Monday, October 03, 2005

Last night I took one of those Haunted Chicago tours, justifying the expense as part of my project research, although we didn't actually go anywhere near Archer Ave. They did talk a bit about the story--including that she is particularly fond of buicks--when we passed the down el I-beam where, in one version of her origins, she supposedly was killed in a crash. This seems the least tenable of all the possibilities, however, but the most commonly cited.

We did visit the alley behind the Oriental Theater, formerly the Iriquois circa 1900 where a bunch of chicago style corruption resulted in a terrible fire that killed a whole bunch of people, many of whom ran out a fire escape exit to find no fire-escape actually attached. Bodies piling up in the alley and now it's supposdly haunted. It was hard though, to find anything deeply creepy about a well-lit alley in the Theatre District in the middle of downtown. Similarly, the Eastland Disaster site, again, upper Wacker Drive not so creepy. I always get a little freaked out about places where people have died, especially en masse, I suppose, but only becuase I KNOW that's what happened. It's mental, not supernatural. Hull House was a bust, and my least favorite stop, since all we could do was tromp around on the porch and look through windows. Not to mention it sits right in the middle of the well lit and populated UIC campus. The only other place we got out of the van was the St. Valentines Day massacre spot. Considering I used to live like a block away from it-not scary at all...(Though I was somewhat disturbed being in proximity to the awful Starbucks I once worked at.) The rest of the tour involved talking about things we were passing--like Harpo Studios (a makeshift morgue after the Eastland sank), an Abraham Lincoln Ghost Train, an unruly mummy at the Field Museum, and a CandyMan-inspired drive through the heart of Cabrini Green. Though things are supposedly much safer than ten years ago there, that was probably the scariest part.

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