WBEZ | travel http://www.wbez.org/tags/travel Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The fight against Boko Haram http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-01-16/fight-against-boko-haram-111413 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/nigeria attack.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Amnesty International has released satellite images which it says shows the extent of the destruction from the most recent attack by Boko Haram in Nigeria. It is difficult to get accurate reports from this remote region.&nbsp; We&#39;ll get an update on the situation from Rona Peligal, deputy director in the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-37/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-37.js?header=none&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-37" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: The fight against Boko Haram " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 11:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-01-16/fight-against-boko-haram-111413 Global Activism: Meal Sharing on Thanksgiving http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-meal-sharing-thanksgiving-111135 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/mealsharing.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Thanksgiving is almost here. And as many prepare to hit the roads and skies to see family and friends,&nbsp; you may be traveling with no place to go or you might be home alone.&nbsp; Jason Savsani says he has a solution for you. He&rsquo;s founder of Meal Sharing. It&rsquo;s a website and app that promotes cultural diplomacy by connecting meal providers to meal seekers, around the globe. For Global Activism, Savsani will tell us how to connect you with a meal and friends for the Holidays.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/177864474&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-meal-sharing-thanksgiving-111135 Ebola in Liberia http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-13/ebola-liberia-110644 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP814365172299.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Liberia is now &quot;Ground Zero&quot; of the current Ebola outbreak in Western Africa, but the country received good news yesterday in the form of an experimental drug shipment to come from the U.S. We&#39;ll talk to a Chicagoan who is working to send other humanitarian supplies to Liberia.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-ebola-in-liberia/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-ebola-in-liberia.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-ebola-in-liberia" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Ebola in Liberia" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-13/ebola-liberia-110644 Globetrotting with Airbnb http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-06/globetrotting-airbnb-110609 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/founders-airbnb-2000.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Apps and travel websites like Airbnb allow users to skirt the traditional ways of finding accommodation. Airbnb is growing in popularity but its also faced legal challenges in many of the cities where it operates. We&#39;ll take a look at how it&#39;s changing the travel industry.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-airbnb-and-international-travel/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-airbnb-and-international-travel.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-airbnb-and-international-travel" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Globetrotting with Airbnb" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 11:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-06/globetrotting-airbnb-110609 Chicago to Mexico, by bus http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-mexico-bus-109747 <p><p><em><strong>This story is made for your ears. Please push play above! </strong></em></p><p>Every week, hundreds of people board coach buses in Chicago and travel to Mexico. I used to live in Mexico, and have taken the 2,000-mile trip nearly a dozen times to and from Zamora, Michoacán. On my most recent trip, I brought a tape recorder along, and made this audio travelogue.</p><p><em>Your attention please. Everybody with your tickets on your hand! </em><em>Por favor, todos tengan su boleto en la mano, que ahorita se lo voy a quitar!</em></p><p>The soundtrack of a bus trip to Mexico consists of the driver on the public address system, the 45 other passengers and their snores, cries,the rustle of plastic bags, cell phone conversations, back-to-back movies shown on the six screens suspended from the ceiling, the bus driver&rsquo;s radio, and always, the drone of the bus engine .</p><p>Every time you start one of these trips, you consider the variables. And you hope. Sleek paint jobs and tinted windows mean these buses almost always look better on the outside than they do on the inside. The small amount of legroom can be alarming, and uncomfortable. Other variables: the temperature, the smells.</p><p><em>How lucky are we? </em>I ask our driver.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Oh, beautiful, beautiful! We got Wi-Fi, we got a switch where you can recharge your battery. </em></p><p>The driver tells me his approach to the job: make everybody happy. His immediate strategy involves 80s music on the radio (for him) and back-to-back movies (for us). <em>Lethal Weapon 3 </em>is in progress as we board. It&rsquo;s repeated later in its entirety, for those who boarded late.</p><p>Chicago is connected to a world of small Mexican towns that most people have never heard of. If I want to visit my mother-in-law in provincial Mexico, I can walk to a bus station in my Chicago neighborhood and buy a direct ticket to Zamora, Michoacán (well, they call it a direct ticket, you&rsquo;ll see what that means).</p><p>The ride takes 48 hours, two days and two nights. And, no, there is not a sleeping car.</p><p>Like most people on the bus, my family of five is here for one reason: during peak travel seasons, it&rsquo;s a lot cheaper than a plane.