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Chicago Haunts: Ghostlore of the Windy City Paperback – September, 1998

3.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Claremont Press; Revised edition (September 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964242672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964242678
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,397,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
So many of these ghostly compendiums are sloppily researched and written for the lowest common denominator. Not so with this book. Bielski is first and foremost a historian, a "ghost scholar" second. Her stories of these Chicago legends, many of them done to death (sorry), resonate with a scholar's respect for research and a sociologist's eye for the big picture. A ripping good read.
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Format: Paperback
As the author of the "Chicago Haunts" series of books it's beyond frustrating to read reviews that ask these questions:

Did I "ever leave my house" during the research for my books?

Did I "ever visit any of these sites?"

You've got to be kidding.

When "Chicago Haunts" was published in 1997, not a single book had ever been published regarding Chicago's ghost stories (save for Kenan Heise's excellent novel, "Resurrection Mary"). As a matter of fact, I spent twenty-nine years "leaving my house" (yes, in Chicago--a haunted one at Irving Park and Western), obssessed with the pursuit of the stories and people behind Chicago's haunted history.

Furthermore, the Internet as a "research tool" did not exist for me. The "Chicago Haunts" research--which officially went on for nearly five years after the liftetime obsession--gave me muddy shoes and a dozen citations for trespassing . . . and put about 100,000 miles on my car and the same in dollars in the coffers of the CTA. I was welcomed into the homes and offices of hundreds of people who kindly and emotionally shared their stories, experiences and memories with me.

Yes, in this 21st century, I, too, know a number of "ghostwriters" who publish prolifically without leaving their homes, writing about Haunted American cities from their offices in Canada and beyond. I am not--and never will be--one of them.

Now, on the subject of "inaccurate" history: Much has been discovered about the Grimes slayings--and the Schuessler-Peterson murders--since "Chicago Haunts" was published amid times of even sketchier knowledge of those cases.
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By A Customer on September 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is as thoroughly compelling and insightful as it is entertaining and frightening. It is quite obvious that the author is well-versed in the ghostlore and history of her big-shouldered hometown. The research is painstaking in detail and reveals a book that is definitely not the work of an amatuer ghost chaser but rather that of a learned professional. The work is serious yet lively and engaging. It is by far the best book ever published on Chicago ghostlore and paranormality. Not an after dark book for the faint of heart. Two thumbs up.
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Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic! I took a ghost tour around Halloween and met someone who told me about this book. Of course, this is the revised addition. Not only do I own both copies, I have purchased many as gifts! You don't need to pay someone for a ghost tour. Buy the book and gather your friends and have a wonderful time! For those of you who are afraid, no need to be. This isn't a horror book! Chances of seeing a ghost, depends ... do you believe?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is wonderful.
The stories are riviting and often heartbreaking, the layout is easy to read, and Bielski's command of the English language is appreciated. The photos are clear and wonderful.
It is obvious that Bielski devoted countless hours of research and interviews to write this book. The result is pure enjoyment.
If it's spooky in Chicago, it's in this book.
No stone is left unturned, from the Fort Dearborn massacre to the Biograph theater where Public Enemy #1 was gunned down to a fun little part about ghostlore commonly told by Chicago's children, such as "I believe in Mary Worth" and "Bloody Mary Bloody Mary Bloody Mary". :)
This book is a fascinating glimpse into the Chicago that most people never know. Buy it, buy it, buy it!
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Yikes! Great, great, great writing that is a Chicago "must-have" for historians and legend seekers alike. Our younger daughter loved it, recommended it to others and it has taken on a life of it's own among young readers. Of course, we ive just a stone's throw from the shuttered Chicago_Read center, as haunted a site as anything that Hollywood can conjure up: a potters field, graveyard for Chicago Fire victims, and a sanitarium. Bulldozers unearhted lots of remains during the work for the Dunnig Shopping Center and appartments; this book should have tipped them on the creepiness of their efforts!
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Format: Paperback
Far from a bland re-hashing of tired Chicago ghost legends, this volume is nothing less than a masterpiece of regional "true" ghostlore. The author has taken on a tremendous task and has succeeded with rare brilliance. Not only does she masterfully combine the existing folklore with impressive firsthand accounts from all manner of witnesses, she speaks from one familiar with the field of parapsychology yet gifted with a lively voice for storytelling. Even if you are not a Chicagoan, you won't be able to put down this truly informed, amazingly thorough collection of undeniably urban, yet warmly local lore.
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