When Adam Selzer started running ghost tours in 2005, he told the stories the way all of the Chicago ghost tour guides did. But when he started to fact-check, he realized they were a mess! So he dug into research, rebuilding his stories from the ground up. Often, the real back story behind a haunted location was even better than the fake one!
Ghost fans deserve better than what they’re getting. TV, books, and tours often rely too heavily on “never let facts get in the way of a good story” approaches, sloppy research, and a general refusal to be rational about anything. Adam’s ghost tours examine “what do we know and how do we know it,” digging into the backstory and discussing how the ghost stories grew and spread over time (rather than tricking you into thinking that your camera flash bouncing off a window is a ghost).
But, then again, ghost sightings on Adam’s tours are not unheard of!
The October walking tours meet at LaSalle and Wacker, at the Eastland Memorial plaque. Adam will be joined by Leyla Royale of the fantastic Dead in Chicago blog; Adam and Leyla are both field agents for Atlas Obscura. They previously collaborated on the screening of the 1916 silent Sherlock Holmes film in the very room where it was filmed; Leyla provided live music. Tours will generally include murder sites, disaster sites, the site of the city gallows, early burial ground sites, locations to which murderers such as HH Holmes can be traced, and other places that have been said to be haunted over the years. The walk is roughly 1.5 miles over the course of 90 minutes or so. Adam and Leyla will either tag-team the tour or split into two groups, depending on size.
Adam appears regularly on TV and the radio talking about ghostlore, and is the author of such books as GHOSTS OF CHICAGO (Llewelyn 2013), GHOSTS OF LINCOLN (Llewelyn 2015), and the new novel JUST KILL ME (Simon and Schuster 2016), which is about a ghost tour guide who makes places more haunted by killing people at them. It's only partly autobiographical.
Tours meet at the Eastland Disaster Memorial plaque, NE Corner of Wacker and LaSalle in the loop, right by the LaSalle Street bridge.