Monday, June 8, 2015

a haunting weekend

Another fun weekend, this time in the beautiful and great city of Chicago. We joined one of my best friends and her boyfriend and first went to a small art fair in Logan Square. We didn't buy anything, but it was fun to look around. Not sure what this 3D display was about, but Brian and I posed for a photo.

We then walked several blocks to a wonderful Italian restaurant, Letizia's Fiore.

We all split several dishes ~ this was my favorite one. It's homemade pasta with roasted eggplant and Burrata cheese. I had never had Burrata cheese and had to ask what it was. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside is mozzarella and cream. You cut into it and it gently dissolves into the pasta dish...just melts in your mouth. 

After dinner, we went on the Chicago Hauntings Ghost Tour. I don't necessarily believe in ghosts, but the tour was fun - and yes, freaky-scary at times.

"Author and 25-year veteran paranormal researcher Ursula Bielski and her staff of expert historians and paranormal investigators have been hosting the award-winning Chicago Hauntings tours for 13 years, introducing countless thousands of visitors and natives to a very different side of the city.  From the sites of massive tragedies--like the Eastland disaster and the Iroqouis Theater Fire--to the bloody Fort Dearborn and St. Valentine's Day Massacres... from the death site of Chicago's most famous ghost,  "Resurrection Mary,"  to the body dump of legendary serial killer H. H. Holmes . . . From the cursed and deadly Hancock Building to the infamous Hull House, inspiration for "Rosemary's Baby" ...  you'll get a personal introduction to each one and more on this mind-altering tour of Chicago's true hauntings.  The  2.5 hour tour is by bus and fully narrated, but with numerous stops at some of the most actively haunted sites in Chicago.   This is not a "spook show" or haunted house tour with cheap thrills and scares.  Rather, it is a darkly historical, sometimes deeply disturbing tour and not recommended for highly sensitive children or adults."

This is "Death Alley" next to what was the Iroquois Theater - now known as the Oriental Theater. On December 30, 1903, a fire broke out in the theater from faulty wiring. 602 people died. This fire ranks as the nation's fourth deadliest blaze and the deadliest single building fire in American history. This alley still stays mostly deserted and is supposedly haunted. For the history behind this fire (it's a very interesting read, with the details on the plans and construction of the theater and how it was supposed to be "fireproof"), click here.

Such a beautiful evening in Chicago, but unfortunately, this is the sight of The Eastland Disaster
where, on July 24,1915, the ship rolled over and 844 people drowned. Allegedly, another haunted area.

The last story and photos I have to share with you are from Jane Addams' Hull-House.

The story behind this house goes ~
"At the time when Jane Addams took over Hull House, several years had passed since the death of Mrs. Charles Hull, but this didn't prevent her from making her presence known. She had died of natural causes in a second-floor bedroom of the mansion and within a few months of her passing, her ghost was said to be haunting that particular room. Overnight guests began having their sleep disturbed by footsteps and what were described as "strange and unearthly noises". 

Mrs. Hull's bedroom was first occupied by Jane Addams herself, who was awakened one night by loud footsteps in the otherwise empty room. After a few nights of this, she confided her story to Ellen, who also admitted to experiencing the same sounds. Jane later moved to another room.

But she would not be alone in noticing the unusual happenings. Helen Campbell, the author of the book PRISONERS OF POVERTY, reported seeing an apparition standing next to her bed (she took Jane up on the offer of staying in the "haunted room"). When she lit the gas jet, the figure vanished. The same peculiar sounds and figures were also observed by Mrs. Louise Bowen, a lifelong friend of Jane's, Jane and Mary Smith, and even Canon Barnett of Toynbee Hall, who visited the settlement house during the Columbian Exposition in 1893.

According to Jane Addams' book, TWENTY YEARS AT HULL HOUSE, earlier tenants of the house, which included the Little Sisters of the Poor and a second-hand furniture store, believed the upstairs of the house was haunted as well. They had always kept a bucket of water on the stairs, believing that the ghost was unable to cross over it.

Regardless, the ghost was always considered to be rather sad, but harmless, and residents and guests learned to live with its presence. Unfortunately, it was not the only "supernatural" legend connected to Hull House!" (Source: Weird and Haunted Chicago)

The story then goes on about the reputed "Devil Baby".

Looking in through the front door (we couldn't go in; public hours were over) at the famous staircase.

Hope you enjoyed a little bit of the ghost tour and Chicago history. :-)


  1. Very interesting, thank you. I always feel a little wiser after tagging along on your adventures.

  2. This looks like it was a lot of fun---I never knew about this tour. And the good! We once took a trolley tour of haunted homes. It was weird, at night and not as fun as yours!

    Jane x

  3. Looks like a fun weekend. And the Burrata cheese sounds delicious. I've never heard of it before. I'll be on the lookout for it now.

  4. I have only been to Chicago once - landed on Christmas Eve and walked around a bit on Christmas day before heading into Indiana with family. Your tour showed me a lot more than I saw on that whirlwind trip.

    I love dishes with burrata.

  5. It sounds like you guys had a wonderful day in Chicago and was an interesting day. Loved the details behind it and did know some of it. But I never go in to Chicago, I just don't enjoy the big city..too may people make me so anxious. It was where I was robbed on a bridge, etc. But glad you enjoy it so.

  6. Amazing photos of the Windy City--the pasta looks scrumptious!!

  7. Greg would enjoy the haunted house tour. He's a Ghost Hunters fan.
    I recently saw a recipe that called for Burrata cheese and had to look it up to see what it is. Now I'm on a search to find some so we can try it. It sounds lovely.

  8. Looks as though you had a great weekend! Glad that you enjoyed it. That cheese sounds amazing!! xx

  9. I LOVE Chicago. Hands down my favorite big city!

    I swear I am suddenly hearing about Burrata cheese everywhere. I'm so glad to your explanation. I already have it on my grocery list. Now I will better know how to use it.

  10. I'm with Jen... Burrata is now on my list as well :)

    Sounds like a fun tour, but I don't think I'd go on it. I'm a chicken LOL


  11. Bursts sounds wonderful. Glad you had a great day visiting all of those scary places!


  12. Love the pic of you and your hubby of the 3-D display; it looks so real!

    The pasta Burrata sounds delish; I would have definitely ordered it, too.

    Again, you always take us along the most adventurous excursions! BOO!


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