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/INSIDE.jpg" title="Variables inside the bus: legroom, temperature, smell. (WBEZ/Linda Lutton)" /></div><p><em>Welcome and good afternoon, ladies and gentlemens. Thank you for choosing El Expreso. I&rsquo;m sorry for the de-late. </em></p><p>The names of the bus lines traveling to Mexico are meant to make you think the trip will fly by. There&rsquo;s El Conejo, the Rabbit. Tornado. We&rsquo;re traveling this time on El Expreso (right.)</p><p>Every two-day bus trip starts with a little welcome speech. And every speech includes some variation on this rule:</p><p><em>El baño. Favor de usar el numero 1 si es posible, porque el numero 2 está un poquito fuerte y no queremos que vaya un olor fuerte en la estancia.&nbsp; </em></p><p>Do NOT use the bus bathroom&mdash;basically, unless you&rsquo;re dying. Absolutely no Number 2.</p><p><em>We do not want strong odors on the bus</em>, the driver says. <em>Hay que tener mucho respeto por las demás gentes. </em></p><p>From the moment you buy your ticket, you&rsquo;re stepping into a different world, a world you do not control, a world where things will not go as planned, small things and big things.</p><p>The 1 pm bus leaves at 2:30 pm. That&rsquo;s not too bad.&nbsp; The Wi-Fi? Actually&hellip; no Wi-Fi.</p><p>Last year, we were stranded for 20 hours in Matamoros. Another time, one of the side windows of the bus just fell out. The driver went back to look for it on I-35&mdash;no luck. So we just kept going, the 100-degree Texas heat blowing through the bus all the way to Dallas.</p><p>These bus companies have been sued over accidents; I try not to think about that when I buy the tickets.</p><p align="center">* * *</p><p><em>Please do take advantage of this stop, because the next stop won&rsquo;t be until Jackson, so it&rsquo;s quite a ways. Go ahead and take advantage of it. </em><em>Aquí 25 minutos. 25 minutes. </em></p><p>If you do this trip a few times, you get to know all the stops: Effingham, Illinois; Matthews, Missouri&mdash;that&rsquo;s where we are right now. The sound of the bus is everywhere. Even when you&rsquo;re not on it, it&rsquo;s idling nearby. We look pale, dazed under the fluorescent gas station lights.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/MATTHEWS%20TRAVEL.JPG" title="Matthews, Missouri (Credo Duarte)" /></div><p>Next will be Jackson and McComb, Mississippi; Lafayette, Arkansas; Houston, Beeville, and McAllen, Texas. And on the Mexico side: Monterrey, Matehuala, San Luis, Celaya, Zamora.</p><p>We pack the TA Travel Center bathroom. We brush our teeth, line up for the toilet, spray deodorant, change the babies. Little by little you get to know where everyone is from, where everyone&rsquo;s going, places that have sent generations of immigrants to the Chicago area, mostly: Michoacán, Zacatecas, Jalisco. The college student from Beloit is going to Durango.</p><p><em>Yeah, so it&rsquo;s like, another 13 hours after Houston. I don&rsquo;t even know&hellip; I get motion sickness, so I&rsquo;m like half awake, half asleep the whole ride. </em></p><p>She&rsquo;ll come back in a week, do this all again but in reverse.</p><p>The lady from Guanajuato, I feel like I know her life story. (Would this ever happen on a plane?) How her daughter got married at age 16, how she made a deal with God to get her immigration papers...</p><p><em>&hellip;Y agarré a mi niño y me pase a la recámara. No lloraba, pero &iexcl;se imagina todo lo que estaba pasando! Que de una manera y de otra y no había manera de pasarme. &nbsp;Y yo agarré y me hinqué y yo le dije, &lsquo;Señor, tú sabes&rsquo;&mdash;ahora sí como que lo obligué&mdash;&lsquo;tú SABES que yo TENGO que estar con mi esposo. Yo no sé como le vas a hacer, pero tú me vas a llevar.&rsquo;&nbsp;&nbsp; Y al otro día, que me dice la prima, &ldquo;Oye, &iquest;por qué no sacas otra vez tu pasaporte&hellip; </em></p><p>8 hours down, 40 to go.</p><p>The movies stop and the lights get turned off at 11:30 pm. The clatter of the bus over the highway is rhythmic. Snores follow, the click click of video games continues.&nbsp; Low voices talk on phones with girlfriends back in Chicago.</p><p align="center"><strong>* * *</strong></p><p>While the bus companies in Chicago sell you &ldquo;direct&rdquo; tickets to little towns in Mexico, that doesn&rsquo;t mean you&rsquo;re riding the same bus all the way. In Houston, we all get off.</p><p><em>Si se encuentra Marcela Gálvez, puede pasar a la Taquilla Número 2. Marcela, Marcela Gálvez&hellip;</em>(And continuing over the PA system: &iquest;<em>Tú eres Marcela? &iquest;Es tu mamá?</em> )</p><p>And that&rsquo;s when I meet Eliseo Orejel. He&rsquo;s traveling with his wife and three kids. They&rsquo;re from LaGrange, and it just so happens they&rsquo;re also travelling to Zamora.</p><p>Eliseo is surrounded by suitcases.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Here--everything, up to there. Because we&rsquo;re allowed 400 pounds. Two 40-pound bags per (person), and we&rsquo;re five. I&rsquo;m like 345 pounds. But more than half of this is staying over there, so&hellip;.</em></p><p>Eliseo&rsquo;s kids like the bus.</p><p><em>Do you think we&rsquo;re going to have any adventures on this bus trip?</em> I ask. They immediately know what I mean by &ldquo;adventures.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Yes! I think so!</em> They say. They recount past adventures. <em>Like, one time a wheel popped. We could just feel like the bus was getting lower on the back. And it took a long while. And then it popped again.</em></p><p>I can top that! One time I actually <em>drove</em> the bus. Well, it was a passenger van at that point, but still!&nbsp; The driver wanted to make some extra cash by dropping a señora off at her out-of-the-way village, up in some hills. &nbsp;It was rainy season, and we got stuck in the mud. So I drove, the driver and my husband pushed, and our kids watched from the edge of the muddy farm field.</p><p><em>Los que vienen de Chicago! Las personas que vienen de Chicago! Van a ir con Flecha Roja. Aquí a la Ventanilla 3.</em></p><p>Mexico has a great bus system. The buses are modern. They run on time. Most everything is computerized. These international immigrant buses hand out paper tickets. They oversell seats. They never know how many people to expect, or what their final destinations are.</p><p>After an hour or so in Houston, we are issued new handwritten paper tickets. And we&rsquo;re on our way, though for some reason Eliseo, the guy going to the same place we are, is not on our new bus.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/HANDWRITTEN.jpg" title="" /></div><p><em>Bienvenidos al autobus Flecha Roja...</em></p><p>Our feet are swollen from sitting so long. People doze. Behind me, a señora talks on her cell phone. &nbsp;</p><p><em>Next time I&rsquo;m going by plane,</em> she tells someone.</p><p>The granddaughter traveling with her gets on the phone next, with an older sister. &nbsp;Then there are miles and miles of Vanessa, age 9:&nbsp;</p><p><em>I&rsquo;m so lucky, Lupe&mdash;because you can&rsquo;t touch me. I&rsquo;m all the way over here; you&rsquo;re all the way over there. You can&rsquo;t do nothing. </em></p><p><em>I&rsquo;m bored! </em></p><p><em>Oh, um&hellip; did you find those little ligas to make the bracelet? It&rsquo;s so HOT in here.</em></p><p><em>Lupe, oh! I saw a Marilyn Monroe shirt! It&rsquo;s pretty&hellip;I can&rsquo;t&mdash;I&rsquo;m on the bus! How can I buy it? I&rsquo;m on the bus!</em></p><p>One thing about traveling on these bus lines: Every time we pull into a station, we wonder two things: what will the next bus be like&mdash;are we trading up or down? And when will it leave?</p><p>When we get to McAllen, it&rsquo;s dark already.</p><p><em>Bueno, sí. Buenas noches. Vamos a bajar de esta unidad, se les va a entregar el equipaje, y ésta unidad se va a retirar, y se va a acercar la siguiente unidad, en la que van a abordar&hellip;</em></p><p>Things don&rsquo;t go well. Not everyone fits on the next bus, we&rsquo;re told. Or perhaps it is the luggage that does not fit&mdash;there are conflicting stories. The official says he&rsquo;s only boarding to three cities.</p><p><em>Ahorita se van a subir aquí: Irapuato, Salamanca y Celaya. Tengo otro autobús, no más necesito despachar este primero&hellip; </em></p><p>It does not matter that other destinations, including ours, are practically next door to these three cities, he&rsquo;s only boarding to these three cities. The family from Salvatierra has been told there are no buses there until morning.</p><p><em>&hellip;que para Salvatierra van a salir hasta mañana. &iquest;Cómo lo vamos a hacer?</em></p><p>He promises he has two other buses in the wings, but nobody quite believes him, and nobody wants to sleep in McAllen.</p><p><em>Aquí tengo tres autobuses! Le digo! Los estoy acomodando. </em></p><p>Finally, another bus does show up&mdash;and so does Eliseo Orejel&mdash;the guy with the 345 pounds of luggage.</p><p><em>Nos volvemos a encontrar! What a mess, now it&rsquo;s REALLY messed!</em> he greets us.</p><p>As we get underway, the passengers debate which bus line is the worst.</p><p><em>&iexcl;Ésta es la línea más garra esta que hay! </em></p><p>At this point, we&rsquo;ve been traveling 30 hours. We&rsquo;re 6 hours behind schedule. This is our third bus. &nbsp;And that is the context for what happens next.</p><p align="center">* * *</p><p>The driver gets on the loudspeaker.</p><p><em>OK, aaah. &iquest;Me escuchan? </em></p><p>Can you hear me? The driver asks. We&rsquo;re right on the border now.</p><p><em>OK, &iquest;Me escuchan? </em></p><p><em>&iexcl;Sí! </em>the passengers shout.</p><p><em>OK. Damas y caballeros, ah bueno. Aquí es una revisión fiscal. Aquí vamos a bajar con los oficiales de la fiscal, de aquí de la aduana. Me da pena decirles, me dice el oficial que vamos a bajar todo, todo el equipaje que traigan en las cajuelas, todo lo que traigan aquí arriba del autobús también, vamos a pasar a revisión, allí adentro de la banda. </em></p><p>Ladies and gentlemen, he&rsquo;s says. We&rsquo;ve come to a fiscal checkpoint. I hate to tell you this. But the customs official has let me know that we are going to have to take everything&mdash;everything&mdash;off the bus. Everything we have in the compartments underneath the bus, everything inside the bus. And we&rsquo;re going through customs.</p><p><em>Pero, me hace un comentario. Me dice que si le juntamos una cooperación, evitamos bajar todo nuestro equipaje. Ya es a consideración de ustedes. </em></p><p>However, the bus driver says, the customs official has mentioned something: If we take up a little donation, he says, we can avoid customs completely.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Ya eso, ya es a consideración de ustedes. No sé si ustedes quieren, nos juntamos una cooperación para entregarle al oficial, para que no bajemos todo nuestro equipaje. </em></p><p>This kind of shakedown has happened on every bus trip I&rsquo;ve ever taken to Mexico.</p><p><em>How much already?</em> one passenger shouts.</p><p>The driver suggests a $5 donation per person, which passengers revise to $5 per family. We&rsquo;ve been charged $20 per family before, but if you go higher than that, people without much luggage&mdash;or people without anything that might interest a customs official&mdash;start to grumble.</p><p><em>Ténganlo a la mano y yo lo recojo. Ténganlo a la mano.</em></p><p>Have your money out, the driver says. I&rsquo;ll come by to collect.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/BRIBE.JPG" title="However, the bus driver says, the customs official has mentioned something: If we take up a little donation, he says, we can avoid customs completely. (Credo Duarte)" /></div><p>Once he&rsquo;s been through the bus, the driver steps out into the cool Reynosa air&mdash;he and another guy in a button-down shirt compare big wads of cash. Inside the bus, the passengers shake their heads and joke.</p><p><em>Welcome to Mexico! &iexcl;Te están dando la bienvenida!</em></p><p>When the driver comes back, we drive right under the checkpoint with the giant red letters that say MÉXICO.</p><p>Incredibly, we change buses two more times after this, including in Monterrey, where a young official tries a trick I have never heard before:</p><p><em>Miren, salidas a Moroleón, Guadalajara, Celaya, Morelia, Cuernavaca, Acámbaro, no hay nada. Está todo lleno aquí en la ciudad de Monterrey. No hay nada hasta para el día 3, 4 de enero&hellip;</em></p><p>He tells us there will be no buses to any destination for 10 days. &nbsp;So when one appears only two hours later and our names are called, it feels like a gift!</p><p><em>Felipe Ortega! Rosa Nuñez! Linda! </em></p><p>Oh, and the LaGrange family going to the same place we are? Not on this bus.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/WINDOW%20SIGN.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Linda Lutton)" /></div><p>As we get further and further into Mexico, the frustration in the bus dissipates. Along with all the delays there are also homemade tortillas at a roadside restaurant. Barbacoa tacos. Soup. The warm sun. And the thought of piñatas and weddings and quinceañera parties, all the family waiting for us.</p><p><em>It&rsquo;s been a pretty good trip</em>, the guy in front of me says.</p><p>The bus official at our very last stop &ndash;51 hours down, 4 to go&mdash;sees it like this:</p><p><em>Lo bueno es que ya va a llegar a su destino. Que tenga buen viaje, y bienvenida a México. </em></p><p>The good thing is you&rsquo;re almost there. Have a very nice trip. Welcome to Mexico.</p><p align="center">* * *</p><p>I was not going to tape on the return trip to Chicago. But I could not help myself when this happened&hellip;</p><p><em>BBBBBBEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. &nbsp;BEEP. </em></p><p>Buses inside Mexico are equipped with annoying, piercing alarms that sound every time the driver goes over the speed limit. These international immigrant buses don&rsquo;t usually have those alarms. But yep, we got one.</p><p><em>BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.</em></p><p>All night long, no one complained.</p><p>I feel that&rsquo;s a very Mexican response, I tell my Mexican husband.</p><p><em>What would be the point of complaining?</em> he asks. <em>The driver can&rsquo;t do anything but go slower. And we don&rsquo;t want to go slower.</em> But he agrees: if this had been a bus full of gringos, they definitely would have complained.</p><p>The bus beeped all the way to northern Mexico. It was still dark, but ahead I could see a long, thin line of lights running left and right across the highway&mdash; the border.</p><p>The thing about taking the bus to Mexico, you actually physically feel the distance between the two places that make up your life. You feel the border&mdash;with its checkpoints and flashing lights and immigration officials with their walkie-talkies.</p><p><em>Hello, Sir. 10-4, 10-4. </em></p><p>On the way back to Chicago, the bus drivers put on classic Mexican movies, heightening nostalgia for the place we were leaving behind, the narrow black highway stretched out like a thread between Mexico and Chicago, the bus moving along it.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/TORNADO.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Linda Lutton)" /></div></p> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 08:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-mexico-bus-109747 O'Hare's ghost: Terminal 4 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/ohares-ghost-terminal-4-109632 <p><p><em>Editor&#39;s note: A Curious City<a href="https://soundcloud.com/curiouscity/how-bad-is-this-years-winter"> podcast episode</a> features this story, beginning at 5 minutes, 25 seconds. You can subscribe to the podcast on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/curious-city/id568409161">iTunes</a> or through <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CuriousCityPodcast" target="_blank">Feedburner</a>.</em></p><p>O&rsquo;Hare International &mdash; our area&rsquo;s flagship airport and one of the nation&rsquo;s busiest &mdash; is the nexus for more than just travel; judging by the number of questions Curious City receives about ORD, it&rsquo;s a center of mystery as well. We&rsquo;ve answered a question about <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/question-answered-why-there-aviary-o%E2%80%99hare-airport-102520">whether there&rsquo;s an aviary on the airport&rsquo;s grounds</a>, but we&rsquo;ve also been sent more bread-and-butter questions about the airport, such as what <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/questions/744">impact it may have on property values and development</a>.</p><p>The sheer number is not a complaint (we encourage you to <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/">ask your own </a>O&rsquo;Hare-related question, by the way!), but more of a setup to introduce the question that&rsquo;s had more versions of it asked than any other. It was pretty much random luck that we picked this particular one from teacher and writer Tim Troemner of Prospect Heights.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><em>&ldquo;Why isn&#39;t there a terminal 4 at O&#39;Hare? They have terminals 1, 2, 3, and 5.&rdquo;</em></p><p>But it&rsquo;s a good thing we took on Tim&rsquo;s version of this question since, he later told me, this mystery has been his &ldquo;lifelong concern.&rdquo; Given that he&rsquo;s thirty years old, he&rsquo;s really applied the pressure to put this question to rest!</p><p>Well, the answer&rsquo;s not deep, but it <em>is </em>interesting, and it&rsquo;s got a kicker, to boot: There&rsquo;s an easy way to find the former whereabouts of the elusive, now ghost-like terminal.</p><p><strong>The short-lived Terminal 4</strong></p><p>The way O&rsquo;Hare is set up now, Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are on one side, while Terminal 5 is way off on the other &mdash; almost like a thumb. But in this metaphoric hand, the forefinger is missing, and that&rsquo;s the former site of Terminal 4.</p><p>Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride says there was a Terminal 4 ... once upon a time.</p><p>&ldquo;It was a temporary international terminal here from about 1985 until 1993,&rdquo; she said.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tim t for web.jpg" style="margin: 5px; float: right; height: 181px; width: 230px;" title="Tim Troemner told Curious City that knowing more about O'Hare's Terminal 4 was a 'lifelong concern' of his. (Photo courtesy of Tim Troemner)" />Let&rsquo;s back up a bit. Just before 1985 O&rsquo;Hare had three terminals, but United Airlines wanted more space and the airport was taking on more international travel. So the international terminal, (Terminal 1), became United&rsquo;s hub. Terminals 2 &amp; 3 stayed domestic. Terminal 4 was assigned to international flights.</p><p>According to David Woodcock, whose 50-year career at O&rsquo;Hare included a stint in Terminal 4 as Scandinavian Airlines&rsquo; station manager, designers panned Terminal 4 as soon as it was opened. Among other things, Woodcock says, the foreign airline companies found the operating area too small, and there were problems coordinating bus traffic through the site, too. Airlines and designers quickly began planning a new international terminal, which opened as Terminal 5 in 1993.</p><p>&ldquo;Everybody was very excited about Terminal 5,&rdquo; says Woodcock. &ldquo;I remember walking through terminal 5 the night before we opened it and said &#39;Wow, this is great, this is terrific.&#39; &rdquo;</p><p>Terminal 4 was quietly closed, having been a victim of the march of progress to Terminal 5.</p><p><strong>But what about the numbers?</strong></p><p>O&rsquo;Hare still had terminals 1, 2, and 3. Why didn&rsquo;t they just call the newest terminal, Terminal 4?</p><p>&ldquo;That would&rsquo;ve been more confusing,&rdquo; said O&rsquo;Hare&rsquo;s Karen Pride, adding that travelers at the time who were familiar with the old Terminal 4 would have headed to the wrong location.</p><p>And maybe there&rsquo;s no need to keep an obsolete number. As pointed out by Woodcock, a traveler is really only concerned with a single location &mdash;&nbsp;the terminal mentioned on their ticket.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4%20sign%201.jpg" style="height: 233px; width: 350px; float: left;" title="O'Hare's Elevator Center 4 is located not too far from the site of former Terminal 4. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe) " />But the number 4 hasn&rsquo;t completely disappeared from O&rsquo;Hare, and therein lies the possibility of some confusion. There <em>are&nbsp;</em>signs displaying the number 4 at O&#39;Hare; however, they&#39;re associated with a bank of elevators near a parking garage and the airport&#39;s current-day bus terminal. That puts &quot;Elevator Center 4&quot; close to the former site of airport Terminal 4.&nbsp;</p><p>Maybe the elevators&#39; numbering is a subtle joke about the old Terminal 4, one that can still make some O&rsquo;Hare workers smile.</p><p>&ldquo;They keep everyone puzzled here,&rdquo; one told me. &ldquo;It keeps Chicago as interesting as it is.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Yolanda Perdomo is a news anchor and reporter at WBEZ. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/yolandanews"> @yolandanews</a><a href="http://twitter.com/yolandanews" target="_blank"> </a>and on <a href="https://plus.google.com/106564114685277342468/posts">Google+</a></em></p></p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 13:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/ohares-ghost-terminal-4-109632 Herd of goats, llamas, sheep and burros are grazing around the O’Hare grounds http://www.wbez.org/news/herd-goats-llamas-sheep-and-burros-are-grazing-around-o%E2%80%99hare-grounds-108408 <p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-07707cd9-7e20-3f9e-2c35-610b395b0a92">A herd of goats, burros, sheep and llamas are chewing their way through the grounds of O&rsquo;Hare International Airport in Chicago. The Chicago Department of Aviation showed off their latest &ldquo;employees&rdquo; this week, though the animals have been at work, clearing the vegetation around the airport for almost a month.</p><p dir="ltr">The group of 14 goats, five sheep, three burros and two llamas will graze inside fenced areas around the airport at least until the end of 2014. Officials say the animals were brought to the airport as a sustainable way to clean up the dense scrub vegetation that covers much of the grounds.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It gets pretty rocky under here,&rdquo; said Rosemarie Andolino, CDA commissioner. pointing to a five-acre field of grass and brush behind her. &ldquo;And there (are) areas where it kinda goes up and down and lawnmowers in many cases don&rsquo;t provide or aren&rsquo;t adequate to get to some of these areas.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/goats13.JPG" style="height: 225px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Three of O’Hare airport’s latest hires explore their new workspace. The burros are part of a herd of 25 animals that will eat vegetation around the airport to help maintain the grounds. (WBEZ/Lauren Chooljian)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Andolino said the contract for the goats won&rsquo;t exceed $19,500, and it expires by the end of 2014. The commissioner didn&rsquo;t have estimates as to how much it cost to maintain the grounds before the animals, yet a spokeswoman maintained there may be some cost savings down the road.</p><p dir="ltr">The herd won&rsquo;t be eating at the same spot everyday &mdash; Andolino says they&rsquo;ll move around to different places on the airport&rsquo;s grounds, depending on need. As for concerns about the animals during brutal Chicago winters, officials say the herd will only be out as long as weather permits.</p><p dir="ltr">Most of the animals in the O&rsquo;Hare herd come from Settler&rsquo;s Pond &mdash; a shelter for abandoned animals in Beecher, Ill. &mdash; but four of them were originally owned by Joseph Arnold, head of Central Commissary Holdings, LLC. The airport contract isn&rsquo;t technically their first job: Arnold&rsquo;s four goats used to provide milk for the goat cheese served at Chicago restaurant <a href="http://butcherandtheburger.com/">Butcher and the Burger</a>.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/goats17.JPG" style="float: left; height: 225px; width: 300px;" title="A day-old lamb stays close by her mother at their new home, the O’Hare International Airport. They’re part of a herd of animals eating its way around the fields at O’Hare. (WBEZ/Lauren Chooljian)" />Though they might seem an unlikely sight among the security fences and planes flying overhead, the burros, goats, sheep and llamas Tuesday seemed to make themselves quite at home. One of the sheep even gave birth to a lamb Tuesday, and all the animals gathered around to greet him.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a little boy and his name is O&rsquo;Hare,&rdquo; said Pinky Jenota, one of the caretakers from <a href="http://www.settlerspondshelter.net/about.html">Settler&rsquo;s Pond</a>. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s doing great, he was up suckling on mom, planes flying overhead. He didn&rsquo;t flinch, Mom didn&rsquo;t move - everybody&rsquo;s content.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">For now, the herd will continue munching around a five acre space on the airport grounds. Officials say they should finish that section in the next few weeks, and then it&rsquo;s on to the next spot.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Producer/Reporter Follow her&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a> .</em></p></p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 13:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/herd-goats-llamas-sheep-and-burros-are-grazing-around-o%E2%80%99hare-grounds-108408 Sky high by the 5th of July http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-07/sky-high-5th-july-107952 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cornelotesriracha.jpg" title="Elote: roasted corn on the cob with butter, mayo, crema, lime, Sriracha, scallions, cilantro, and cotija cheese (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Two years ago today <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-07-05/knee-high-fifth-july-88732" target="_blank"><u>I took the baton</u></a> of this food blog. With climate change of all kinds, we did celebrate our <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-07/how-high-6th-july-100667" target="_blank"><u>one year anniversary</u></a>. Today we pass on to the great beyond.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">WBEZ will continue to cover food, sometimes with me. Please stay tuned.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Special thanks to&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/JustinKaufmann" target="_blank"><u>Justin Kaufmann</u></a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/dailyedwardian" target="_blank"><u>Steve Edwards</u></a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/andrewgill" target="_blank"><u>Andrew Gill</u></a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ChicagoEl" target="_blank"><u>Elliott Ramos</u></a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/TheSSKate" target="_blank"><u>Kate Dries</u></a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/rsamer" target="_blank"><u>Robin Amer</u></a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/triciabobeda"><u>Tricia Bobeda</u></a>, and <u><a href="https://twitter.com/timakimoff" target="_blank">Tim Akimoff</a></u>.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But really thanks to everyone at BEZ.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">In the meantime you can:</div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu" target="_blank"><u>Follow me on Twitter.</u></a></div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Louisa-Chu/301814753261077" target="_blank"><u>Like me on Facebook.</u></a></div><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://instagram.com/louisachu1" target="_blank"><u>Follow me on </u></a><u><a href="http://instagram.com/louisachu1">Instagram</a></u><a href="http://instagram.com/louisachu1"><u>.</u></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Or look for me and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-03/indiana-maple-sap-next-coconut-water-106072" target="_blank"><u>my dog Kiba</u></a> in the side yard at <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-09/thirdspace-bang-bang-pie-shop-102399" target="_blank"><u>Bang Bang Pie Shop</u></a> in Logan Square where we&#39;ll be sharing a warm Midwest biscuit with Smoking Goose ham,&nbsp;all the housemade butter and jam, plus at least one slice of pie.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">And a big thanks to you too. Cheers!</div></p> Fri, 05 Jul 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-07/sky-high-5th-july-107952 Bioluminescent creatures keep predators at bay http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/bioluminescent-creatures-keep-predators-bay-107012 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bio%20bay%20youtube.jpg" title="The bioluminescent ripple effects of a splash in the Bio Bay. (YouTube/TobiasJHN)" /></div><p>When I was in my early 20s I traveled to Puerto Rico on vacation with some friends from high school. We sat on the beach and drank fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas, visited the colonial fort in old San Juan (a place that, with its rolling green meadows and stone turrets perched just above the ocean cliffs, looked to me like Narnia) and for several days we stayed in a rental in Vieques.</p><p>The diminutive island eight miles east of the mainland was for many years a U.S. naval base. Much of the heavily forested island was made into a wildlife preserve, which is now off-limits. But the rest of the island has retained a similar kind of rural, unspoiled beauty. There are white sand beaches and coral reefs, and even feral horses that trot around the pastel-colored houses. But Vieques&rsquo; most remarkable natural feature is its <a href="http://biobay.com/">Bioluminescent Bay</a>.</p><p>I went to the Bio Bay at night, on a bus that departed from the tiny town of Esperanza and wound its way east along the coast. It was perfectly dark when we arrived, and silent, except for the sound of insects and giggling tourists. Our tour guides produced canoes, and we filed in by twos and threes, paddling out to the center of the bay.</p><p>The water was black and glassy, but at the appointed time we jumped in to meet the creatures that give the Bio Bay its name. As we landed in the murk with one splash after another, the water around us flashed with a bright, milky blue glow, illuminating our limbs and reflecting up onto our faces. I swept my arm through the water and watched as it left a trail of blue stardust lit up behind it.</p><p>The Bio Bay, you see, is home to millions upon millions of tiny, one-celled microorganisms called dinoflagellates &ndash; in this case tiny marine plankton that are among the earth&rsquo;s many bioluminescent creatures. They produce their eerie light when they&rsquo;re disturbed, as they were when we decided to take a midnight swim in their home.</p><p>&ldquo;What&rsquo;s the <em>point </em>of that light?&rdquo; J. Woodland &ldquo;Woody&rdquo; Hastings asked at a recent Chicago lecture. The Harvard professor of Natural Sciences studies bioluminescence in creatures across the spectrum of life, from simple, one-celled bacteria to angler fish that swim in the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean and carry their light around with them.</p><p>Hastings said this is the question he&rsquo;s invariably asked at his talks. In the case of one such organism he&rsquo;s studied, a luminous mushroom found in the Brazilian rain forest, Hastings posited that the glow of the fungi attracts insects, which will eat the mushroom and help disperse its spores. But in the case of the plankton in the Bio Bay, my tour guide had another explanation: supposedly, he said, the glow was meant to act like <a href="http://siobiolum.ucsd.edu/dino_bl.html">a &ldquo;burglar alarm,&rdquo;</a> meant to attract a secondary predator that would threaten and scare away the primary predator bothering the dinoflagellates.</p><p>As my tour guide spoke, I felt a blindingly painful sting on my left calf. A jellyfish that I could not see &ndash; but which had clearly seen me &ndash; had wrapped its tentacle around my leg. I hauled myself out of the water and back into the boat, howling with pain. Nature at work!</p><p>In the audio above you can hear Hastings&rsquo; account of another mystical spot of bioluminescent water, this time in the Indian Ocean, known to generations of sailors as the &ldquo;milky sea.&rdquo; And, you can hear more about the spectrum of creatures that cause our waters to glow like a softly lit siren.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range"><em>Dynamic Range</em></a>&nbsp;<em>showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Woody Hastings spoke at an event presented by the Chicago Council on Science and Technology in February of 2013. Click</em>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/bioluminescence-living-lights-lights-living-106379"><em>here</em></a>&nbsp;<em>to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p><p><em>Robin Amer is a producer on WBEZ&rsquo;s digital team. Follow her on Twitter</em><a href="https://twitter.com/rsamer">&nbsp;<em>@rsamer</em></a><em>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Sat, 04 May 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/bioluminescent-creatures-keep-predators-bay-107012 We are all haunted http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-10/we-are-all-haunted-103464 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><p><strong>Close to home: </strong><strong><a href="http://bachelors-grove.com/"><u>Bachelor&#39;s Grove Cemetery</u></a></strong>, Bremen, Ill.</p></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Bachelors%20Grove.jpg" title="Bachelor's Grove Cemetery (Photo by Maureen Searcy) " /></div><p>Bachelor&#39;s Grove is a sparse, run-down cemetery located inside the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve. This disused little plot fell into the hands of vandals in the &lsquo;70s, and a nearby road became <em>the</em> place for drag racing. Ghost hunters claim the Grove is one of the most haunted spots in the Midwest, and believers have reported instances of glowing orbs and even a phantom farmhouse. Many of the lighter tombstones have been moved. But the heavier gravestones remain, including a beveled, checkered monument upon which a <a href="http://graveyards.com/IL/Cook/bachelors/ghost.html"><u>ghostly lady in white</u></a> once appeared on film, according to the Ghost Research Society, though she was never seen in person.<br /><br />My friend and I visited Bachelor&#39;s Grove a few years ago and saw that people still leave items on headstones, like plastic roses and tiny biker teddy bears. But mostly we saw empty beer bottles, cigarette butts, a pastel thong half-buried in the mud and the footprints of either a satyr or a deer. As much as you would love to visit Bachelor&#39;s Grove at night, the risk of getting attacked IRL rises exponentially when the sun sets.</p><p><strong>Body chutes and ladders: <a href="http://therealwaverlyhills.com/"><u>Waverly Hills Sanatorium</u></a></strong>, 4400 Paralee Lane, Louisville, Ky.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Waverlyhillssanatorium.jpg" title="The main entrance to Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Wikimedia Commons/Kris Arnold)" /></div><p>Waverly Hills Sanatorium is an abandoned hospital that once housed up to 400 tuberculosis patients. The sanatorium was a self-contained city that created most of what it needed on site, including clean water, produce and meat. At the time of construction, builders also dug a tunnel from the hilltop hospital down to the base with a cart mechanism for supply delivery.<br /><br />At the height of the TB epidemic, hospital staff decided the high number of deaths caused both low morale and logistical inconvenience, so they began using the tunnel as a <a href="http://www.thecabinet.com/darkdestinations/image.php?sub_id=dark_destinations&amp;letter=w&amp;location_id=waverly_hills_sanatorium&amp;image_id=183"><u>&ldquo;body chute&rdquo;</u></a> to transport corpses. Believers claim to have witnessed orbs, flashes and shadows of past patients in the hospital. The Syfy Channel reality show <a href="http://www.syfy.com/ghosthunters/"><em>Ghost Hunters</em></a> talked about the haunting of room 502 by a nurse who was said to have hanged herself there.<br /><br />This one takes deep pockets, but you can surely shell out the cash to spend the night in Waverly Hills. Not one instance of the building shifting layout and dropping inhabitants into a different dimension has been reported. But then again, who would make it back to report it?</p><p><strong>Message for the Devil: <u><a href="http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/Charleston/old.htm">Old&nbsp;</a></u></strong><strong><a href="http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/Charleston/old.htm">Charleston</a></strong><strong><a href="http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/Charleston/old.htm"><u>&nbsp;Jail</u></a></strong>, 21 Magazine Street, Charleston, S.C.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Charleston%20Jail.jpg" title="Charleston Old Jail (Library of Congress) " /></div><p>Charleston, S.C. is a glorious town for ghost tours. Most guides will take you by the Old Charleston Jail, where some serious meanies, like Lavinia Fisher, were housed until execution. Wikipedia calls Fisher the first American female <a href="http://www.mentalfloss.com/difference/serial-killer-vs-mass-murderer/"><u>mass murderer, but she wasn&rsquo;t</u></a> &mdash; she was a serial killer.<br /><br />Fisher and her husband, John, ran the Six Mile Wayfarer House in the early 1800s. According to one version of the story, the couple would poison wealthy male travelers with tea, just enough to cause them to collapse into bed in a stupor. Later in the night, the bed would collapse, dropping the unsuspecting man into a pit. Some say the pit had spikes.</p><p>But the Fishers were foiled by one thing: a guest who hated tea and only pretended to drink it.<br /><br />Long story short, officials dragged Fisher and her husband to jail and convicted them of highway robbery, a crime punishable by hanging. At the time, South Carolina couldn&rsquo;t execute a married woman &mdash; so the state hanged her husband first.<br /><br />Lavinia hoped to seduce a man into marriage at the last minute as a means of saving her life, so she asked to be hanged in her wedding gown. When no one said yes to the dress, she ruefully said, &ldquo;If anyone&rsquo;s got a message for the Devil, tell me now. I&rsquo;ll be seeing him soon.&rdquo; Believers claim Lavinia&rsquo;s ghost can be seen in the jail, appearing as a blue light in an upper window.</p><p><strong>Fire in the sky: <a href="http://www.brownmountainlights.com/"><u>Brown Mountain Lights</u></a></strong>, Burke County, N.C.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Lost%20Cove%20Cliffs.jpg" title="Lost Cove Cliffs Overlook (Photo by Maureen Searcy)" /></div><p>Brown Mountain sits along the Blue Ridge in the Appalachians and is famous for its spectral lights. Usually in late summer and early fall, particularly on nights after it rains, glowing orbs and flashing lights can be seen along the mountainside. These lights have been reported as far back as the 1300s, according to Cherokee legend that tells of a battle between the Cherokee and Catawba. After the battle, torch-bearing maidens collected their fallen warriors. Believers claim the lights are the ghosts of those maidens, still mourning their dead.<br /><br />I grew up in North Carolina, and the story I heard attributed the lights to a terrible mine accident in the 1800s. The miners&rsquo; wives took lanterns to the mountain, searching for their husbands, who were buried alive. The lights are the souls of those forever unsatisfied women.</p><p>In 1922, however, the U.S. Geological Survey sent an agent to <a href="http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1971/0646/report.pdf"><u>investigate</u></a>. He concluded that the orbs were . . . SPOILER . . . train lights. However, in 1916, the Catawba River flooded and washed out train service for several weeks. Believers claim the lights were still visible then &mdash; a ghost train!</p><p>If you seek out the lights, the best places to view them are along Highway 181, which runs along the base of the mountain; at Wiseman&rsquo;s View on Old NC 105; or at Lost Cove Cliffs Overlook at mile 310 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The real danger of looking is hitting a wall of fog (like I did) and barreling off a cliff. When you enter the Parkway, there is an enormous sign warning you to turn back in times of fog. Do that (as I didn&rsquo;t).</p><p><strong>Tread lightly: </strong><u><a href="http://www.damninteresting.com/the-smoldering-ruins-of-centralia/">Centralia, Pa.</a></u></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Centralia.jpg" title="Route 61 through Centralia, Pa. (Wikimedia Commons /JohnDS) " /></div><p>The town of Centralia is burning &mdash; literally. In this case, the town itself is a ghost.<br /><br />For much of the 20<sup>th</sup> century workers in Centralia often burned trash in an abandoned mine they were using as a landfill. One unlucky day in 1962, a vein of coal caught fire. Workers put out the surface flames, but like a cigarette dropped drunkenly on a couch, the coal vein kept smoldering inside.<br /><br />Over the years, the indomitable furnace buckled streets and released toxic gases. The town was abandoned, save for a handful of holdouts &mdash; presumably armed with fire suits, gas masks, a bunch of wire hangers and a lifetime supply of hotdogs. Buildings were razed and nature slowly overtook the town. It&rsquo;s estimated that the area contains enough coal to burn for another 250 years.</p><p>Centralia has inspired a video game, a movie and a <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-10-26/entertainment/chi-silent-hill-revelation-movie-review-20121026_1_silent-hill-horror-story-cop">just-released 3D sequel, <em>Silent Hill</em></a>. Turns out folks <u><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2179622/The-Door-Hell-Giant-hole-Karakum-Desert-40-YEARS.html">love to throw matches</a></u> into endless supplies of flammable material.</p><p>Of all the places on this list, Centralia is the one I want to visit most &mdash; but won&rsquo;t. Don&rsquo;t go here, people. This is not reverse psychology. You&rsquo;ll fall into a pit of fire. And that will absolutely ruin your Halloween.</p><p><em>Maureen Searcy blogs and collects ghost stories at <u><a href="http://maureensearcy.com/we-are-all-haunted/">We Are All Haunted</a>.</u></em></p></p> Wed, 31 Oct 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-10/we-are-all-haunted-103464