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Bielski is the founder of Chicago Hauntings, Inc. and the host of PBS' "The Hauntings of Chicago" (WYCC).
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.
interests in Chicago ghost hunting began at a young age. She grew up in
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
that time Ursula has been involved in countless investigations of
sites in and around Chicago, including such notorious locales as
Wrigley Field, the Congress Hotel, the Indiana Dunes, the Red
Hull House, Bachelors Grove Cemetery, Rosehill Cemetery,
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
War Battlefield at
from her writing, Ursula has been featured on numerous
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
Journal of Parapsychology. Ursula
is a past editor of PA
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
of Midland Authors. She also edits children's books on the paranormal for Bearport Publishing in New York City.
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.
Ursula's upcoming appearances, click here!
|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.
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!
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.
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.