Spooky Events in Chicago Architecture and History

We went on a little hiatus from our weekly events posts as we have been incredibly busy here at Chicago Detours this fall. We rolled out our brand new private tour catalog, so we’ve been having lost of fun with private tours of historic bars, jazz and blues, Chicago neighborhoods and more. We’ve also been busy working on our fall “Detour”, Visual Scavenger Hunt and Art Walk, which took place this past Sunday in Logan Square for Chicago Artists Month 2014 and was a huge success!

And now we’re back with more events to put on your social calendar. In honor of the spooky holiday this Friday, we thought we’d bring you some spooky events in Chicago architecture and History. This week we feature a Day of the Dead exhibit, and two very spooky walking tours.

day of the dead chicago halloween event
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the National Museum of Mexican Art website

1. Rito y Recuerdo: Day of the Dead – EXHIBIT

1852 W. 19th St. – during regular museum hours through December 14th


All Hallows Eve isn’t the only holiday this weekend. Head on down to one of our favorite Chicago neighborhoods, Pilsen, for the Day of the Dead exhibit at the National Museum of Mexican Art. This ancestral tradition in Mexico honors those who have passed away and is celebrated annually on November 1st and 2nd. The exhibit honors those who have left this year with altars, installations, popular art, and works by more than sixty artists from both the US and Mexico.

2. Death, Disease and Bones: The Lincoln Park Walking Tour – NEIGHBORHOOD TOUR

1752 N. Stockton Drive – Wednesday, October 29th, 4:00pm and Saturday, November 1st, 10:00am

$22 members/$30 non-members – reservations required

From the beach to the zoo to the gardens, Lincoln Park is known as an outdoor retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Yet its past is a little less cheery and often still being uncovered since the site was one of the city’s original burial grounds. Over the last 100 years, construction projects in and around the park have revealed some of these leftover remains. So what better time than Halloween to explore this spooky history? Historian Sally Sexton Kalmbach leads the excursion hosted by the Driehaus Museum.

glessner house chicago architecture prairie ave

3. Shadows on the Street: Haunted Tours of Historic Prairie Avenue – HAUNTED TOUR

1800 S. Prairie Ave. – Friday, October 31st, 7:00pm and 8:15pm

$8 members/$10 non-members – reservations recommended 312.326.1480

Once home to Chicago’s historic elite, Prairie Avenue also has some pretty spooky history. Explore tales of strange sounds, unexplained sightings, and untimely endings after dark with the Glessner House this Friday. Your guide will share the mysterious circumstances of Marshall Field Jr.’s death and the tragic events that plagued the Philander Handford house. Plus the story behind the rattling windows in the William Kimball mansion, and more spooky tales from Prairie Ave.


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Private Tour Coordinator and Tour Guide

There is no shortage of things to discover in Chicago—I love being an urban explorer and uncovering its hidden places. I have an MA in Public History from Loyola University Chicago, and I have worked as a museum educator and kindergarten teacher. My desire to learn new things fuels my passion for educating others, which I get to experience every day as a Chicago tour guide. I live in the northern neighborhood of Rogers Park.

“Our guide Ellen was exceptional and gifted with a great personal touch.”


Tour Guide

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, the vibrant history and modern majesty of Chicago never ceases to amaze. I’m a graduate of Columbia College with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art. I’ve worked for many years as an educator at City Colleges of Chicago. As tour guide at Chicago Detours, I integrate my enthusiasm for culture and architecture with my passion as an educator. West Town/Noble Square area is home for me.

“Jen was a perfect storyteller and kept us spellbound for hours.”


Tour Guide

With our Chicago neighborhoods, vibrant cultural institutions and nearly two centuries of larger-than-life stories, there’s never a dull moment here! I’m a fifth generation Chicagoan and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to guiding tours, I’m a creative writer and amateur genealogist. I also enjoy the city’s dynamic theater scene. You can also read overlooked stories from 19th-century newspapers on my “Second Glance History” blog. I live in River North.


Tour Guide

Chicago is unique as it always evolves into the future while holding on to the past. I’m fascinated by how people latch on to old architecture but happily pave over others. My background is in theater and performance and I’ve been a tour guide here for more than 10 years. Currently I’m finishing my Master’s in Public History at Loyola University because I love to teach the history of this scrappy city. I’m in the Edgewater neighborhood.


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

Chicago’s history is so fascinating, you could spend a lifetime uncovering its secrets…I’m willing to give it a try! I have an M.A. in US History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and then pursued doctoral studies in Urban History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to learn new aspects of Chicago’s rich history and then share my knowledge as a tour guide with Chicago Detours. I live in Ravenswood.

“Marie was a bubbling fountain of information and contagious enthusiasm.”


Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

As a fourth generation Chicagoan, I have been living and loving Chicago by bike, on foot, public transit or automobile. I am a graduate of UIC where through the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, began my eagerness to understand the nature, history and impacts of urban planning and development. It is incredibly rewarding to give back to this wonderful city by helping out in the office of Chicago Detours. I live in the incredibly diverse neighborhood of Albany Park.
“Sonny was extremely knowledgeable about all things Chi-town.”
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Content Manager and Tour Guide

Chicago has so many neighborhoods, buildings, and by-ways that it’s hard to go long without seeing something new, or something familiar from a new angle. I studied Cinema History for my M.A. from the University of Chicago. I’ve worked as a culture writer for various publications and as an educator of the humanities at the City Colleges of Chicago. I’m thrilled to share my love of this city’s busy past and unique architectural spaces with Chicago Detours. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

“Alex was fascinating to listen to. He clearly knows his history and it shows.”
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Amanda Scotese

Executive Director and Tour Guide

I’m an interpreter of personal stories from the past and the city’s landscape. I love to imagine what originally happened inside old unmarked buildings, and what forces have shaped their design. I studied Chicago history, architectural history, and anything Chicago-related through my M.A. in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. My love for stories was enriched by my B.A. in Literature from the University of Michigan. I’ve written travel articles for publications like Rick Steves’ Italy best-selling travel guides, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of West Avondale.
“You can TELL Amanda is hyper-passionate about doing the research and getting the story that nobody’s heard before.”
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