October is a haunted time. We turn to stories of ghosts and goblins to chill our blood and amaze us. I thought I’d share a local ghost story from here in Chicago, just to whet your appetite.
Chicago is full of ghost stories, both spectacular and ordinary. Whether it’s a woman grabbing a ride from unsuspecting passersby to stories of a haunted television studio used by Oprah Winfrey (that used to be a morgue), the dead seem to flock to Chicago.
One of the stories that raises the hair on the back of my neck is that of a man who died in Evanston, the first suburb north of Chicago. Since I live in the northernmost neighborhood in Chicago, this is an area I know well, though I’ve never seen the man himself. Called “Seaweed Charlie,” he appears near Calvary Cemetery on the shores of Lake Michigan. Some say he drowned in the lake and haunts the cemetery so he can have a decent Catholic burial. Others say he’s a pilot that drowned in the lake before he could be rescued when his plane crashed into the water.
Other stories are included in the book, Ghosts, Curses, Jinxes: Chicago’s Street Guide to the Supernatural, by Richard T. Crowe with Carol Mercado. You can create your own ghost tour of the city or find one at Chicago Hauntings. Have you researched your area for hauntings and other local stories? If you haven’t yet, you owe it to yourself to poke around in your local library for hyperlocal books and publications. Ask your reference librarian for local sources or check out Arcadia Publishing, who specialize in hyperlocal books and media. They are focused on the United States; do you have a favorite source for other countries? I’d love to know, in comments.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
– E.E. Cummings
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