The Ghost of Al Capone

My Aunt, who has long since passed, claimed that she knew Ralph Capone and had a date with him. And she had heard that his brother Al, was trying to really help other businesses in Chicago prosper but that all changed and no one that knew the infamous man talked about him in later years. He became Public Enemy #1 and better known as Scarface; the most dangerous organized crime leader of all time. Al Capone was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York working brothels there and came to work for Johnny Torrio, in Chicago as a body guard and was hit by a gang. He was an Italian-American mobster who helped build the Chicago Outfit in the 1920s deciding to retire giving Al Capone his entire business.

Al’s brothers came from New York to help which included Ralph. Al was truly Untouchable like the movie about until he prompted the St. Valentines Day Massacre though he was not officially connected to the rival gangs murders. Al expanded the boot-legging business which he ran for seven years and was put in jail for tax evasion in 1931. He was also suffering from neurosyphilis and had know for sometime that he had but was embarrassed to get treatment. He was released from prison because he was so sick after 8 years and died at his Miami Beach home on Palm Island on January 25, 1947 at the age of 43. Sources say his mind was that of a 12 year old and died of cardiac arrest after a stroke.

Where is Al Capone’s ghost now?

Maribel Caves Hotel in Wisconsin was demolished in 2013 but some say the Capone who owned it still walks on the premise.

Many still claim to see his ghost sitting at the bar of the Congress Hotel which is haunted with many ghosts. He was known to hang out there and have many a business meeting. Several of his friends actually lived in the hotel in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The corridors where used for smuggling and many other illegal activities.

Capone’s home at 7244 South Prairie Ave., Chicago was originally built in 1908, and purchased by the mafia boss in 1923. Capone lived there until he bought his Miami home and after that, he gave his Chicago home to his mother. The house had few owners; the house finally sold to for 226,000 in 2019 being on the market for several years.

The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is the beating heart of Uptown’s historic entertainment district. Chicagoans have enjoyed drinks and music here since 1907, when it opened as a roadhouse. Capone henchman “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn ran the joint during Prohibition. Chicago Tours have frequently designed custom tours that visit this famous juke joint though I have not seen any ghosts there when I have visited.

He has been seen by many floating by the Chamber of Commerce in Chicago as well as sitting on a bench. Some say they have seen him at a Bulls game.

Windy City Ghosts offers some great Chicago Gangster Tours. The tour is perfect for people who want to learn more about the Second City’s history, those who would like to get to know a specific Chicago neighborhood in depth, as well as those interested in the paranormal. Everyone is welcome, from ghost tour newbies to history buffs to professional ghost hunters. Gangsters and Ghosts offer a walking tour on the streets to really acquaint yourself with the infamous city of Chicago, through a guided Chicago Gangster Tour or Ghost Tour, detailing the crimes, deals, and charisma that made the city what it is today.

Glessner House

By Caryl Clem:

Mrs. Frances Glessner started Monday Morning Reading classes on November 21, 1894 to explore great scholars and experts’ works with 25 or more Chicago ladies. The tradition to inspire and provoke thoughts is still alive and thriving.  Standing indestructible on stone blocks at 1800 Prairie Street, the Glessner House is a Chicago cornerstone.  Visibly Glessner’s outside is stern, simple architecture, an original Richardson Romanesque, inside gracious airy rooms. The Glessner home was deeded to Chicago after the couple’s deaths as a museum to provide a place for great minds to find expression and appreciate culture.

William Rainey Harper, Yale graduate became President of the University of Chicago from 1891-1906.  He wanted woman faculty newcomers to be able to meet prominent Chicago wives throughout Chicago. He approached Frances Glessner for suggestions and the Monday Morning Reading classes were born. The Who’s Who of Chicago’s aristocratic Southside met educational trailblazers from a variety of cultures.   Many of the faculty wives were living in crude conditions while homes were built.  The city seemed foreign and difficult to maneuver for these university women.  Friendships emerged during the meetings that made strangers to Chicago feel welcomed.

John Glessner’s farm machinery business finesse resulted in the formation of International Harvester. He instigated the mergerof the largest farm implement companies together to end the reaper wars. He devoted his after work hours to serving various organizations to improve life in Chicago. The following are just the tip of his social iceberg:  Citizen’s Advisory Board to Chicago, Chicago Relief and Aid Society, Chicago Orphan Asylum, Rush Medical Group, Art Institute of Chicago and trustee of Chicago Orchestra Association.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation in 1966 did not want to see the Glessner house meet the fate of other homes of the Gilded Age suffering neglect and eventual tear down.  The home was fortified for continued use. The architect Henry Hobson Richardson died before he could see his completed masterpiece. Rumors abound that a white entity is seen floating in different rooms in the house leaving a telltale trail of cold air. John Drury mention in his book, Old Chicago Houses, that rooms were a laboratory for  the Institute of Technology  designing aptitude tests for students to identify what career choice best suits their personality and strengths . Glessner house is now a museum.

https://www.glessnerhouse.org/programs

Which Witch??

By Caryl Clem:

From the earliest Greek and Roman myths and legends, servants to these gods and goddesses were witches of either gender. For example, Italy’s witch, Aradia, daughter of Diana the moon goddess and Lucifer, is sent to local people to teach magic to improve their lives against tyranny and poverty and crushing authority. She is beautiful and images of her show long hair, youthful facial features and flowing gowns.

Witches were the superwomen and super nannies before Christianity. Every king wanted his military power restored after a defeat, advice on spells to guide his path with competing powers, and a home based safeguard for his children for a few hundred years.

After seeing a picture of the Princess Anne of Denmark, King James of Scotland proposed.  King James VI spent time in Denmark with his new wife observing the witch hunts and witchcraft trials during a time when over 1,000 witches were burned. A Lutheran bishop, Peder Palladius, is accusing any woman who acts as a Catholic to be a witch.  King James and wife faced life threatening storms traveling home. He blamed his misfortune on witchcraft. He sought counsel and was advised to eliminate any witch who could be a threat to the community His own witch hunting and trials forced confessions by torture. He published James VI and I’s book on the subject of witchcraft, Daemonologie, published in 1597.

Germany and France were purging devil witches by the thousands.  According to Suzanne Lipscomb in her book on witches, one town in Germany was left with no woman. According to records, over 40,000 were executed.  The hysteria spreads overseas to America in New Salem, Massachusetts.  The trials suddenly cease when the name of the wife of a governor is given as a witch.

Since the late 1800’s, witch images are shown flying through the skies on brooms with wide brimmed hats. Again, witches represent mystery and magic.  Post cards and nursery tales show old woman with unpredictable powers to change lives. Several male authors have published guides explaining and disclosing spells and witchcraft magic such as Gerald Garner and Aleister Crowley.  A new era of witches is born going back to natural and lunar influences.  A religion based on harmony and doing no harm by witches is recognized in 1986 as WICCA.  Present WICCA is a nature based spiritual movement with both male and female witches spread through several sects.

The boiling cauldron with women in a peaked brimmed hat and a cat in the doorway were beer brewers, another form of liquid magic. To indicate when a brew was ready, broomsticks would be placed in the doorways of alehouses. Images of frothing cauldrons full of ready product and six-sided stars to indicate the quality of the brew also abounded. Lastly, out of manifest necessity, cats would be kept in the brew houses to protect the grains from mice.” Interesting that in Latino and African cultures, the woman made brews. Brew Witches made high spirits available here on earth.  A witch can be anybody who practices mind over matter.

Quija Boards

When I was a pre-teen playing with my first board on the dining room table with friends, I would ask if I would marry and it always said yes. How right the board was! Would I have children, yes…true again. How many….I can remember four and I only have two. Trying to spell out what spirit was talking to us was always a difficult mess. We would get a letter or two but we were not quite bright enough to make a spiritual match from heaven. Would I be wealthy or rich? The planchett placed beneath our fingers would never say yes or no but sometimes good bye. Money in the bank today, I could claim,just enough, but for many, I am in rich in love, family, job and friends.

Sometimes, when the planchett was really moving across the board, we would get either scared and stopped playing or blame each other for pushing it in a desired direction. In some households, the game was not allowed because some religions felt it was demonic. My parents did not like the board…not sure how I had one…..friends may have brought their own game to play. It seemed to be used only for fun around Halloween or a sleep over. My own children were allowed to use a board during the Halloween season or a sleep over, but again, their group of friends got out of hand when it came to the movement of the planchett.

In 1886, the New York Daily Tribune reported on a new talking board being used in Ohio. It was 18 by 20 inches and featured the alphabet, numbers, and the words yes, no, good evening, and goodnight; the only other necessary object was a “little table three or four inches high … with four legs” that the spirits could use to identify letters. This table was called an Idometer and caused muscle movement or reflexes to move an object not a spirit visiting the household but the later thought took off in popularity.

In 1966, the Ouija boards were sold to Parker Brothers, which manufactured the modern boards as we know them today. In 1991, Parker Brothers was sold to Hasbro, which now holds all the Ouija rights and patents. Today, according to the Museum of Talking Boards  there is truly aa renaissance afoot. Hasbro, who currently owns Parker Brothers upped their game in 2008 by introducing a controversial pink version aimed at teen girls. Then in 2013, they stunned everyone by breaking tradition completely with a redesigned, much darker themed Ouija board equipped with a light up planchette that automatically illuminates hidden messages on the board.

Hollywood has jumped on the use of the board in movies and television. Ouija is a 2014 American supernatural horror film that was a huge success where young girls try to burn the board but it comes back to life.  Ouija: Origin of Evil came out in 2016; another American supernatural horror film. The film is a prequel to the 2014 film,grossing over $81 million.

Many talking board enthusiasts are creating public shows and events. While experts claim that there is nothing evil about the mystic board; many have assured customers  that it is just a game. I am, yet, to be convinced.

 

Chicagoland/Suburbs: More haunted theatres

The Biograph Theater, now known as the Victory Garden, was opened September 5, 1914. All 942 seats were on a single floor. This Lincoln Park neighborhood landmark is probably best known by Chicagoans as the place where John Dillinger was shot and killed on July 22, 1934 after attending a screening of “Manhattan Melodrama” starring Clark Gable. There are stories of people seeing a shadowy figure of a man running on the sidewalk, or heading for the alley. He runs, then falls and disappears, almost as if reenacting the shooting over and over again. Some feel that Dillinger was not shot but some believe it was a look alike. According to the Ghost Research Society, some people have even claimed to have photographed strange shadowy figures lurking in the alleyway, just steps from where Dillinger was killed.

Woodstock Opera HouseThe four story structure has been used for many years to host live performances of celebrities including launching the career of Orson Wells. The Woodstock Opera House, built in 1889, originally housed the library, city council, court, and fire department for the city of Woodstock, Illinois. The Opera House sat above on the second floor. According to Family Travel on a Budget, in the 1940s, Shelley Berman was working on scenery for a production. A loud noise in the seating area startled him. He scanned the room and noticed that several chairs in row DD were in the down position. He ran over to investigate, and when he arrived, all the seats were in their upright position. Berman shared his experience with other cast members, and a haunted legend was born. Many claim that the ghost is a young woman from the early 1900s that threw herself from the belfry of the opera house since she could not get a part and could not handle rejection.

Coronado Performing Arts Center in Rockford is an historic theater that opened on October 9th 1927; a grandiose movie palace and stage with a Barton Grand Theater pipe organ that hosted a number of celebrities and movies. With the support of the community, the theatre was re-stored in its original style in 2001. However, according to sources, paranormal groups have documented several ghosts at the theater, but the Van Matres, Louis St. Pierre, a manager, and Miss Kileen, a secretary, are the core spirits watching over the historic theater. Many have seen the ghost light, as they refer, during their visit. Besides attending events and shows at the theater, tours are available. Feel free to contact Coronado to plan your visit.

Rialto Square Theater opened in 1926 as an old vaudeville and movie palace in downtown Joliet. The grand space has been restored to its original beauty including an elegant rotunda and dome with amazing chandeliers throughout. The theatre is also home to a Barton Grand Theater pipe organ. Accidents have happened in the building including the balcony according to Haunted Houses who claim that staff and workmen have seen an apparition of a women floating around the theater. Apparentaly, she is more active after the the theater is closed to the public.  Visitors have also taken pictures and have seen strange figures in the photographs.

 

 

 

 

 

The Good Old Days: Halloween ghost stories

Back in the day without TV or the Internet, it was about talking, sharing and during the days of Halloween or camping outdoors, telling the best ghost stories. It was standing in front of a dark mirror with a candle at slumber parties….chanting I believe in Mary Worth. This ritual serves to summon the vengeful witch, Mary Worth. According to sources, Mary actually lived in Chicago on the old Wagon Road during the Civil War and it is said that she had kidnapped runaway slaves and chained them in her barn. Legend has it that she was burned at the stake. Some called her Bloody Mary and we summoned her many times at Halloween parties, but I never saw her.

Another famous story that can actually be documented over 200 years ago, is the Man with the Golden Arm. The Golden Arm is a folktale, a story appearing in multiple cultures but most most famously told by Mark Twain. The tale begins with a death or a recently deceased victim who has an artificial limb, usually an arm, made of gold. The victim has their limb stolen after their death, most often by a loved one or trusted one in greed. Then the victim comes back from the grave looking to get their golden limb back and scares the robber into giving back their arm. Where’s my golden arm????

My kids didn’t sit down and tell ghost stories unless they were camping out and they were bored. I got them with the golden arm story, though, and chased them around the house. Many learned telling stories during the series where a group of kids who gathered in the woods told ghost stories. This was performed on the 1990 – 1996 U.S. TV series “Are You Afraid of the Dark.” The series was a spooky anthology where a group of kids recounted ghost stories. I made a huge mistake back in the early 1990’s allowing my daughter to stay up with me to watch the original movie Night of the Living Dead. At that time, I was a sucker for the best horror stories in books and movies. She did have nightmares and still reminds me of this today.

According to child psychologists, it is ok for kids to be scared…..just a little. The following stories are some great examples to share.

The Lady with Emerald Ring actually is a story written in the late 1700’s and the woman dies but comes back to life.

The Scarecrow: A wonderful story about a young boy creating his own creepy scarecrow. Every year, his Dad puts out scarecrows in their fields because he thinks they’re effective in not only keeping the crows out, but evil spirits as well.  His Scarecrow changes during a storm.

Haunted is a great story about a ghosts who love to bake. Everyone in a small town in Arkansas knows this house is haunted. It was an old neglected house and sometimes would smell of bakery goods even though no one lived there. Sometimes they would hear the ghosts singing and dancing.

Ghosts of Flight 191

I remember the crash because on Friday afternoons/evenings I would head to my Mom’s home in Dolton. It was the Friday before Memorial Day in 1979. I was single, living in Waukegan and currently teaching at Warren Township HS. I was running late getting on the road and Tri State I-94 was backed up for miles so I ended up taking Route 41. I heard it on the radio and will never forget the picture in the news. The crash had killed all 258 passengers and 13 crew members on board; two more people on the ground. It was the worst aviation accident in U.S. history and remains so today.

It was a beautiful day when Flight 191 was scheduled to leave O Hare and land in Los Angeles with many literary figures on the DC 10. The plane was taking off and climbing from the runway when suddenly lost an engine, crashed in a field off of Touhy Avenue between DesPlaines and Elk Grove Village, bursting into a massive fireball. After weeks of investigation, they found there was a crack in the engines pylon due to the fact that American Airlines had removed the engine weeks before during maintenance procedures with a forklift as a single unit without approval of McDonnell Douglas, who always specified a different method. The fracture in the plane went unnoticed and kept getting worse and worse.

Months after the crash, residents near the area kept seeing bobbing lights like orbs over the field. Their was a mobile home park right near the crash site. According to American Haunting, residents claimed to hear knocking on windows and doors with nobody there. Dogs would bark constantly at the field and some would open their door to find a worried figure to say he had to get his luggage or make a connection. Another man was walking his dog and ran into a figure who smelled of gasoline looking for a phone.

On May 25, 2019, the 40th Anniversary Remembrance was held at the Memorial Wall and Garden. Actually, the wall is about two feet with bricks of the names of those who had died in the crash.  According to Chicago Magazine, it had taken more than 30 years for someone to come up with the idea, then two years of lobbying by an assistant principal and students in the 2010 sixth-grade class at Decatur Classical School in West Rogers Park to get the memorial approved. The assistant principal’s parents had been on the flight.

Ten of the most haunted Chicago/ Illinois bars

Excalibur /Chicago Castle,the nightclub dates back to the late 1800s and was the original location of the Chicago History Museum. With its three levels and 60,000 square feet of adult entertainment, it is a Gothic graystone located at the corner of Dearborn and Ontario. It is a designated landmark building and used to be the Chicago Historical Society. It closed as the Excalibur in 2012. Most recently the Tao Group opened its signature Hybrid Asian Cuisine/ Nightclub in the location in September of 2018.Tao operates on the 2nd floor. Many employees felt the place was haunted and it has been filmed on a variety of paranormal shows.

Websters Wine Bar located at a 2601 North Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago is said to be haunted by a lumberjack from the early 1900’s and has been seen in the party room on the second floor. Websters has a comprehensive global wine list and a great menu of small dishes, salads and cheeses.

Red Lion Pub is on the north side of Chicago at 2446 North Lincoln Avenue. Now a more upscale neighborhood, according to Haunted Houses people have died in the building including a woman who died from an epileptic seizure, a mentally challenged woman, a young cowboy, and another male entity according to ghost experts. These spirits walk the floors of the restaurant to name just a few.

Bucktown Pub was established in 1933 and a very typical, cozy tavern with creamy, draught beer. According to TrueIllinoisHaunts.com, the pub is believed to be haunted by the site’s former owner who committed suicide in 1986 and whose spirit apparently thinks he still runs the place. Napkins are re-arranged and sometimes the jukebox goes on and off.

Liars Club located at 1665 West Fullerton is supposedly haunted by a women who was killed by her husband. They lived in the apartment above the bar. One employee actually saw an illusion leaning against the bar and some have been tugged on their arm but no one is there. This unique club was formerly known as the River East. The club is located between Clybourn and the Metra tracks on Fullerton.

Country House in Clarendon Hills is a two story building erected in 1922 as a place for locals to congregate for drinks, food, and good conversation. In 1974 during a meeting with a contractor to renovate the restaurant the men were sitting in the bar and shutters on the windows opened without human contact displaying shafts of light. Other workers have seen dishes move and have heard moaning in the walls. Others have actually seen a woman who they call the lady in blue.

Chets Melody Lounge  The bar got its name from Chet Prusinski in 1963 and is located at 7400 Archer Avenue in Justice. Of course, it is the famous Resurrection Mary that many wait to show up at the bar since those that have seen the ghost in the past run for a drink at the bar, also across the street from Mary’s home, Resurrection Cemetery. The Ghost Research Society has investigated the bar last year.

Cigars and Stripes is a bar in Berwyn Illinois featuring some of the best barbeque and a cigar store. But paranormal experts say that something haunted is going on according to Legends of America. There are many accounts of glass falling off shelves and the phone receiver being picked up and put down. People are actually watching it happen and hearing things as well.

Irish Legend is located in Willow Springs on Archer and has an exceptional menu of Irish classics. According to Only in Your State, It was originally built in the 1920s as O’Henry’s Roadhouse which was a speakeasy with ties to vintage mobsters like Al Capone, who was known for having people killed and then hiding the bodies. According to employees and the owner, things get re-arranged at the pub and restaurant.

The Great Escape restaurant at 9540 Irving Park Road in Schiller Park began in 1889. The bar and banquet room are still part of the original structure and on the website, there is a whole section dedicated to the haunting s that have occurred. Old fashioned music is heard from the 1920’s, there are cold spots and sometimes you feel someone standing right next to you. The Chicago Paranormal Detectives was invited to have the full 10 person paranormal team come in and spend the night investigating. Visit to find out what they discovered.

Five of the most haunted Illinois towns and tours

Alton: The city is actually considered the one of the most haunted towns in America according to Meeting of the Great Rivers. Alton is located on the banks of the Mississippi River and visitors including hunters have seen orbs of light in various places throughout the town. Through the years, many travelers have investigated and inquired about the unexplained happenings and psychic phenomena found throughout Alton.  Several locations that are noted to be extremely haunted, including the infamous McPike Mansion, The First Unitarian Church, and Milton School, have been featured on television shows on the Travel Channel and Syfy Channel. Alton tours is offered by Alton Haunting and tickets are on sale.

Naperville: Naperville has been known as one of the best cities in the US to live but according to Mysterious Heartland, one of the most haunted. A massive train wreck took place in 1946 where two passenger trains collided. Forty seven people were killed and one hundred and twenty five were injured. Many still ghosts or shadows walking on Loomis Street. Buildings at North Central College are also haunted as well as ghosts sited at the Naperville cemetary. Check out Naperville ghost Charlie Yellow Boots who walk the streets and the historic streets are supposedly EMF active.  Naperville Ghosts provides an interesting tour with Kevin Frantz who has also written two books about the Naperville Ghosts and actual encounters.

Galena: Ghost stories have been circulating since 1880 and according to Visit Galena, were actually written in local newspapers back then. The Lady in Black is said to haunt the DeSoto House in downtown Galena and one guest actually has a photograph of her. There has been many natural disasters in the valley but a great deal of historic preservation in Galena which tends to bring on the spirits according to many. Embe Eatery and Lounge has witnessed flying objects and the library at Ryan Mansion is something very strange for those looking for ghosts. Amelia Ghost Tours offer a great evening along with dinner theatre tickets available. Matthews Haunted Pub Crawl leads those to three historic pubs to visit ghosts located in downtown Galena. Ghost equipment is used on both tours.

Decatur: There are many stories of hauntings in Decatur, but few that have received as much attention in the general public at the time of their appearances as the “black ghost,” which there are reports of as far back as 1880 according to the Herald Review. Just south of the main highway in Decatur is the Greenwood Cemetary where people have a young woman crying on a set of stairs and orbs of light. Or visit Avon Theatre which has also been known to have spooky encounters. During the 1920’s, Decatur was known for bootlegging, gambling, prostitution, murder bringing violence which many felt contributed to spiritual drama.  Like Alton Tours, the same company runs the tours called Haunted Decatur.

St Charles: Hotel Baker is a hot spot for ghosts since sources claim that a chamber maid killed herself in the Fox River though there are no records of the suicide. Created in 1928, Hotel Baker was an elegant hotel that included the Rainbow Room, a two-story ballroom encircled by columns that featured a dancing floor and famous entertainers such as Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, Guy Lombardo and Lawrence Welk. Since the hotel has been restored, it continues to be a choice of luxury. And the Arcadia Theatre in downtown St Charles is another haunted building where the lights go on and off. The Dunham-Hunt Museum is supposedly by Jane Dunham who is believed to have lost some of her personal items while the house operated as a museum. St Charles Ghost Tours is the place to contact for an amazing history.

Capturing The Devil

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

As in her previous novels, Kerri Maniscalco is exceptional when describing historic descriptions of the time period; decadent illustrations of Audrey Rose’s finest gowns, accessories, food and decorations as well as the horrifying, detailed descriptions of murder that her, Uncle Jonathan and Thomas investigate. The main character, Audrey, is a fearless, sophisticated Victorian feminist who always endears her readers into believing about the respect of a woman’s choice and the power of true love.

When Audrey, Uncle Jonathan and Thomas first arrive in Chicago, despite the tang of smoke in the air the authors impression of the city is charming and accurate in historical perspective as a city that had been burned to ash but risen much like the mythological phoenix. While visiting the World’s Fair, the character Noah, a friend they meet from the academy, makes a comment about seeing the White City at sunset. As a reader, I had no idea what would come next until Audrey and Thomas see the electric lights come on across the grounds as the sun sets, another brilliant creation of a picture in words describing the exciting beginnings of electricity.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve encountered before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another. Every sentence describing the HH Holmes lair is masterfully crafted and terrifying. Capturing the Devil is an irresistible page turner that makes you wait until the final pages to find out whether Audrey and Thomas will die or marry.

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside New York City, where her fascination with Gothic settings began. In her spare time, she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Stalking Jack the RipperHunting Prince Dracula, and Escaping From Houdini.

Kerri describes what it was like to live in a haunted house, “It’s an old house with a lot of history! Parts of it are civil war era and other parts are Victorian. One of my favorite stories about the ghost activity was when my best friend and I were home alone making snacks after school and heard a child giggling in the foyer. We ran to help my mom and little sister with the groceries, only to discover they weren’t home yet. The TV wasn’t on and neither was the radio, so we were pretty freaked out. We stood there, looking at each other, fear creeping in, when my mom pulled into the driveway a few minutes later.”

Kerri also talks about her publishing experience; what she feels very similar to what writers normally do,” I have a bunch of trunked novels tucked into the depths of my office. I queried other books, got tons of requests, tons of rejections, and continued working on my craft. Some people call it stubbornness, but I like to think I’m an optimist. My agent plucked me from the slush, then I took an online webinar with her and it really opened up our communication. I have the full story (with gifs) on my website. She sent my book off to my (now) editor and the rest is history! BUT…I wrote seven or eight books before I wrote Stalking Jack the Ripper, and each one was a fantastic learning experience. It’s also important to note that SJTR wasn’t the first book my agent shopped to editors—we came VERY close with two other projects before getting that yes from JIMMY Books. My best advice for other writers is perseverance!

Why Kerri chose Chicago and Holmes is that she read Holmes’ jailhouse confession before she drafted Stalking Jack the Ripper, and it played a pretty large role in how she developed the whole series. From the castle in Romania, to setting Escaping from Houdini on the RMS Etruria, and even the characters from each book. I go into greater detail in the author’s note in Capturing the Devil, so I won’t spoil anyone here!,” she said.

This is her final book in the series but she is currently working on a new project that will be turned in this fall, and while she can’t give any details now, Kerri is totally obsessed,” I am thrilled to write a story that’s been flittering around on the backburner for years.”

Kerri has Lymes disease and encourages others to devour reading regardless of illness,” Reading has been one of my greatest escapes when my Lyme rears up and wreaks havoc on my body. I can go anywhere and do anything between the pages of a book. At my worst with Lyme, I could only read a sentence or two and then I’d forget what I’d read. It was frustrating, but it still gave me something to focus on outside of the negative parts of a chronic illness. Reading and writing remain my favorite hobbies; I credit them both with being a light to get me through the dark times.”

Capturing the Devil will be on sale September 10, 2019

· Book page on Hachette’s website

· Amazon

· Barnes & Noble

Find your local store at Indiebound