Customer Reviews: Creepy Chicago: A Ghosthunter's Tales of the City's Scariest Sites
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on April 1, 2013
I liked this book, but didn't look far enough, as this is obviously written for kids, not adults. Still, it is entertaining and informative, in that genre. Might be good reading on a car trip, going to the Windy City. I bought several other books by Bielski, and have enjoyed them very much. Although I spent many years living just west of the City, I never got into the legends and lore. I recommend her other Chicago Haunts books for adults.
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Chicago isn't the first place I think of when I think about hauntings, but as Ursula Bielski points out in her book, "Creepy Chicago", the windy city has a long and rich tradition of ghostly happenings dating back nearly two hundred years. Bielski's book relates dozens of stories of hauntings from the Chicago and surrounding areas. The earliest stories date back to the War of 1812 and Indians who attacked Fort Dearborn, killing the inhabitants and burning it to the ground. Even today, people still report seeing soldiers in period dress marching about the Michigan Ave. Bridge, the site of the former Fort Dearborn.

Archer Ave. is reported to be among the most haunted stretch of roadway in the country with numerous ghosts including the "Wailing Woman whose sobbing can be heard by those who passby the Archer Woods Cemetary. Then there is Chicago's most famous ghost, dubbed "Resurrection Mary" who made her first appearance in the 1930's. Mary is a beautiful blonde who would meet men in night clubs, dancing the night away with them, and then ask for a ride home. When the car approaches the cemetery, Mary jumps from the car and runs through the locked gates and disappears.

The Cemeteries of Chicago are replete with ghostly goings on...Rosehill Cemetery on the city's north side is said to be home to more than a dozen ghosts including several little girls. We all know how scary little girls can be! This cemetery is home to "Gerhardt Foreman" an associate of famed occultist Aleister Crowley, whose tomb is chained shut so he cannot get out. Rosehill is also the final resting place of Richard Sears, founder of the Sears Roebuck Co. who has been seen dressed in best in suit and top hat, walking through the mausoleum where he is entombed.

Not to be outdone in the ghost department is Bachelor's Grove Cemetery, a favorite destination for ghost hunters. This spot, reputed to be a spot where Chicago's gangsters dumped bodies is said to have spectral lights that chase visitors, mysterious 30's era cars that drive about, a woman in white who carries her baby, and a magical house that gets smaller and smaller as you near and eventually disappears completely.

One of the eeriest places to visit is Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Hillside. In 1921 Julia Buccola died giving birth to her baby, and the infant died as well. Julia's mother had nightmares for several years and finally had her daughters grave exhumed. When it was opened, all were shocked to see that Julia was still perfectly preserved although the baby had decomposed. Now visitors will find a haunting photo of the perfectly preserved body on Julia's monument.

From Chicago's Field Museum, to the Ghost of Horace Greely who haunts the elementary school named after him and from the site of the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre to Wrigley Field where long-time broadcaster Harry Caray's ghost is said to haunt, this is a fascinating trip through Chicago's ghostly attractions. Unlike many regional tales of ghosts that are often rather dry reading Bielski relates these stories with a lot of enthusiasm that the readers will certainly share. I only wish there had been some photographs to accompany her text. Well done!

Reviewed by Tim Janson
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on March 11, 2010
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on December 8, 2012
Ursula loves to write about history and legends, ghosts and other strange occurrences in the city of Chicago. She knows how to immerse the reader in the stories of haunted Chicago!
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on February 2, 2015
Just like Chicago Haunts 3, this book is just another book that I can't put down. I love it!
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on January 14, 2015
This book is the worst from this horrible author YET.
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on November 12, 2006
Ursula Bielski has done some remarkable things for Chicago's young people since she penned her first book nearly ten years ago. In an era which finds the entire Chicago history curriculum reduced to a week of field trips and special projects, Ms. Bielski's books have been "luring" kids into learning about the city's history year 'round, by teaching that history through the "ghostlore" that surrounds some of Chicago's most important people, places, and events. This particular book retells some of the more gruesome tales for younger readers, leaving out a lot of the gorey details of the original stories. A word of caution, though: once your kids read this one, they will invariably seek out the others! Our school library has multiple copies of all of Ursula Bielski's books, and they are dog-eared, beat up, and utterly loved. Can't wait for the next one.
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on October 8, 2014
Our kids loved it !
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on September 26, 2005
I was expecting a total new book to use in my classroom around Halloween. This one seems to reprint information from her first two books including some information on locations that is not correct. Has she actually been to any of those locations, I was misled.

If your looking for a book on folklore than this is for you,otherwise save your money if you have her first two books.
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VINE VOICEon October 30, 2007
Ursula B's one-of-a-series of ghstly tomes that is a great read, even for light fare. Nicely assembled collection of the goose-bumpiest of Chicago, that haunted twon on the lake.

Fun creeps!
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