seen.  The tour swings by a former tombstone factory where the tour guides shared outdated (and seriously strange by today’s standards) funerary traditions.  A stop was also made at one of the more paranormal photo-friendly locations in town, the oldest structure in the city, the 1820s built Dowling House where the group was invited to try their best to capture something on camera.

HauntedGalena-OldMarketHouse2

One of my favorite reasons for taking a ghost tour in a new city is to find locations I can revisit.  One such location where people can do a little ghost hunting is the Old Market House.  This location is a historic site, but it’s used as an information hub / visitor resource center.  One fact that is definitely not in any of the ‘visit Galena’ brochures is that there was once a jail cell built in the basement of this structure.  A woman by the name of Marianne Miller was something of a ne’er-do-well, repeat offender type and one night she was placed into holding in this newly constructed cell.  The timing could not have been worse as this night was a night where the river overflowed its banks and the basement flooded and Marianne drowned.

While Ms. Miller wasn’t considered the fabric of the Galena community, she was still a neighbor who deserved better.  That jail cell was never used again, but the psychic energy remains.  Among other paranormal phenomena observed within, it is possible to make contact with Marianne, even from outside of the building.  There is an exterior staircase that heads down to basement level.  If you, especially on nights when the weather is inclimate, knock on the basement door and you may have your knock returned to you from the other side.  Other times, instead of knocks, you may hear fingernails on the door scratching back at you, this poor, unfortunate soul who still appears to be clawing to get out of her cell.

HauntedGalena-OldMarketHouse

I always hesitate telling someone else’s story (in the sense that I simply haven’t done enough of the research myself), but in the case of the Galena Tour company, no write-up, no matter how detailed, could match the entertaining presentation you could get by hearing the story directly from Ted and Robyn.  There are a lot of ghost tours out there, but Haunted America’s Lake Geneva Tour and The Haunted Galena Tour Co. are two must-have experiences for anything looking to feel an extra chill down their spine.

On a side note, there is another tour company in town, which I did not take, but I cannot stress enough that this is the tour you want to book.  Plan and book your tickets in advance to make sure you get a spot on this tour!

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C is for (haunted) Cemeteries!

Among the haunted cemeteries I cover in this live stream are…

Mountain View Mausoleum, Altedena, CA

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, CA

Archer Woods Cemetery, Summit, IL

Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago, IL

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, IL

 


B is for Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery

We cover some of the MANY paranormal tales associated with Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery.

…but the YouTube Gods were not on our side, so we pick it up after getting cut off here.


A is for Archer Avenue (A to Z Blog Challenge)

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge
I decided to take part in the A – Z Blog Challenge, where I will tackle a new topic everyday, going from A to Z in the subject.

In this first video, I talk about the many haunted sites around Archer Avenue, including telling the story of Resurrection Mary, the Willowbrook Ballroom, Chet’s Melody Lounge, St. James Cemetery & the mafia history of the Irish Legend Pub.

 


Haunted Woods? Indian Burial Grounds? Urban Legends Galore on Sanatorium Hill, Madison, WI

This is a first look at a location I’ve wanted to explore for a while now.  Sanatorium Hill (aka Lake View Sanatorium, now Dane County Health and Human Services) lived up to my hopes as a fun place to explore.  Next step is doing a LOT more research, including hearing more about YOUR stories of the place, followed by, of course, actual ghost hunting!


Flashback: Haunted Bucktown Pub, Fort Sheridan & Robinson Woods.

Waaaay back when I was in college I interned just about everywhere I would get accepted.  I had the pleasure of working at HBO Films, and even got some of my first on-set experience on “Daddy Daycare” and the seriously underrated “Hollywood Homicide” with Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett when I worked at Revolution Studios.  However, one of the best experiences was right here in sweet home, Chicago working for CLTV.  The show was a weekly entertainment series called “Metromix.”  Even after finishing up my internship there, they brought me back on to help produce three “Haunted Chicago” segments for the weeks leading up to Halloween.

It’s insanely difficult to tell a ghost story, involving a location’s rich history, in two to two and a half minutes, so some of the segments feel disjointed (if you ask me), but it’s still fun to look back at what these locations looked and felt like in 2002 when these bits were shot:

Paranormal Activity at Robinson Woods Burial Grounds, Norridge, IL

The top YouTube comments on this video are

  • “This is where John Wayne Gacy killed the Peterson-Schuessler boys” (oy!)
  • “The deer aren’t possessed, they’re following you because people feed them.”

First thing’s first, those bodies were actually found at Robinson South. I should make a video pointing out these two different locations. They are close, but aren’t the same exact same place. It does get misreported quite a bit though. The location where the bodies were discovered is about 700 yards away and is south of Lawrence Ave. Also, those poor boys were killed in 1955 while Gacy was active from 1972-78. Totally understandable why there’s confusion as Gacy did do his killings not far from here. His house is almost exactly a mile from the Robinson Stone, to the Northeast.

As for the deer comment… well, the commenters are right.  The deer are definitely not possessed.  There was the issue of trying to tell a long, detailed story that got cut down to two minutes – most of the story was cut. Not hearing most of it, a lot gets lost.  I have an incredible story about how the deer reacted once activity started picking up on my first visit here.  I also share the native American belief that a chief may be reincarnated into a mighty buck, which I find fascinating (I’m into learning diverse cultural beliefs).  I spend a lot of time on this location in my book, of course mentioning the Peterson-Shuessler case and telling Alexander Robinson’s story. We include an interview with one of his descendants while also presenting evidence through a Pulitzer-nominated investigative reporter, that Hansen (the man believed to be the killer), was a bad guy, but possibly not the killer.

And shout out to Mary Czerwinski, my research partner on the first edition of my book, who gets some screen time!

Paranormal Activity at the Bucktown Pub

The top YouTube comments on this one are all suggestions on other haunted places in Bucktown.  Keep ’em coming!

I re-visited this location just recently and a bartender that was there when I first visited back in 2000 or 2001 (not pictured) has been working there since before the owners in the video took over.  He has spanned multiple owners and said that Tom & Piper, while nice people, chose not to see the paranormal events happening around them.  Today the location isn’t as active as it was in the years right after Wally’s death, but activity is ongoing.

Ghosts of the Haunted Fort Sheridan in Highwood

Top YouTube Comments on this video include:

  • “I’m in this neighborhood all the time – it’s not haunted”
  • As well as people telling their personal stories of paranormal activity sighted here…
  • …including, confusingly, both types of comments from the same user (huh?)

The Haunted Great Escape in Schiller Park, IL

I recently took part in what must be my 5th or 6th Chicago Ghost Conference, hosted by the fantastic Ursula Bielski.  Our Saturday night party (which was a ridiculous bash that featured not only some awesome costumes, but also an enthusiastic conga line) was held in the Great Escape, an historic restaurant that I featured in a profile video and intervew way back in 2010.  I’m not sure how many conference-goers were even aware that the party was at a haunted venue.  Here is that video: