chicago ghost tours

HOME                ABOUT                 GUIDES                 GALLERY                PRIVATE TOURS                FIELD TRIPS                 BLOG              FACEBOOK                 CONTACT


Our guides have appeared on:

Ursula Bielski

Ursula Bielski is the founder of Chicago Hauntings, Inc. and the host of PBS' "The Hauntings of Chicago" (WYCC).

An historian, author, and parapsychologist, she has been writing and lecturing about Chicago's supernatural folklore and the paranormal for nearly 20 years, and is recognized as a leading authority on the Chicago region's ghostlore and cemetery history. She is the author of ten popular and critically acclaimed books on the same subjects including the Chicago Haunts series and Graveyards of Chicago.

Ursula's interests in Chicago ghost hunting began at a young age. She grew up in a haunted house on Chicago's north side and received an early education in Chicago history from her father, a Chicago police officer, who introduced Ursula to the ghosts at Graceland Cemetery, Montrose Point and the old lockup at the storied Maxwell Street Police Station. Since that time Ursula has been involved in countless investigations of haunted sites in and around Chicago, including such notorious locales as Wrigley Field, the Congress Hotel, the Indiana Dunes, the Red Lion Pub, Hull House, Bachelors Grove Cemetery, Rosehill Cemetery, haunted Archer Avenue, Chinatown, the Eastland disaster site, Death Alley, The House of 200 Demons, Dillinger's Alley and the St. Valentine's Day Massacre site. Her paranormal travels have also led her to investigate sites as diverse and infamous as the Bell Witch Cave in Tennessee; the Oshkosh, Wisconsin Opera House; New Orleans' House of the Rising Sun; the City Cemetery in Key West, Florida; and the Civil War Battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Aside from her writing, Ursula has been featured on numerous television documentaries, including productions by the A&E Network, The History Channel, The Learning Channel, SyFy, The Travel Channel, and PBS. She's been a judge on "Paranormal Challenge" and a regular guest on "Ghost Adventures" and the "Maury Show," as well as a favorite lecturer at Darkness Events.  She also appears regularly on local Chicago television and radio and lectures throughout the year at various libraries, historical and professional societies. In addition to her books, Ursula is the author of numerous scholarly articles exploring the links between history and the paranormal, including articles published in the International Journal of Parapsychology. Ursula is a past editor of PA News, the quarterly newsletter of the Parapsychological Association, a past president and board member of the Pi Gamma Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society, and holds membership in the Society of Midland Authors.  She also edits children's books on the paranormal for Bearport Publishing in New York City.

A graduate of St. Benedict High School in Chicago, Ursula holds a B.A. degree in history from Benedictine University and an M.A. in American cultural and intellectual history from Northeastern Illinois University. Her academic explorations include the Spiritualist movement of the 19th century and its transformation into psychical research and parapsychology, and the relationships among belief, experience, science, and religion.

For Ursula's upcoming appearances, click here!

David Cowan

David Cowan is a native Chicagoan and hails originally from the city's West Side. He is the co-owner of Chicago Hauntings.

An accomplished journalist and writer, David is co-author (with John Kuenster) of the best-selling and critically acclaimed book To Sleep With the Angels: The Story of a Fire (Ivan R. Dee, Inc.), considered the seminal and authoritative work on the 1958 Our Lady of the Angels school fire in Chicago. After its 1996 publication, the book was made into an Emmy-award winning television documentary entitled Angels Too Soon by PBS station WTTW in Chicago, and is now used as a text for courses taught at the National Fire Academy in Maryland, and in collegiate fire science programs throughout the United States.

David also authored Great Chicago Fires, Historic Blazes That Shaped a City (Lake Claremont Press), a non-fiction anthology documenting Chicago's unique and legendary fire history, focusing on fires that resulted in important changes to national fire safety laws and others of significant social and historical importance. David's writings and reviews have also been published by major newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Magazine, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cleveland Plain-Dealer, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Reader's Digest, U.S. Catholic, the Associated Press, and a host of smaller publications. He also contributed to the Encyclopedia of Chicago History, published in 2004 by the Newberry Library of Chicago.

Aside from his print journalism, David has appeared on several network television documentaries about historic fires, including productions by the A&E Network, History Channel, The Learning Channel, the Discovery Channel, England's Channel 4, The Travel Channel, PBS, and the U.S. Fire Administration / Federal Emergency Management Agency. He's also been featured on local Chicago television and radio stations, including National Public Radio, WGN radio, the Steve Dahl Show, and WTTW's Chicago Tonight and Chicago Stories. He holds membership in a number of writers associations, including the prestigious Society of Midland Authors, for whom he served as membership secretary from 2001-2002. As a public speaker, he has lectured before numerous Chicago area historical, professional and business societies and various school and library groups.

Clarence Goodman

A prolific and skilled tour guide and musician, Clarence was born in Chicago and loves to show this husking, brawling town through his eyes. As an historian and a lover of all things Chicago, he has been called the "best damned tour guide in Chicago" and  has worked as a professional tour guide for over six years. Clarence is also the owner/operator of a "virtual tour" company and loves incorporating his career as an entertainer (35 years) and as an educator (over 20 years) into his tours. He loves to teach and entertain!  

Jon Overton

Originally from the "Back of the Yards" area of the city, Jon is a local historian and archaeologist with a near-encylopedic knowledge of Chicago's past.  Jon's research focuses primarily on the 19th century, especially the disposition of debris from the Great Fire, creation of the modern Lake Michigan shoreline, local burial customs and the human impact of the Industrial Revolution.  

Locations where he has conducted fieldwork include Lincoln Park, the Pullman factory site, the Museum Campus and various nearby forest preserves.  He grew up in a "haunted" house, so he is interested in all things pertaining to the occult and supernatural. When he's not leading tours, Jon spends his time writing poetry, giving tarot card readings to his friends and photographing local graveyards.

Larry Arroyo

Always a showman and performer, Handlebar Larry is a native of Chicago, having grown up across Marquette Park, Little Village, Cicero and Berwyn.   Having been a tour guide for years his obsession with Chircago legends, lore and cemeteries lead him to finally share his fascinations on tours and on stage.