WBEZ | Halloween http://www.wbez.org/tags/halloween Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: October 30, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-30/morning-shift-october-30-2015-113574 <p><p>We check in with a neuroscientist about <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-30/childhood-fears-stay-us-113573">how the brain responds to fear</a>.</p><p>Also, the story of a transgender senior citizen who wanted to pass along some etiquette and manners to Chicago&rsquo;s LGBT youth. Her story is the inspiration for the new play, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-30/%E2%80%9Ccharm%E2%80%9D-takes-audiences-inside-etiquette-class-lgbt-kids-113572"><em>Charm.</em></a>&nbsp;</p><p>Plus, a Chicago Humanities Festival cabaret performance celebrating <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-30/celebrating-great-female-vocalists-who-left-other-places-113571">four female artists. </a></p><p>Then, the drum and piano music of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-30/claudettes-bring-barrelhouse-thunder-113569">The Claudettes</a>.</p></p> Fri, 30 Oct 2015 12:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-30/morning-shift-october-30-2015-113574 A spooky tale in time for Halloween: weather cuts pumpkin crop http://www.wbez.org/news/spooky-tale-time-halloween-weather-cuts-pumpkin-crop-113284 <p><div><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/pumpkins10115_patch_wide-b56fbd3bd58f81bf828910bbbde10254b959d1d1-s800-c85.jpg" title="The pumpkin patch at Waldoch Farm in Lino Lakes, Minn. (Kaomi Goetz/NPR)" /></div><div><p>It&#39;s pumpkin-selling season, and crowds are flocking to farms to pick out their own jack-o-lanterns. But this year, challenging weather conditions have cut the supply of pumpkins &mdash; both for carving and canning.</p><p>Heavy summer rains in parts of the Midwest and elsewhere have left many farmers short on pumpkins. And in California, drought has squeezed the crop.</p><p>All of that is also affecting canned puree makers, who consume about half of all pumpkins. Among those affected is Libby&#39;s, the largest U.S. producer of canned pumpkins. Libby&#39;s fills its cans with pumpkins that come mostly from Illinois, America&#39;s leading pumpkin producer.</p><p>Roz O&#39;Hearn, a spokesperson for Libby&#39;s parent company, Nestle USA, says that rainy weather in Illinois cut the crop by half compared with 2014.</p><p>&quot;We think there&#39;s enough pumpkin to carry us through Thanksgiving,&quot; O&#39;Hearn says. &quot;But we generally plant enough pumpkin so we have a cushion to carry us into the next year. And it doesn&#39;t look like that cushion is going to be there this year.&quot;</p><p>O&#39;Hearn says she doesn&#39;t expect that lack of a cushion to affect prices this fall.</p><p>Pumpkins are a $145 million industry, according to statistics from the National Agricultural Statistics Service. That&#39;s a small amount compared to other produce. But demand for pumpkins is rising &mdash; production is up nearly 30 percent over five years.</p><p>O&#39;Hearn says there should be enough supply to fill our pumpkin pies through Thanksgiving &mdash; but after that, she says, there&#39;s going to be a shortage until the next harvest.</p><div id="res447240537" previewtitle="Kevin Coppinger took his nearly 3-year-old daughter, Mae, to choose a pumpkin at Waldoch Farm. The farm added a corn maze about five years ago. Owner Doug Joyer says adding such attractions has allowed him to live solely off income from the farm."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Kevin Coppinger took his nearly 3-year-old daughter, Mae, to choose a pumpkin at Waldoch Farm. The farm added a corn maze about five years ago. Owner Doug Joyer says adding such attractions has allowed him to live solely off income from the farm." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/09/pumpkins10115_coppinger2_custom-b96b6ff65934b9520270cfbad752d772568affe0-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 445px; width: 600px;" title="Kevin Coppinger took his nearly 3-year-old daughter, Mae, to choose a pumpkin at Waldoch Farm. The farm added a corn maze about five years ago. Owner Doug Joyer says adding such attractions has allowed him to live solely off income from the farm. (Kaomi Goetz/NPR)" /></div><div><p>Increasingly, some pumpkin growers are navigating shortages by selling not just pumpkins but family fun &mdash; with attractions like corn mazes and petting zoos.</p></div></div><p>For instance, at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.waldochfarm.com/html/waldoch_history.php">Waldoch Farm</a>, a Minnesota farm just north of the Twin Cities, admission starts at $10. Add a hot cider and a hot dog, and a family of four could end up dropping $50 or more.</p><p>Doug Joyer of Waldoch Farm is a fourth-generation farmer, but the first in his family to rely solely on the farm for income. He says he added a corn maze five years ago by popular request.</p><p>&quot;People called us asking if we did a corn maze,&quot; Joyer says. &quot;They kind of assumed we had a corn maze if we had a pumpkin patch.&quot;</p><p>Joyer&#39;s farm sells decorative and small-pie pumpkins, which are also experiencing a shortage &mdash; though it&#39;s not as severe as the one facing pumpkins used for processing.</p><p><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulhugunin">Paul Hugunin</a>, a marketing manager with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, has watched farm culture for the past 27 years. He says this addition of entertainment is how a lot of pumpkin farms are staying profitable even when the harvest is light.</p><p>&quot;The biggest change we see with pumpkins is not so much the number of farms growing them or the number of pumpkins they&#39;re raising,&quot; Hugunin says. &quot;It&#39;s what goes along with that.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/12/447200324/a-spooky-tale-in-time-for-halloween-weather-cuts-into-pumpkin-crop?ft=nprml&amp;f=447200324" target="_blank">via NPR</a></em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 12 Oct 2015 10:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/spooky-tale-time-halloween-weather-cuts-pumpkin-crop-113284 Zombie barge sinking in storm at Navy Pier http://www.wbez.org/news/zombie-barge-sinking-storm-navy-pier-111036 <p><blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="3" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"><div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"><div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div></div><p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/u1U7h1rTxK/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">The remains of the zombie barge @NavyPier. #happyhalloween</a></p><p style="font-family:Arial,sans-serif;color:#c9c8cd; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A video posted by Niala Boodhoo (@nialab)&nbsp;on</p><time datetime="2014-10-31T22:13:47+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Oct 10, 2014 at 3:13pm PDT</time></div></blockquote><script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chris%20barge.PNG" style="height: 541px; width: 620px;" title="(WBEZ/Chris Hagan)" /></div><p>Footage of the Halloween zombie barge sinking at Navy Pier during a storm on Oct. 31. It&#39;s wild out there! But the Fire Department is on scene and at last check no injuries were reported.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled-503.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="(WBEZ/Shawn Allee)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/untitled-517.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="(WBEZ/Shawn Allee)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/zombie-barge-sinking-storm-navy-pier-111036 Morning Shift: Unpacking the real intentions of Illinois' gubernatorial candidates http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-10-31/morning-shift-unpacking-real-intentions-illinois-gubernatorial <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/PATQUINNFORILLINOIS.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a deeper look at what Governor Pat Quinn and challenger Bruce Rauner have planned for Illinois. And, we look at how Illinois schools are doing on achievement. Plus, we get drama from The Neo-Futurists and music from Dry The River.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-86/embed?header=false&border=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-86.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-86" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Unpacking the real intentions of Illinois' gubernatorial candidates " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-10-31/morning-shift-unpacking-real-intentions-illinois-gubernatorial We ain't afraid of no (Chicago) ghosts! http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/we-aint-afraid-no-chicago-ghosts-111017 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/174477845&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><a href="https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&amp;ion=1&amp;espv=2&amp;ie=UTF-8#q=haunted%20chicago" target="_blank">Search &ldquo;haunted Chicago&rdquo; online</a> and you&rsquo;ll get a list of websites and articles, each clamoring to be your number one source for all things ghost related. The lists are long enough to occupy you for an eternity.</p><p>Which makes sense, given that Chicago <a href="http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2012/10/29/map-haunted-places.php" target="_blank">has a reputation for being terribly haunted</a>. The city is the home of America&rsquo;s <a href="http://harpers.org/archive/1943/12/the-master-of-the-murder-castle/">first serial killer</a> (reference to &ldquo;murder castle&rdquo; included), as well as <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1916/10/the-devil-baby-at-hull-house/305428/" target="_blank">the cloven-hooved &ldquo;devil baby</a>.&rdquo; And, don&rsquo;t forget the swanky, downtown nightclub that once served as the morgue for victims of the <a href="http://www.eastlanddisaster.org/history/what-happened" target="_blank">Eastland disaster</a>.</p><p>Fibbed or fact-checked, these stories and dozens of others have been told and retold, spun into ghost-tour monologues and stamped into scary story books.</p><p>Well, we&rsquo;re taking our turn in re-spinning two of Chicago&rsquo;s spookiest stories, but this time in service to two <a href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.614491515325495.1073741829.207340619373922&amp;type=3" target="_blank">Curious Citizens</a>. The first wanted to meet the local specter who has (allegedly) been seen the most often. The second asked to find the location that ghost census-takers say is crawling with spirits.</p><p>To ease into this, let&rsquo;s consider what good can come out of a ghost story, especially if you&rsquo;re on the skeptical side. For this, we turn to folklorist Sue Eleuterio, who says these stories fulfill a number of psychological needs. Among them: Supernatural stories transform real-life dangers into ghoulish monsters. In theory these tales spook kids away from sneaking out after dark.</p><p>&ldquo;We know there are risks associated with certain behavior, so being out alone when it&rsquo;s dark, or you know, after a certain time, is dangerous, or can be dangerous,&rdquo; she says.</p><p>Ghost stories can also make it safe for young people to experience uncomfortable emotions. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s something thrilling about being afraid, especially if it feels controlled,&rdquo; Eleuterio says. &ldquo;One of the things I love about folk culture is we still have that need. We have all those needs to be afraid, we have those needs to be reassured, we have those needs to be warned and protected.&rdquo;</p><p>With this in mind &mdash; and with help from an antique dealer and a couple of ghost experts &mdash; we pursue two ghost stories that answer our Curious Citizens&rsquo; questions. Along the way we learn how ghost tales can not just haunt us, they can help us, too.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Legitimate ghost?</span></p><p>For both questions we enlist the help of <a href="http://www.adamselzer.com" target="_blank">Adam Selzer</a>, the author of <em>The Ghosts of Chicago</em> and a local ghost tour guide. Selzer traces his interest in the supernatural back to his childhood, which was spent watching <em>Scooby Doo</em>. That detail, though, doesn&rsquo;t mean he&rsquo;s light when it comes to comparing legends to facts.</p><p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re interested in ghosts you deserve better,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;You deserve proper backstories.&rdquo; For him, that translates into &ldquo;digging through old newspaper archives, old 19th century books, stuff from the property records, the legal archives occasionally, contacting relatives when possible.&rdquo;</p><p>Alright ... but for the record: Does our ghost expert believe in ghosts?</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve seen some strange stuff,&rdquo; he says, &ldquo;but not necessarily anything that I would swear in front of a panel of scientists was really a dead person. But certainly some things that I can&rsquo;t explain.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/part 1 topper.jpg" title="Anna “Mary” Norkus, above, died on the night of her 13th birthday in 1927. Ursula Bielski holds that Norkus is the inspiration behind Resurrection Mary ghost story. (Image courtesy Ursula Bielski)" /></div><p><span style="text-align: center;">Ok. Onto our first question, which comes from Chicagoan Ben Albers, a self-described history buff and ghost enthusiast:</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Which is the most legitimate ghost story in Chicago?</em></p><p>And ... here&rsquo;s his caveat: He&rsquo;s looking for evidence. &ldquo;Anyone can make up a ghost story,&rdquo; Ben says. &ldquo;A new bar owner, in order to get publicity, they could say that Al Capone used to sit in that booth and eat his lasagna. It&rsquo;s just [that] you need the evidence to back it up in order for it to be legitimate.&rdquo;</p><p>Whew. Well, Ben meets Adam Selzer and producer Katie Klocksin at Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, Illinois, a southwest suburb. Selzer explains that, for him, evidence &ldquo;is primarily first-hand accounts, actual stories of somebody seeing the ghost.&rdquo;</p><p>By this metric, the winner for most legitimate ghost story is that of Resurrection Mary, sightings of which began in the early 1930s. Selzer has encountered a few dozen first-hand accounts. &ldquo;So a few dozen is a lot more than we&rsquo;ve got of everything else, really,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>According to Selzer, Resurrection Mary sightings usually go like this. First, someone will be driving near Resurrection Cemetery &mdash; our ghost&rsquo;s namesake. Then, they&rsquo;ll see a girl. &ldquo;Now and then you&rsquo;ll hear a story of somebody dancing with her, but mostly it&rsquo;s just they see her by the side of the road crying,&rdquo; Selzer says. &ldquo;They offer her a ride home, and then she disappears outside of Resurrection Cemetery.&rdquo; Sometimes she&rsquo;ll jump out of the car near the cemetery, but &ldquo;usually they just look over at the passenger seat and find that she&rsquo;s gone.&rdquo;</p><p>The disappearing act happens one of two ways: Mary either gets out of the car the old fashioned way or ... she just vanishes. Selzer recalls a story from a man who believes he encountered Resurrection Mary when he was a high school student in the &lsquo;60s. The man thought he recognized a girl sitting by the side of the road crying, so he pulled over and offered her a ride. &ldquo;And when she looked up he saw that it wasn&rsquo;t the girl that he thought it was,&rdquo; Selzer says. Still, the driver still felt like he had to make good on his offer of a ride.</p><p>&ldquo;So she got into the car and just kind of pointed him down road. They were only about a block away from Resurrection Cemetery. Then, when he looked into passenger seat she was just gone,&rdquo; Selzer says.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Was there really a Mary?</span></p><p>Ghost experts have tried to link the Resurrection Mary legend with actual people who died around the time the sightings began. One theory involves Mary Bregovy, a girl who died in a car accident in 1934, according to Adam Selzer. &ldquo;And we like to talk about her as a possible candidate,&rdquo; he says, &ldquo;mainly because she fits the template so well: died on coming home from a dance.&rdquo;</p><p>But Selzer notes that the Resurrection Mary sightings had already begun by the time Mary Bregovy died. Also, Resurrection Mary is usually described as a blonde, which Mary Bregovy was not. According to Selzer&rsquo;s research, there are 60 to 70 young Marys buried at Resurrection Cemetery, all having died during roughly the right time period to be candidates. &ldquo;And even then, we&rsquo;re really just making the broad assumption that it&rsquo;s actually a girl named Mary at all,&rdquo; Selzer says.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ressurection%20cemetery%20flickr%20pklza.jpg" style="float: right; height: 422px; width: 280px;" title="Resurrection Cemetery is the resting place of Resurrection Mary, Chicago's most legitimate ghost story. (Flickr/pkize)" />Another candidate for the Mary ghost is a girl named Anna Norkus. The case for this &ldquo;Mary&rdquo; is described by historian and author <a href="http://chicagohauntings.com/bio.html">Ursula Bielski</a> in her book <em>Chicago Haunts</em>. Bielski writes that Norkus began using Mary as her middle name because of her &ldquo;devotion to the Blessed Mother.&rdquo; Norkus did have blonde hair. Also, Norkus died in a car accident after going out dancing on the night of her 13th birthday on July 20, 1927.</p><p>In Bielski&rsquo;s account, Norkus was scheduled to be buried at St. Casimir Cemetery, near Resurrection. But there may have been a problem. Bielski cites fellow ghost lore researcher Frank Andrejasich, who noted that grave-digging in the 1920s was difficult manual labor and strikes were common. Andrejasich discovered a man named Mr. Churas, who was in charge of the gravediggers at the time Anna Norkus died. During strikes, Bielski writes, Churas would retrieve unburied bodies in wooden boxes and temporarily bury them at Resurrection until the strike ended. This practice was necessary, &ldquo;because of poor coffin construction and the lack of refrigeration,&rdquo; Bielski writes.</p><p>If grave diggers at St. Casimir were striking when Norkus was scheduled to be buried, her body may have been temporarily buried at Resurrection. &ldquo;If the strike dragged on, identification at the time of relocation could be gruesomely difficult,&rdquo; Bielski writes. She concludes: &ldquo;The result? A mislaid corpse and a most restless eternity, if only one is willing to believe.&rdquo;</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Vanishing hitchhikers: a broader trend</span></p><p>Sue Eleuterio says folklorists consider Resurrection Mary a vanishing hitchhiker story, variants of which appear all around the world. &ldquo;There are legends in China, there are legends in Korea,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;As immigrants have come to the United States they&rsquo;ve often brought these legends with them.&rdquo;</p><p>For example, a vanishing hitchhiker story told in Northwest Indiana has elements of the traditional Mexican story of &ldquo;La Llorona,&rdquo; the weeping woman, she says.</p><p>While there&rsquo;s often discussion about whether or not urban legend style ghost stories are true, Eleuterio says &ldquo;what&rsquo;s more interesting to me is that it always has a pattern, and then there are variations in the pattern. ... A vanishing hitchhiker story is always going to have some aspects of a ghostly figure that appears, and then disappears,&rdquo; and the stories are always connected to a specific place.</p><p>Ursula Bielski suggests a psychological cause for some vanishing hitchhiker sightings, rather than restless ghosts. &ldquo;Night travel along cemeteries may encourage the unwitting creation of phantoms to inhabit these curiously and suddenly empty lengths of highway,&rdquo; she writes. &ldquo;The dreamlike state imposed by lonely late-night driving could be the culprit in so many of these cases.&rdquo;</p><p>Our questioner, Ben Albers, got this investigation started with his question about a legitimate ghost story. Adam Selzer&rsquo;s strongest evidence for Resurrection Mary is several dozen first-hand accounts.</p><p>How does this sound to Ben?</p><p>&ldquo;I think this is the most convincing case, just because there&rsquo;s been so many sightings of her and first-hand accounts,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;This is definitely the most convincing and legitimate ghost story I&rsquo;ve heard in Chicago, and I think your evidence backs it up.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a name="iroquoistheaterfire"></a><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/part%202%20topper.png" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;">Our next Curious Citizen with a penchant for the supernatural is Paul Vaccarello, who says he loves two things: being afraid, and being afraid during Halloween.</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;">Little wonder, then, that he submitted this question to Curious City:</p><p><em>What&rsquo;s the most haunted place in Chicago?</em></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;">But how the heck should you quantify &ldquo;most haunted&rdquo; in this case? Expert ghost guide Adam Selzer had offered up these options:</p><blockquote><p style="text-align: left;">A. The place with the most number of ghosts.</p><p style="text-align: left;">B. The place with the most frequently seen ghosts.</p><p style="text-align: left;">C. The place with the best quality of ghosts.</p><p style="text-align: left;">D. The place you&rsquo;re most likely to get sucked into the netherworld.</p><p style="text-align: left;">E. The place you&rsquo;re most likely to get possessed.</p></blockquote><p style="text-align: left;">With help from Paul, we settle with: &ldquo;<strong>A. the place with the most number of ghosts.</strong>&rdquo; That is, we settle for <em>quantity</em> over quality.</p><p style="text-align: left;">&ldquo;My goal is to see a ghost,&rdquo; Paul says. &ldquo;To experience something supernatural, you know? See something that I can&rsquo;t explain.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size:24px;">&lsquo;The alley of death and mutilation&rsquo;</span></p><p style="text-align: left;">Luckily, Selzer knows just the spot for Paul to maximize his chances for otherworldly experiences &mdash; or at least hear accounts about them.</p><p style="text-align: left;">On the night of October&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.space.com/27358-total-lunar-eclipse-blood-moon-complete-coverage.html" target="_blank">blood moon</a>, we meet in front of the Oriental Theater on Chicago&rsquo;s Randolph Street. We then curve around the corner into an alley. There, we see a ghost segway tour. (That&rsquo;s right. Selzer says he&rsquo;s seen them before.) A guy takes out the trash. It kind of smells like pee. (Something Selzer says he&rsquo;s noticed many times.)</p><p style="text-align: left;">&ldquo;Right now we are in an alley that the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> once called the alley of death and mutilation,&rdquo; Selzer says, as he pulls out a news clipping to prove it. He scrolls through his iPad to show this:</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/alley%20of%20death%20and%20mutilation%20chicago%20tribun.jpg" title="A Chicago Tribune illustration published December 31, 1903, the day after the Iroquois Theater fire, depicts the alley before the flames were extinguished. " /></div><p style="text-align: left;">Selzer tells us we are standing right in the spot this illustration depicts &mdash; just about where that lady on the bottom left is falling to her death.</p><p style="text-align: left;">The image depicts a tragedy that happened in this alley on December 30, 1903. The building, then known as the Iroquois Theater, had caught fire and 600 people perished inside the building and in this alley. (It&rsquo;s safest to say &ldquo;about 600 people&rdquo; died, as figures run between the high 590s and a tad over 600). The blaze was the deadliest single-building fire in United States history until the World Trade Center towers were destroyed in 2001. While the Iroquois Theater fire eventually led to monumental leaps in nation-wide fire code improvements, it also led to the reason why Adam Selzer says the alley behind the Oriental Theater is the most haunted spot in Chicago.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size:24px;">The Iroquois Theater: &lsquo;Absolutely fireproof!&rsquo;</span></p><p style="text-align: left;">The Iroquois Theater was built in the summer of 1903 and opened around Thanksgiving that same year. It had 1,600 seats, three main thoroughfares, and enough French-Renaissance architecture to rival the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuileries" target="_blank">Tuileries</a>. A program distributed on the day of the theater&rsquo;s opening boasted its &ldquo;many avenues for exit&rdquo; and called its interior the &ldquo;most majestic in this city or in this country.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: left;">On the day of the fire, the theater was packed beyond capacity. The crowd, mostly women and their children, had arrived to watch a matinee of a show named Mr. Bluebeard (If you&rsquo;re not familiar, this is a French folktale about a wealthy guy with a blue beard who murders his seven wives, and nearly kills his eighth. It was considered a children&rsquo;s Christmas show. This song,&nbsp;<em>Let Us Swear It By The Pale Moonlight, </em>was&nbsp;playing as the theater fire began to spread. <a name="song"></a>(Special thanks to <a href="http://bluepolicebox.com/">Andrew Edwards</a> for his performance of <a href="http://digital.library.ucla.edu/apam/librarian?VIEWPDF=NSO012003PDF">the sheet music</a>).&nbsp;<iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/174565688&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 style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://chicagology.com/PDF/IroquoisProgram.pdf" target="_blank">The show&rsquo;s playbills</a> advertised the theater as &ldquo;absolutely fireproof.&rdquo; At the time, this was an admirable (and profitable) attribute, considering the Great Chicago Fire just 32 years before.</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/iroquis%20playbill%20screenshot.PNG" title="The playbills at the Iroquois Theater had advertised building as fireproof, even on the day a massive fire killed 600 people. (Image courtesy of chicagoalogy.com)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><p>And, as Selzer likes to say, most of the theater <em>was</em> fireproof. It&rsquo;s just the things inside it that were not.</p><p>He cites the theater&rsquo;s ornate wood trimming and hemp-stuffed seats as obvious examples of the theater&rsquo;s flammability. Selzer also points out that the asbestos fire curtain required of all theaters had, in this case, been blended with cotton and wood pulp.</p><p>The Iroquois Theater wasn&rsquo;t an anomaly in this. A lot of theaters at the time were just as flammable, says Judy Cooke, an antique dealer in Elkhart, Indiana. Years ago, while liquidating the estate of a descendant of William J. Davis, the Iroquois&rsquo; owner, she found a trunk full of documents that sparked her interest in learning more about the Iroquois tragedy.</p><p>One popular narrative, she says, is that Davis cut corners trying to open the Iroquois before the busy holiday season. She says there&rsquo;s truth in this, but there&rsquo;s more to the story, too.</p><p>&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t make any excuses for the man because he simply wasn&rsquo;t paying attention to details,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;But what is sad, and not ever communicated in books and newspapers is that that theater was his crowning achievement. He&rsquo;s a bit of a Horatio Algers story.&rdquo;</p><p>Davis came from modest means, Cooke says, and the Iroquois Theater was his chance to prove to the world what he could do. While she says Davis ultimately bears responsibility for that day&rsquo;s deaths, she adds that it&rsquo;s not enough to say the Iroquois was a death trap; instead, she prefers to say the theater experienced &ldquo;a perfect storm&rdquo; on the day of the fire. The circumstances included a flammable &ldquo;fire curtain,&rdquo; bad ventilation, as well as locked or unmarked fire exits. Cooke says the large presence of women and children in the crowd didn&rsquo;t help, either, because women wore floor-length skirts that prevented them from running or climbing over seats.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/theater panorama.png" title="The Iroquois Theater after the fire. (Photo courtesy Library of Congress)" /></div></div></div><p>In the alley behind the former Iroquois, Selzer can point to another detail, one just a few dozen yards above our heads. That&rsquo;s where the Iroquois&rsquo; single accessible fire escape used to be. Selzer says the fire escape couldn&rsquo;t hold all the people fleeing the theater that afternoon, so many, many people simply fell over the rails. Or ... they were shoved over them. In one account, the pile of bodies rose six feet high.</p><p>Like it or not, Selzer says the grim details pertain to Paul&rsquo;s question. Death by sudden and traumatic head or spine injury, he says, cause the dead to enter a spiritual no-man&rsquo;s-land.</p><p>&ldquo;Imagine you&rsquo;re getting shoved off a fire escape and what&rsquo;s going through your head the last split seconds before you hit the pavement,&rdquo; Selzer says. &ldquo;That kind of heightened state of emotion, some people say, is where ghosts come from &hellip;. the reeks and fumes of your puddled brain.&rdquo;</p><p>If you subscribe to this theory, it wouldn&rsquo;t surprise you to learn that several hundred ghosts roam the former Iroquois Theater and the &quot;alley of death and mutilation&quot; behind it.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Wouldn&rsquo;t <em>you</em> want to haunt them, too?</span></p><p>But there&rsquo;s another reason that makes this alley a candidate for the most haunted place in Chicago: Nobody was ever punished for cutting the corners that made the fire so deadly.</p><p>In the trials after the disaster, the jury recommended Davis&rsquo; arrest and the arrest of seven others &mdash; including the arc light operator, William McMullen (the fire was caused by this light shorting out, and the sparks igniting the closest curtain). Five of those men were charged with manslaughter for negligence, but none was convicted.</p><p>The only person to serve any jail time, Selzer says, was a man who stole a wristwatch off a corpse in the alley. And even by graverobbing standards, that&rsquo;s pretty basic.</p><p>&ldquo;Some of the first people inside of the building were not rescue workers or firefighters,&rdquo; Selzer says. &ldquo;They were people yanking necklaces off dead bodies&rsquo; necks, cutting off women&rsquo;s fingers because it was faster than shimmying the rings off.&rdquo;</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/ghouls.jpg" title="A newspaper clipping describes one event involving grave robbers after the fire. The newspaper refers to them as ghouls. (Image courtesy Judy Cooke)" /></div><p>The combination of traumatic death and lack of political accountability &mdash; especially on such an enormous scale &mdash; Selzer says, makes the alley a breeding ground for ghost stories. And there&rsquo;s one more factor to consider, too: lack of commemoration.</p><p>&ldquo;You know, ghost hunters don&rsquo;t agree on much,&rdquo; Selzer says. &ldquo;We all have our own theories about everything and think everybody else is a quack. ... But one thing that everyone seems to agree about is when there&rsquo;s some kind of lack of commemoration there do tend to be more ghost sighting there.&rdquo;</p><p>At least on the numbers of dead, he&rsquo;s got a point. Roughly twice as many people known to have died in the Great Chicago Fire died within 15 minutes during the fire at the Iroquois. Yet, there are only a handful of easy-to-miss monuments to the event.</p><p>Shortly after the fire, a memorial sculpture was dedicated to the victims and placed inside the Iroquois Hospital, which was demolished in 1951. The memorial then spent nine years in City Hall storage until it was moved to <a href="http://chicago-architecture-jyoti.blogspot.com/2011/09/city-hall-county-bldg-iroquois-memorial.html" target="_blank">its current location near the building&rsquo;s LaSalle Street entrance</a>.</p><p><a href="http://graveyards.com/IL/Cook/montrose/iroquois.html" target="_blank">A couple of cemeteries also have plaques or small monuments dedicated to the victims</a>. But you won&rsquo;t find anything about the fire in the spot where it occurred. Not even the Oriental Theater, built over the Iroquois&rsquo; grounds, bears any visible reminder of the tragedy.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Ghost story as &lsquo;a people&rsquo;s history&rsquo;</span></p><p>Simply put, the story of the Iroquois fire barely permeates the city&rsquo;s public memory unless, of course, you count the people showing up for ghost tours.</p><p>On that count, Selzer says <a href="http://www.mysteriouschicagoblog.com/2014/02/ghost-pic-in-alley.html" target="_blank">he&rsquo;s got some pretty weird photographs</a>.</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/alley%20ghost%20courtesy%20adam%20selzer.jpg" style="height: 372px; width: 620px;" title="(Photo courtesy Adam Selzer)" /></div><p>Above, the ghost of what Selzer says may be Nellie Reed, a trapeze artist who died in the fire, appears on the top right of the image &hellip; or it could always be a trick of the light.</p><p>&ldquo;I have occasionally been pretty freaked out here,&rdquo; Selzer says. Occasionally, he&rsquo;ll see a silhouette of a woman in a tutu that he can&rsquo;t explain, or strange, human-like shadows zipping across the walls.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/nellie%20reed%20funeral2.png" style="float: left; height: 401px; width: 300px;" title="Nellie Reed, a trapeze artist in a show at the Iroquois Theater, was the only cast member killed as a result of the fire. Figures similar to the one above sometimes appear in photos people take in the alley. (Image courtesy Judy Cooke)" />Paul, though, sees no ghosts during our visit evening to the alley. But, he says, that&rsquo;s okay.</p><p>&ldquo;When you think of a ghost story you don&rsquo;t really think of the actual events that occurred to cause this ghost story to happen,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;You normally just think: &lsquo;Oh, ghost! Cool!&rsquo; ... But hearing all these facts makes it a lot more real.&rdquo;</p><p>We turn to Selzer, to see whether the Iroquois fire is even really a ghost story at all.</p><p>&ldquo;You don&rsquo;t have to exaggerate it too much,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Sometimes, it&rsquo;s the ghost stories that&rsquo;s all that&rsquo;s really keeping these stories alive.&rdquo;</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">A postscript</span></p><p dir="ltr">After leaving the &lsquo;alley of death and mutilation,&rsquo; we thought we&rsquo;d see how Adam Selzer&rsquo;s insight into ghost storytelling and history sits with Judy Cooke, who, again, has researched the Iroquois fire. She feels ghost stories aren&rsquo;t enough to satisfy true historical curiosity, and she prefers a vertical route &mdash; diving deep into individual stories. So far, <a href="http://www.iroquoistheater.com/" target="_blank">she&rsquo;s researched and written nearly 300 accounts of people affected by the fire on her website</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I want every single person that was at that fire to have something said about them,&rdquo; Cooke says, referring to herself as a genealogical completist. &ldquo;If you start going into a deeper exploration per person, you turn up more information. You turn up family histories in the geneology.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">And many of the family histories she&rsquo;s excavated often don&rsquo;t align with newspaper stories or even coroners&rsquo; documents at the time of the fire. Many immigrants&rsquo; last names were misspelled, for example. She also found accounts in which people were documented as dead, but were very much alive. Conversely, she says some of the dead were left off the list of victims.</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/fbook%20page%20screenshot.PNG" title="A screenshot from Judy Cooke's facebook page, where she documents the stories of people affected by the Iroquois fire." /></p><p dir="ltr">And consider the perspective that ghost tours might leave out. Cooke mentions a particular detail that sticks in her mind. The son of Iroquois owner Will Davis wrote the following in his father&rsquo;s obituary: &ldquo;He never recovered after the fire.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The bottom line: Cooke finds it hard to believe any story she&rsquo;s read about people who died at the Iroquois &hellip; much less their ghost stories.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Before I was going to start believing in the spook, I&rsquo;d want to make sure that spook was even at the fire, you know?&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;That person might not have even died.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">But she doesn&rsquo;t fault people like Selzer for keeping stories about the Iroquois Theater alive. She says she&rsquo;d just rather ask the ghosts herself.</p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:24px;">We&rsquo;ve got our answers. Who asked the questions?</span></p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/asker-%20Ben%20Albers%201.jpg" title="Question-asker Ben Albers at Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, Illinois. (Photo courtesy Katie Klocksin)" /></p><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Ben Albers</strong></span></p><p dir="ltr">For Ben Albers of Chicago&rsquo;s Buena Park neighborhood, history and ghosts are inextricably linked. He&rsquo;s not only interested in the spooky elements of ghost stories, but also &ldquo;the rich history behind&rdquo; these tales. After going on a ghost tour, Ben even did some of his own research into the intersection of local history and ghost legends. Which is not to say Ben doesn&rsquo;t want to see a ghost. He does.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I really want to experience one,&rdquo; he said &ldquo;but I never had the opportunity to go into the field and do it.&rdquo; He&rsquo;s heard creepy sounds, &ldquo;but I never really think that&rsquo;s a ghost. I never get real excited like: &lsquo;Oh, there&rsquo;s a ghost in my house, I need to investigate more.&rsquo;&rdquo; Before Ben, Adam Selzer and producer Katie Klocksin left Resurrection Cemetery, Klocksin asked what should be done if they would come across a hitchhiker. Should they give her a ride? Selzer replied, &ldquo;Absolutely,&rdquo; and Ben seconded</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Yeah. I agree one hundred percent,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;When you have your chance you&rsquo;ve got to take it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Paul%20Vaccarello%20-%20courtesy%20of%20Paul%20FOR%20WEB_0.jpg" style="float: left; height: 334px; width: 250px;" title="(Photo courtesy Paul Vaccarello) " /><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Paul Vaccarello</strong></span></p><p dir="ltr">You might remember Paul Vaccarello from<a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/passing-through-chicagos-union-station-amish-transit-hub-110453"> another question he submitted to Curious City, the one about the Amish at Union Station</a>. We like to think Paul&rsquo;s satisfaction with our answer led him to a heightened state of curiosity when he asked us about Chicago&rsquo;s ghosts.</p><p dir="ltr">But, instead, Paul said asked about ghosts because ... he just happens to like Halloween (in fact, it&rsquo;s his favorite holiday). And that&rsquo;s one of the reasons he asked us this question about Chicago&rsquo;s most haunted spot. The other? He wanted affirmation he&rsquo;s sought all his life: proof of the <em>after</em>life.</p><p dir="ltr">While our investigation didn&rsquo;t quite convert Paul into a (ghost) believer, he said learning about the &ldquo;alley of death and mutilation&rdquo; from a historical perspective taught him something else: You don&rsquo;t have to believe in ghosts to believe in ghost stories.</p><p dir="ltr">Another takeaway? Scope out the fire exits next time you&rsquo;re at a matinee.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Katie Klocksin is an independent producer in Chicago. Follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/KatieKlocksin" target="_blank">@KatieKlocksin</a>. Logan Jaffe is Curious City&rsquo;s multimedia producer. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/loganjaffe" target="_blank">@loganjaffe</a>.</em></p></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/we-aint-afraid-no-chicago-ghosts-111017 Zombie Lore: From Dracula to 'Night of the Living Dead' http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/zombie-lore-dracula-night-living-dead-109039 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Night%20of%20the%20living%20dead.jpg" style="float: left; height: 420px; width: 300px;" title="Poster from original 1968 movie “Night of the Living Dead.” Due to the filmmakers' neglect of the former requirement to put proper notice on copies of their work, this image and the film it's from are in the public domain. (WikiMedia Commons)" />My search started after I watched <em>World War Z</em>, the much-hyped Brad Pitt epic which tells the story of a global war against zombies.</p><p>The film was entertaining and kept me interested all the way through, but I was disappointed in one particular aspect: fast zombies.</p><p>It seemed to me that zombies always adhered to a few basic rules, rules that kept things at least interesting between the living and the undead.</p><p>One of those rules is speed. Zombies don&rsquo;t generally move faster than a reanimated corpse trying to keep all the rotted flesh from falling off at once, which is about the pace of a small, bumbling child in front of you on a busy sidewalk.</p><p>Second death was another rule, of sorts. Zombies, it seems, have one easy dispatch mechanism. A bullet or a good solid bashing of the noggin will take them out for good.</p><p>The living, with enough resources, always stood a fighting chance against the zombie hordes, and the ingenuity, courage, trust and will to live of the living is what made zombie stories so engaging.</p><blockquote><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/zombie-lore-dracula-night-living-dead-109039#video"><strong>Watch: Night of the Living Dead</strong></a></p></blockquote><p>After watching the speed-demon zombies in <em>World War Z</em>, I got to thinking about zombie lore. Who sets the rules for monsters? Does anyone police the world of horror and maintain some semblance of order and reason, or are we going to have to deal with sparkly vampires and the super-human undead from now on?</p><p>I decided to research the topic of zombie lore in literature, and finding none involving the modern zombie, that which is an infected, slow-moving, reanimated corpse with an insatiable hunger for living flesh, I moved on to film. It turns out zombies are one in a long line of very traditional monsters carved out of superstition and legend by capable writers in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and brought to life by filmmakers of the 20th century.</p><p><strong>Monster Lore: The evolution of zombies</strong></p><p>This is not a peer-reviewed literary study, merely a rough retracing of monster lore as it winds its way through popular culture.</p><p>But it would seem that zombies are the bastard-children of vampire literature and a copyright mistake.</p><p>A French Benedictine monk, Antoine Augustin Calmet, wrote two-volumes on the mysticism, superstitions and culture of Southern Europe first published in one volume in 1759 as <em>Dissertations Upon the Apparitions of Angels, Daemons, and Ghosts, and Concerning the Vampires of Hungary, Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia</em>.</p><p>Many of the rules of vampirism can be traced to Calmet&rsquo;s inclusion of Christian symbols in combatting particularly fearsome creatures like blood-sucking dead people. Stakes, crosses, Holy Water, fire and other pieces of vampire lore were included in Calmet&rsquo;s volumes, which provided more than enough fodder for Irish writers Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and the godfather of vampirism, Bram Stoker.</p><p>Literary types contend Fanu borrowed heavily from Calmet&rsquo;s books to create the iconic <em>Carmilla</em>, a lesbian, blood-sipping archetype who appeared in the form of a massive black cat stealing the life essence from her female victims.</p><p>Fanu&rsquo;s short story predates Bram Stoker&rsquo;s genre-setting <em>Dracula</em> by 25 years, and it is a point of continuing controversy whether Stoker was influenced by Carmilla or if both books just used much of Calmet&rsquo;s work to build their respective monsters.</p><p>Regardless, Stoker&rsquo;s <em>Dracula</em> set the initial rules for vampires based heavily on Calmet&rsquo;s inclusion of religious superstitions and mysticism, a kind of empirical hold on the genre that has lasted until recently, when genre-bending, sparkly vampires appeared in popular culture.</p><p><strong>Vampires: From one to many</strong></p><p>Just about 57 years after Stoker penned the penultimate vampire, American author Richard Matheson wrote his own vampire novel,<em> I Am Legend.</em></p><p>Matheson&rsquo;s vampires retained traces of the old count from Transylvania in their fear of garlic and mirrors, but they were born not of the bitten lineage of their forefathers, but instead created as a result of some kind of genetic mutation caused by nuclear war and spread by dust and mosquitoes.</p><p>Matheson, who acknowledged the influence of Stoker&rsquo;s Dracula on his own vampires expounded on his new-fangled concept of an older monster during a video acceptance speech when <em>I Am Legend</em> was named the Vampire Novel of the Century by the Horror Writers Association in coordination with the Stoker family estate, according to<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/apr/03/i-am-legend-vampire-novel-century"> The Guardian</a>.</p><p>An ailing Matheson could not attend the ceremony and said in his video:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;I am certainly honored and delighted that you have chosen I Am Legend as the vampire novel of the century, which is a rather dubious but interesting distinction,&rdquo; said the author. &ldquo;When I was a teenager I went to see Dracula with Bela Lugosi and at that time, even as a teenager, the thought occurred to me that if one vampire is scary, what if all the world were full of vampires?&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Matheson&rsquo;s more-is-better approach to vampirism began the bending of the genre into something more born of biological basis and scientific scenario than the heretofore mystical and religious implications of the monsters of the dark ages.</p><p><strong>The zombie is born</strong></p><p>Matheson&rsquo;s <em>I Am Legend</em> first became a film in 1964&rsquo;s <em>The Last Man on Earth</em>. Prior to that, the creature known as zombie could trace its lineage to the voodoo children carried on in traditions by people in the old world and the new world.</p><p>All the while, and certainly well before vampires existed as myth, the horrific creature known in parts of the world as nzumbe and zonbi allegedly walked the tropical realms of central Africa and the islands of the Caribbean as corpses raised from the dead by some magical means.</p><p>But Matheson&rsquo;s vampire pandemic inspired another filmmaker to create a creature whose similarity to the vampires of old is limited to being undead and desirous for feeding on the living.</p><p>The Romero Zombie was born in George Romero&rsquo;s<em> Night of the Living Dead</em>, a 1968 black and white horror film about the dead reanimated as creatures invading the Eastern United States and feasting on the flesh of the living.</p><p>Slow-moving, dim witted and with an insatiable hunger for flesh, the modern, also known as fictional zombie, owes its existence and guiding principles to Romero&rsquo;s first film and his subsequent zombie films.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s what Romero had to say about the influence of Matheson&rsquo;s vampires on his modern zombie from an interview on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Interview-George-A-Romero-On-Diary-Of-The-Dead-7818.html">CinemaBlend.com</a></p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;When I did the first film, I didn&rsquo;t call them zombies. When I did <em>Night of the Living Dead</em> I called them ghouls, flesh eaters. To me back then, zombies were just those boys in Caribbean doing the wet-work for Bela Lugosi. So I never thought of them as zombies. I thought they were just back from the dead. I ripped off the idea for the first film from a Richard Matheson novel called <em>I Am Legend</em>, which is now back with us after a couple of incarnations prior. I thought<em> I Am Legend</em> was about revolution. I said if you&rsquo;re going to do something about revolution you should start at the beginning. I mean, Richard starts his book with one man left; everybody in the world has become a vampire. I said we got to start at the beginning and tweak it up a little bit. I couldn&rsquo;t use vampires because he did so I wanted something that would be an earth-shaking change. Something that was forever, something that was really at the heart of it. I said, so what if the dead stop staying dead? <em>Diary of the Dead </em>goes back theoretically to that first night. I didn&rsquo;t use the word &ldquo;zombie&rdquo; until the second film and that&rsquo;s only because people who were writing about the first film called them zombies. And I said, maybe they are in a way. But to me zombies were separate in the rainbow. In this film, because it goes back to that first night, nobody knows what to call them. By the time of <em>Land of the Dead</em>, they have this slang already: Stenchies. But I felt it was too early for anybody to know what they were or to have any sort of identifying moniker for them.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p><strong>Someone forgot to copyright the zombies</strong></p><p>The Romero Zombie set the stage for nearly all modern zombie tales to follow, but it may have done so inadvertently.</p><p>According to the website<a href="http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2011/10/10/how-a-copyright-mistake-created-the-modern-zombie/"> Plagiarism Today</a>, a copyright error, and not an infection, may have caused the apocalypse of the Romero Zombie.</p><p>From an article on <em>Night of the Living Dead:</em></p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;The first prints of<em> Night of the Living Dead</em> didn&rsquo;t use the title we know it as today. Instead, it referred to the movie as <em>Night of the Flesh Eaters</em>, one of the working titles of the movie. However, before release, the title was changed to its more familiar version but, when changing the title card,<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063350/faq"> the distributor forgot to put the copyright notice on the final print</a>.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>This error allowed <em>Night of the Living Dead</em> to enter the public domain immediately upon release.</p><p>And while Romero lost out big on profits from the movie, anyone could create a story using the modern zombie, which perhaps led to the proliferation of zombies with the same particular traits as the Romero Zombie.</p><p>Romero himself blew up his own creature, building in slight changes over the course of many zombie films,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/night-of-the-living-dead-1990">according to film critic Roger Ebert</a>.</p><p>Without the zombie being in the public domain, it&rsquo;s difficult to speculate on where Romero might have gone with this creature or what others would have done if limited by copyright protection.</p><p>In the end, I prefer the slow-moving, dim-witted Romero Zombie to some of the creature&rsquo;s many incarnations.</p><p>And at least if I do not know any more creative ways to kill them, I now know where zombies were born<a name="video">.</a></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="465" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Sv8txLdjZEI" width="620"></iframe></p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/takimoff" rel="author">Tim Akimoff</a> is the Director of Digital Content at WBEZ. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/timakimoff"> Twitter </a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/timakimoff"> Facebook </a></p> Wed, 30 Oct 2013 13:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/zombie-lore-dracula-night-living-dead-109039 Pop-up stores aren't just for Halloween http://www.wbez.org/news/pop-stores-arent-just-halloween-109018 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/popup store.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>At his store in Chicago&rsquo;s Lincoln Park neighborhood, Courtland Hickey showed me some of the popular costumes for Halloween. Lab suits from Breaking Bad, Duck Dynasty beards, fox costumes.</p><p>His family&rsquo;s run Chicago Costume for about three decades. They own two brick and mortar stores, but each year, they&rsquo;re also scouting other locations.</p><p>&ldquo;A couple of years ago we had nine pop-ups, this year we only have four. There&rsquo;s a lot of different factors. There&rsquo;s the economy and the consumer shopping habits which is the biggest factor. There&rsquo;s a lot of other factors including the rent and available locations,&rdquo; Hickey said.</p><p>Halloween pop-up stores are easy to find this time of year. But there are also more businesses seizing the opportunity for short term leases.</p><p>Landlords haven&rsquo;t always wanted to rent to a pop-up location.</p><p>&ldquo;The resistance was probably twofold. Maybe too much trouble for too little money. And there was some concern that a Halloween store might degrade the image, marketability at some point in the future,&rdquo; said Rob Thomas, realtor with Jameson Real Estate.</p><p>But the economic crisis that started in 2007 made landlords start thinking differently.</p><p>&ldquo;By 2011, many of those landlords we previously contacted were chasing me for locations,&rdquo; Thomas said.</p><p>According to CBRE, Commercial Real Estate Services, in 2010, Chicago peaked at a 12.6 percent retail vacancy rate. The market&rsquo;s recovering from the crisis, but not without some hiccups. So far this year, vacancies increased slightly to 8.8 percent.</p><p>That doesn&rsquo;t mean the market has necessarily stopped improving. The post-bubble retail market is polarized. Stronger areas do well while weaker areas lag. Some businesses close up shop in one part of the city, just to open up in another area. Meanwhile, pop-ups have been able to move through both.</p><p>Temporary leases on average last for a couple of months, some as short as a weekend. Rob Thomas has seen rent for a single period range from $5,000 to $30,000.</p><p>&ldquo;Although, I&rsquo;ve not been directly involved but have heard from others in the industry, national brands offering large sums of money for premier locations,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>He says that&rsquo;s been more of a recent development with high-end properties and brands getting into the mix.</p><p>The shopping center at 900 N. Michigan Avenue is one of those. It&rsquo;s got permanent retailers like Bloomingdale&rsquo;s and Gucci. But like other vertical malls, it&rsquo;s struggled with vacancies especially during the recession.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of the national brands really held back and they weren&rsquo;t ready to expand, or they cancelled expansion plans. And so we did have to get creative and be a little bit more flexible as far as a temporary lease is concerned,&rdquo; said Sarah Burrow, marketing director for 900 N. Michigan Avenue.</p><p>Not only that, vertical shopping centers aren&rsquo;t really being built anymore and existing ones are dying out.</p><p>&ldquo;You don&rsquo;t see it done anymore and there&rsquo;s a reason. People are a bit intimidated about going up and that&rsquo;s been something that&rsquo;s been a big challenge for us,&rdquo; Burrow said.</p><p>She adds many of the center&rsquo;s vacancies are on the upper level, and pop-ups were a way to curate up-and-coming brands as well as usher traffic upstairs.</p><p>&ldquo;Only recently have the idea of pop-ups expanded into a broader retail selection. So what we&rsquo;ve seen, which has been really exciting for our property, is these emerging designers, smaller brands, or really unique retail concepts that pull a variety of artisans,&rdquo; Burrow said.</p><p>Even media brands like Men&rsquo;s Journal magazine have gotten into the pop-up business. For a few weeks in December, it has set up in a high traffic shopping spot to display items featured in its magazine.</p><p>The journal said they&rsquo;ve been successful so far. They&rsquo;re considering the idea for cities like New York and L.A.</p><p>Realtor Rob Thomas said while the Chicago market is recovering, the imprint of pop-up shops remains.</p><p>&ldquo;Landlords have discovered that these temporary uses rather than degrade the spaces marketability, it increases its visibility and it becomes a marketing tool for the landlord as well,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Thomas couldn&rsquo;t say for sure whether that helped in the recovery, but at least it kept some businesses going when things were at a standstill.</p><p><em>Susie An covers business for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/soosieon" target="_blank">@soosieon</a></em></p></p> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 10:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/pop-stores-arent-just-halloween-109018 Guide to Chicago Halloween 2013 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/guide-chicago-halloween-2013-108992 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chicagogeek.jpg" title="Halloween decorations at the Meysenburg Mansion in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood. (Flickr/ChicagoGeek)" /></p><p>From Halloweekend to Día de los Muertos, Chicagoland is brimming with eerie events, spellbinding shows, and wickedly fun Halloween-themed parties that give a whole new meaning to the phrase &quot;ghost town.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>But first, a few protips:</p><p><strong>1. Explore the suburbs.</strong></p><p>If you have the means to embark on a mini-adventure before the 31st, take a daytrip outside of Chicago to visit a beautifically autumnal&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/wild-side-chicago/2013/10/the-top-five-chicago-pumpkin-farms-to-visit-in-2013/" target="_blank">pumpkin patch</a> or an orchard for&nbsp;<a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-apple-picking-near-chicago/" target="_blank">apple picking</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Embrace the power of the costume, but don&#39;t abuse it.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Halloween is the only time of year that you can walk around dressed like Wolverine or Obi-Wan Kenobi and receive little to no judgment from passersby, so why not seize the opportunity and geek out to your heart&#39;s content? Of course, an ignorant lapse in cultural sensitivity (or downright&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theroot.com/multimedia/racially-insensitive-halloween-costumes" target="_blank">racism</a>)&nbsp;does not count.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Enjoy the holiday while it lasts.</strong></p><p>Do the Monster Mash, bake ghost-shaped Pillsbury sugar cookies, and treat yourself to repeated viewings of &quot;Mom&#39;s Got a Date with a Vampire,&quot; &quot;Hocus Pocus,&quot; and &quot;Don&#39;t Look Under the Bed.&quot;</p><p>Also, make sure that you venture out into the city every once in a while, walk around in the brisk autumn air, and experience all of the Halloweentime joys that Chicago has to offer!</p><div><p><strong>Festivals:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/franken_plaza.html" target="_blank">Chicagoween</a>: Delight in spooky entertainment, hayrides, trick-or-treating, a costume contest, and a fall farmers&rsquo; market when&nbsp;Daley Plaza becomes Franken Plaza. Oct. 25-27.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/hallowfest" target="_blank">HallowFest:</a>&nbsp;Head to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe for fortune telling, face painting, a carved pumpkin gallery and more. Oct. 26-27.</li><li><a href="http://lincolnpark.patch.com/groups/events/p/clark-street-spooktacular-2013" target="_blank">Clark Street Spooktacular</a>: The annual Lincoln Park neighborhood event returns with family friendly games, trick-or-treating, street magicians, jugglers, balloon artists, and a costume contest. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="http://www.downtownbatavia.com/batfest" target="_blank">BatFest</a>: A parade, pumpkin roll, entertainment, trick-or-treating, hayrides, games, and farmers&rsquo; market along the Riverwalk in Batavia. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="http://www.parkfun.com/programs/special-events/halloween-boonanza" target="_blank">Halloween Boonanza</a>: Kids ages 14 and under can participate in hayrides, crafts, carnival games, and trick-or-treating&nbsp;at the community center in Schaumburg. Saturday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://www.lpzoo.org/events/calendar/spooky-zoo-spectacular">Spooky Zoo Spectacular</a>. Arrive in costume to enjoy the arts and crafts, trick-or-treating, and live outdoor music at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Thursday, Oct. 26.</li></ul><p><strong>Parties:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/201503493365565" target="_blank">Nocturna All Hallow&#39;s Eve Ball at Metro</a>: The annual music hall extravaganza will feature a costume contest with cash prizes, a photo booth, vendors, and Halloween-themed performances. DJ Scary Lady Sarah spins. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="http://chicagohistory.org/boo/#sthash.j8mHEd8L.dpbs" target="_blank">Boo: A Halloween Ball at the Chicago History Museum</a>: A night of terrifying tales, dancing, and craft cocktails. Thursday, Oct. 31.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://hauntedyacht.eventbrite.com/" target="_blank">Haunted Yacht Party at Navy Pier</a>: Hop on board! Thursday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://scofflawchicago.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-ghost-of-bonnys-returns-again.html" target="_blank">Scofflaw&#39;s 2nd Annual Bonny&#39;s Halloween Party</a>: The Ghost of Bonny&#39;s returns! Scofflaw opens the shuttered Logan Square bar for a late-night dance party. Thursday, Oct. 31.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://www.royalesociety.com/" target="_blank">Dead Celebrities at Enclave</a>: Expect Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, and Marilyn Monroe to make appearances. Also, bring your A-game in the costume department: the winner gets $3,000. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="http://www.oldtownpourhouse.com/2nd-annual-costume-party-event-222.php" target="_blank">Costume Party at The Boundary and Old Town Pour House</a>: $100, $50 and $25 gift cards will be awarded to the best dressed. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="http://thenumbereddays.com/buy-tickets-for-upcoming-events/" target="_blank">The Numbered Days Halloween Loft Party</a>: Head to Logan Square Auditorium for a dance party, trick-or-treat collaborative art, a costume contest, and DJ sets from Clash Gordon, Kyle Garner, and Matt Roan. Thursday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/626465874071032/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming" target="_blank">Pumpkin Carving Party at Cafe Mustache</a>: BYOP (Bring your own pumpkin) to the annual night of jack-o-lantern carving, beer drinking, and DJ mix jamming. Thursday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://community-bar.com/" target="_blank">Noche De Muertos: I Put A Spell on You Halloween Party</a>: Celebrate Halloween and the Day of the Dead at Maria&#39;s Packaged Goods &amp; Community Bar. Friday, Nov 1.&nbsp;</li></ul></div><p><strong>Haunted Houses:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://www.thefearhauntedhouse.com" target="_blank">The Fear Haunted House at Navy Pier</a>:&nbsp;This award-winning attraction features both an agressive adult-themed haunted house at night and a low scare, lights-on attraction during the day. Open now through Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://statesvillehauntedprison.com" target="_blank">Statesville Haunted Prison &amp; City of the Dead</a>: Located just outside of Chicago, this terrifying institution of horror has been voted Best Haunted House in Chicago, Scariest Haunted House in Illinois, and one of the Top 25 Haunted Houses in America. Open now through Nov. 2.&nbsp;</li><li>More haunted houses in the Chicago suburbs:&nbsp;<a href="http://fearcitychicago.com" target="_blank">Fear City</a>&nbsp;in Morton Grove, <a href="http://www.asylumxperiment.com" target="_blank">The Asylum Xperiment</a>&nbsp;in Villa Park, and&nbsp;<a href="http://42fear.com" target="_blank">Basement of the Dead</a> in Aurora.&nbsp;</li></ul><p><b>Music:</b></p><ul><li><a href="http://cso.org/TicketsAndEvents/EventDetails.aspx?eid=5842" target="_blank">Hallowed Haunts</a>: Come in costume for spooky music and pre-concert activities at the Symphony Center. For all ages 5 and up. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="http://www.martyrslive.com/thu-oct-31-8pm-10" target="_blank">Halloween at Martyrs</a>: A Halloween blowout featuring music from Terrible Spaceship, Diana and the Dishes, and The Lincoln Squares. Thursday, Oct. 31</li><li><a href="http://www.brooklynvegan.com/chicago/2013/10/pictureplane_pl.html" target="_blank">Pictureplane at Berlin</a>: Berlin&#39;s Total Therapy event on last Thursdays happens to fall on Halloween this year, and witch house musician Pictureplane is headlining. Thursday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://do312.com/event/2013/10/31/halloween-spectacular-featuring-terrifyingly-amazing-performers" target="_blank">Halloween Spectacular at Emporium Arcade Bar</a>: Advertised as the &quot;Best Halloween Party in Town!&quot; (and it very well might be) the barcade spectacular will include music from Mucca Pazza, Mack the Knife, and DJ Risky Bizness/Sean Doe. Thursday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://www.wickerparkbucktown.info/events-1/annual-double-door-halloween-party-wickerpark-bucktown" target="_blank">Halloween at Double Door</a>: The Wicker Park music venue&#39;s 17th annual bash will take place over the course of two spooky nights this year, featuring Slutter as KISS, Sex Therapy as Janis Joplin, and The Dead On as Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Oct 31-Nov 1.</li></ul><p><b>Theatre</b>:</p><ul><li><a href="http://events.chicago.cbslocal.com/chicago_il/events/all-hallows-eve-eve-variety-show-/E0-001-062194977-8" target="_blank">All Hallow&#39;s Eve Eve Variety Show at California Clipper</a>:&nbsp;Get Halloween started early with some shadow puppetry, literary readings, and a raffle to benefit Chicago&#39;s newest literary institution, ChiPRC (Chicago Publisher&#39;s Resource Center). Multimedia performers include Audrey Niffenegger, Chris Hefner, Chris Bower, and Fred Sasaki. Wednesday, Oct. 30.</li><li><a href="http://www.theatreinchicago.com/newswire.php?newsID=917" target="_blank">Musical of the Living Dead at Stage 773</a>: This musical journey about a zombie apocalypse was named Best Musical in 2012 and Best New Play in 2012 by the Chicago Reader. Playing now through Nov. 9.</li><li><a href="http://www.chicagoburlesque.org/belmont-burlesque-revue-halloween-2013" target="_blank">The Belmont Burlesque Revue at Theater Wit</a>: The annual Halloween show will feature the Belmont Bombshells, the Amazing Tomas, and several special guests. Thursday, Oct. 26</li><li><a href="http://chicago.metromix.com/events/mmxchi-nightmares-on-lincoln-ave-5-b-is-for-blood-event">Nightmare on Lincoln Ave 5: B is for Blood</a> and <a href="http://chicago.metromix.com/events/mmxchi-death-toll-a-drinking-game-performance-1-event">Death Toll: A Drinking Game Performance</a>: 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday through Oct. 31 (&quot;Nightmares&quot;) and 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday through Oct. 31 (&quot;Death Toll&quot;) at <a href="http://chicago.metromix.com/venues/mmxchi-the-cornservatory-venue">The Cornservatory</a>.</li></ul><p><strong>Movies:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://chicago.metromix.com/events/mmxchi-horror-movie-night-2-event" target="_blank">Horror Movie Night at Delish</a>: Indulge in&nbsp;a three course prix fixe meal while watching a&nbsp;horror movie&nbsp;classic in the days leading up to Halloween. Film selections include &quot;The Shining,&quot; &quot;Carrie,&quot; &quot;Night&nbsp;of the Living Dead&quot; and more. Oct 24-31.</li><li><a href="http://www.thelogantheatre.com" target="_blank">Horror Movie Madness at The Logan Theatre</a>: Watch &quot;Rosemary&#39;s Baby,&quot; Trick &#39;r Treat,&quot; &quot;The Shining,&quot; and John Carpenter&#39;s &quot;Halloween&quot; on the titular night. Oct 24-31. &nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://www.classiccinemas.com/location.aspx?house=2263" target="_blank">&quot;Shaun of the Dead&quot; at Woodstock Theatre</a>: The cult British zombie comedy screens at midnight. Friday, Oct. 25.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://www.musicboxtheatre.com" target="_blank">Horror Movies at the Music Box Theatre</a>: The lineup includes a &quot;Halloween: Treats and Tricksters&quot; program as part of the 2013 Chicago International Children&#39;s Film Festival, in addition to scary films like &quot;The Wicker Man,&quot; &quot;Rosemary&#39;s Baby,&quot; &quot;Escape from Tomorrow,&quot; and two midnight screenings of &quot;The Rocky Horror Picture Show.&quot; Oct. 24-31.</li><li><a href="http://wickerpark.org/partners/chicago-park-district" target="_blank">Haunted Indoor Drive-In at Wicker Park Fieldhouse</a>: Hate-watch a different film from the &quot;Twilight&quot; series each night at the annual film festival. Oct 24-27.</li></ul><div><p><strong>Other Events:</strong></p></div><ul><li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1425653127658100/" target="_blank">Paranormal Brunch at the Empty Bottle</a>: In addition to delicious food and storytelling from the Chicago Paranormal Investigator team, there will be craft-making, Tarot readings, and vintage flicks projected on the big screen. Dress up in costume for extra EB street cred. 12-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.</li><li><a href="https://hubbardinn.projectparties.com" target="_blank">The Haunted Inn at Hubbard Inn</a>: The popular River North bar and restaurant has transformed into a haunted hotel. Stop by for a specialty themed cocktail or three-course harvest menu, if you dare. Now through Nov. 1.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://nowyouknowevents.com/ai1ec_event/chicago-halloween-trolley-crawl-2013-2/" target="_blank">Halloween Trolley Crawl</a>: Halloween Pub Crawls are kind of a big deal in Chicago, but the &quot;Trolley of Terror&quot; may beat them all. Saturday, Oct. 26.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://garfield-conservatory.org/" target="_blank">Creatures of the Night at the Garfield Park Conservatory</a>: Spooky spiders, owls, and bats are showcased in this Halloween-themed program. Wednesday, Oct. 30.&nbsp;</li><li><a href="http://www.northalsted.com/pages/17th_annual_northalsted_halloween_parade/114.php">Northalsted Halloween Parade</a>:&nbsp;Twisted Circus is this year&#39;s theme. Costume categories are drag, group, original, pet, and scariest. Thursday, Oct. 31.</li><li><a href="http://www.navypier.com/things2do/entertainment/halloween.html">Halloween at Navy Pier</a>: The seasonal celebration includes costume contests on&nbsp;Saturday, fireworks Saturday at 9:30 p.m., and trick-or-treating for children ages 12 and under on Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday. Oct. 26-31.</li></ul><p>What are your favorite Chicago Halloween traditions and haunts?</p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow Leah on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 24 Oct 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/guide-chicago-halloween-2013-108992 Ghost stories http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2012-11-02/ghost-stories-103630 <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/cemetary%20flickr%20miss%20laura%20lee.jpg" style="width: 404px; height: 323px; float: left;" title="(Flickr/Laura Goins)" /></div><p>We are all haunted.</p><p>It might be by a person or a place or a thing, but each of us has something that shadows our days and nights.&nbsp;Norman Maclean, the late University of Chicago professor, let us know what it was for him when he concluded his majestic <em>A River Runs Through It</em> with these sentences: &quot;Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world&#39;s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>Ursula Bielski has devoted her life to ghosts. She has written books about ghosts and cemeteries, all richly detailed and embellished with history and a sure sense of place, which is Chicago. Along with her husband, writer David Cowan, she operates Chicago Hauntings Tours.&nbsp;</p><p>The ghost that most haunts Bielski is that of Mary Bregovy, who was a young woman when she died in 1934 and who is known as Resurrection Mary, for the southwest suburban cemetery in which she was buried.&nbsp;</p><p>There is debate about whether this woman is the real deal; some ghost-folk believe Mary is the spirit of one or another dead girl. But, for Bielski, Bregovy is it. It is her ghost that is &quot;seen&quot; wandering near the cemetery, sometimes trying to get into the cars of those driving on Archer Avenue.&nbsp;</p><p>Bielski says: &quot;I wake up in the middle of the night and wonder how I will ever bring Mary Bregovy&#39;s story to the audience she deserves. She is pure Chicago, and tells our whole tale lushly and elegantly at once. If you can&#39;t find Chicago in Mary&#39;s story, then Chicago is surely lost.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>The latest chapter of the story came when Bielski drove past the Satala funeral home on S. Damen Avenue; and noticed a &quot;For Sale&quot; sign.&nbsp;</p><p>Bielski says: &quot;This was where Mary&#39;s body was prepared. And the whole back of the yards neighborhood represents everything that I do. I drive around it and think about the fact that Mary, the daughter of Polish immigrants, walked through it each morning to Packingtown to go to work, and that today it is home to an entirely different generation of immigrants that is, as was Mary, trying to get out.&rdquo;<br />Perhaps one day Bielski will tell that story in a book. That will have to wait&mdash;this is the busy season for those in the ghost business.&nbsp;</p><p>But as Halloween has become just another happy holiday--a trip to Fantasy Headquarters, the amazing Milwaukee Avenue store provides vibrant proof--the meaning of ghosts has been trivialized.</p><p>Still, this seems a fine time to ask what, or who, is haunting you?</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 31 Oct 2012 15:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2012-11-02/ghost-stories-103630 'Afternoon Shift' #180: Scare tactics http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2012-11-01/afternoon-shift-180-scare-tactics-103594 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/flickr halloween pedro ferreira.jpg" alt="" /><p><script src="http://storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-180.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-180" target="_blank">View the story "'Afternoon Shift' #180: Scare tactics" on Storify</a>]<h1>'Afternoon Shift' #180: Scare tactics</h1><h2>In honor of Halloween, we explore the root of our fears, which biologist Rob Dunn says are much deeper than childhood trauma. &quot;Curious City&quot; explores voting machine security. And Rick sits down with the new Cook County Medical Examiner, Stephen Cina.</h2><p>Storified by &middot; Wed, Oct 31 2012 14:28:39</p><div>What Haunts Us by WBEZRick Kogan starts our Halloween episode off right with a recounting of an eerie Chicago ghost story.</div><div>Carved Up #halloween #pumpkin #jackolantern #carvingbrendan-c</div><div>WBEZ Pritzker fellow Lewis Wallace asked people on Navy Pier what they're afraid of...scare crows, monsters, the dark, creepy white vans...OH MY!<br></div><div>What are you afraid of? WBEZ's Lewis Wallace asks Navy Pier-goers by WBEZWBEZ Pritzker fellow Lewis Wallace asked people on Navy Pier what they're afraid of...scare crows, monsters, the dark, creepy white vans....</div><div>Ickworth Park (NT) 09-09-2012Karen Roe</div><div><p><b>Why We’re Scared</b> - The root of our fears are much deeper than a childhoodtrauma. Biologist <a href="http://www.robrdunn.com/" class="">Rob Dunn</a> says humans’ fear response comes from millions ofyears spent running from predators.<br></p></div><div>Why we're scared, professor Rob Dunn explains by WBEZThe root of our fears are much deeper than a childhood trauma. Biologist Rob Dunn says humans' fear response comes from millions of years...</div><div>Anxious? Blame the Predators in Your Primate Family History.In the developed world, we live in the most peaceful, healthful time in history. The murder and violent crime rate is dropping; we are va...</div><div>Ummm apparently it's still pretty common for people to be eaten by pythons? #AfternoonShift #manvspredator @wbezKatie O'Brien</div><div><b>Child Nightmares</b>&nbsp;- The streets will be flooded with ghosts and goblins and other terrifying trick-or-treaters Wednesday evening. So what should parents and kids do when those images come back to haunt kids? Sleep psychiatrist <a href="http://www.3daudiomagic.com/" class="">Tom Jackson</a> helps us understand--and cope with--nightmares. <br></div><div>Child nightmares, Dr. Tom Jackson tells us what to do and how by WBEZThe streets will be flooded with ghosts and goblins and other terrifying trick-or-treaters Wednesday evening. So what should parents and ...</div><div>Taking terror out of nightmares: Tips for parentsSUNDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Nightmares are common in children and upsetting for both youngsters and parents, but there are some t...</div><div><p><b>As part of <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/" class="">Curious City</a></b>, Jennifer Brandel and reporter Robert Loerzel find out what Chicago's done to protect voting machine security in light of reasonable concerns elsewhere.<br></p></div><div>Curious City: What are elections authories doing to protect voting? by WBEZAs part of Curious City, Jennifer Brandel and reporter Robert Loerzel find out what Chicago's done to protect voting machine security in ...</div><div>Question answered: What are elections authorities doing to protect voting?A listener&rsquo;s distrust of electronic voting has him asking for a paper ballot. Officials say paper can have less security concerns, ...</div><div>I co-wrote this story for WBEZ's Curious City project. And I'll be on air between 2 and 3 p.m. today.Robert Loerzel</div><div>20081104_MG_1188ocean yamaha</div><div>Working on a story about voting machines. But wonder - have you ever experienced HUMAN error at a polling place around Chi? Let us know.Curious City</div><div>Jim DeRogotis gets us up to speed on the public nuisance hearings being held against the Congress Theater in Logan Square. There have been 30 police service calls to the 3,500-seat Congress&nbsp;from the middle of August through October 30th. For some perspective...through the same period, 50 police service calls were made to Wrigley Field which has a&nbsp;capacity of&nbsp;42,000.&nbsp;</div><div>Jim DeRogotis attends the Congress Theater's fourth public nuisance hearing by WBEZJim DeRogotis gets us up to speed on the public nuisance hearings being held against the Congress Theater in Logan Square. There have bee...</div><div><p><b></b>For Front &amp; Center, Brian Mann concludes his look at a veteran's transition to civilian life and pursuit of the American Dream.<br></p></div><div>Discrimination against our country's heroesSome veterans face negative stereotypes and misconceptions about how their military service experience may affect their ability on the job.</div><div>A soldier&amp;#39;s struggle up the economic ladder - WBEZ1 day ago ... Josh Jones is a sophomore at Paul Smiths College in New York state, way up near the Canadian border. He looks the part of...</div><div>After that, we talk with Eli Williamson from Leave No Veteran Behind, which provides educational and employment services to veterans who face economic hardship. Eli can be reached for more information about the program at: ewilliamson@mccormickfoundation.org. <br></div><div>Front &amp; Center conversation with President of Leave No Veteran Behind by WBEZWe talk with Eli Williamson from Leave No Veteran Behind, which provides educational and employment services to veterans who face economi...</div><div>The Antithesis Of Charity: Investing In Our Future By Keeping Our Promise To VeteransVeterans have a distinct place in our society as those who have carried the heavy load of sacrifice. They have a distinct place in the wo...</div><div>Home | Leave No Veteran BehindRyan G. Seaman, Coast Guard. Ryan was the 105th African-American graduate of the Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. However, t...</div><div><p><b></b>Rick sits down with Dr. Stephen Cina, the new Cook County Medical Examiner. Cina is charged with cleaning up the county morgue and an office that's been plagued scandal. <br></p></div><div>Cook County Coroner Dr. Stephen Cina cleaning up the morgue's tarnished image by WBEZRick sits down with Dr. Stephen Cina, the new Cook County Medical Examiner. Cina is charged with cleaning up the county morgue and an off...</div><div>The man fixing the morgue: Stephen Cina and his big project - Chicago Sun-Times: http://www.suntimes.com/news/steinberg/15975309-452/dr-cina-cleaning-up-the-morgue.html#.UI1FRlUkIc4.twitterNeil Steinberg</div></noscript></p> Wed, 31 Oct 2012 13:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2012-11-01/afternoon-shift-180-scare-tactics-103594