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Adam has run everything from Civil War tours to Grave Robbing tours. Public tours rotate rotate in and out, but all tours below are always available for private groups, families, school groups, etc. Private walking tours are available at rates of just $25/person for up to four people; $20/person for five or more. Larger group discounts are available, too! "Car" tours in a Prius are a flat $200 (up to four people). Private bus tour rates depend on group size, etc. Public summer walking tours will be announced soon. DISCOVER CHICAGO THE MYSTERIOUS CHICAGO WAY!
WALKING TOURS (Click for Info)
GRAVE ROBBING 101 - everything you need to launch your career as a 19th-century body-snatcher! This 90 minute trek through Lincoln Park - the old City Cemetery - not only showcases relics of the old cemetery and stories of the grave robbing that plagued the grounds, but teaches you all the tricks of the trade. BYO shovel.
UNSOLVED MYSTERIES OF CHICAGO - Either a walking or bus/car tour. Chicago is packed with unsolved mysteries! Travel to the locations, hear the stories, and see if YOU can think of a new clue. Varied locations, always full of fascinating history.
CEMETERY STROLLS - A two-hour walking tour of Graceland Cemetery, featuring stories of Chicago’s famous and infamous who lie at rest below the ground at the landmark cemetery (Well, we think they do - some of them were never actually moved from the old City Cemetery), with a few ghost stories, tales of grave robbers, criminals, kooks, and more! 300 (afternoon only; the cemetery closes at 4).
THE DARKER SIDE OF TAYLOR STREET
Now and then, one stretch of road just yields story after story. Taylor Street, from Halsted to Ashland, is one of those. