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Historical Researcher Does Ghost Hunting On The Side

Historical Researcher Does Ghost Hunting On The Side
Alton Telegraph
October 31, 1974
Charles Chamberlain

Chicago AP - Halloween comes nearly every week for a 26-year-old bachelor who has made his hobby of ghost hunting pay off.

Richard Crowe a historical researcher for the City of Chicago, collects information on strange happenings and investigates them. In his spare time he conducts ghost tours and has built up a mailing file of 2,000 persons in a four-state area who are interested in supernatural lore.

"Halloween doesn't especially interest me - if any ghosts are around they'll have to wait for me." he says. "My next tour will be Saturday. All Souls Day."

Crowe says he and 60 followers, paying $1 each, will gather at dusk Saturday atop Starved Rock, a 100-foot high landmark overlooking the Illinois River in Starved Rock State Park near Ottawa.

"It was there in 1704 that the Potawatomi and Kickapoo Indians nearly wiped out the Illinois Tribe in a bloody massacre. Over the years there have been many reports from persons in the area of hearing screams and war whoops coming from the top of Starved Rock. This happens usually at dusk. We hope the phenomena occurs while we are holding out vigil."

Crowe has several standard ghost tours around the Chicago area. Last week he conducted 90 persons at $7 per head on a five-hour trip to two cemeteries and two churches surrounded by supernatural auras.

"At Holy Scepter Cemetery in the suburb of Worth we visited the grave of Mary Alice Quinn, said to have had miraculous powers. She died at age 14 in 1935. There is a strong scent of flowers over her grave even in the dead of winter. I haven't experienced many socalled phenomena, but I have smelled the flowers."

At Bachelor's Grove Cemetery near the suburb of Midlothian. Crowe said, a blue ghostly light from the creek area floats over the graves..." And there are numerous reports of a full-sized farmhouse of 1890 vintage being seen at the side of the dirt road leading to the cemetery by some people and not by others - or it might be spotted in some other nearby location, and then disappear again... Just keep in mind there are a lot of unexplained things going on in this world."

The tour takes in St. Rita's Church on the South Side where Crowe says six phantom monks appeared in 1960 and the organ played by itself. The organ can still be heard at times with no one at the keyboard, he said.

At Holy Family Church on the South Side, he said there have been reports of seven shadowy figures being sighted below the organ loft at various times.