We’re surrounded by bones, half-empty graveyards and ghosts.
And not just in our neighbours’ Hallowe’en-bedecked gardens.
It all started on a dark, windy night. Well, actually, it
was a sunny, cloudless day when, walking in Lincoln Park, I noticed an
innocuous sign marked “Hidden Truths”. “Hidden Bodies” would have been more appropriate as
it explained Lincoln Park used to be a city cemetery and the final resting place for an
estimated 35,000 souls. That was until the city decided at the end of the 19th
Century it needed the land and that those resting places weren't so final.
But with only 10 men reportedly given just over a month to complete the task, not all of the bodies managed to make it to new graves. Some researchers estimate over 10,000 people could still be
buried there to this day. That’s a ballpark figure. To include the ball park,
the Lincoln Park Farm Zoo and the Chicago History Museum. A museum which, by the way, literally proved to be history in the making after builders constructing its underground car park in 1998 discovered the
remains of 81 early Chicagoans and an iron coffin. As the bones were over 100 hundred years old, they at least did manage to find a final resting place - the Illinois State Museum.
Our underground Lincoln Park neighbours aren't the only local ghosts we have to watch out for next week. Just
down the road from us at 2122 North Clark Street is the site of the 1929
Valentine’s Day Massacre where arch gangster Al Capone had seven men gunned
down in a garage. Six of the men worked for
Capone’s rival Bugs Moran, the seventh was an unlucky car mechanic. The garage has since been torn down and now is the garden of a retirement home. No irony
Apparently some of the senior residents have reported seeing gangster
ghosts and hearing screams and automatic gunfire. Others claim that dogs
walking past the site become very agitated. This, the paranormal experts say,
could be due to a "psychic imprint" left by Highball, the unlucky mechanic’s dog,
who witnessed the murders and was apparently permanently traumatized by the
I decided to test this one out by walking the Irish Wheaten Terror
past the spot the other day and for once he was as good as
gold. For some reason, all he wanted to do was go and dig holes in Lincoln Park….