City Cast

3 Questions About Chicago Ghost Stories

City Cast Chicago staff
City Cast Chicago staff
Posted on October 31
Is the Iroquois Theatre Fire a historic tragedy or scary story? (Bettmann / Getty)

Is the Iroquois Theatre Fire a historic tragedy or scary story? (Bettmann / Getty)

Chicago has its share of ghost stories, and no one knows that better than Adam Selzer, who gives tours around town about the city’s scariest spots. He joined the City Cast Chicago podcast.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What is Chicago’s most well-known ghost story?

“Resurrection Mary is one of those vanishing hitchhikers: People pick her up while they're out driving, and then she won't really say much in the car, and they'll point her down the road. Then they get to Resurrection Cemetery down on the South Side, and she just sort of vanishes.”

What is a ghost story more Chicagoans should know?

“Supposedly, there is a headless horseman who rides around on Loomis in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. It is said to be the ghost of a guy who was killed during the Pullman strikes in 1894.”

Is there a difference between a scary story and a historic tragedy?

“It all comes down to the telling. The scary story part is usually sort of the epilogue. When I'm telling a ghost story on a tour, I'll tell the historical story, and after that, what people say they have seen and experienced there. … Oftentimes, when people are telling me these stories, I can tell when they're just telling me what they think I want to hear. But when they have a little twist on it, when it's not quite what I would expect to hear, then it's at least worth repeating. I don't necessarily vouch for it, but it's okay to repeat.”

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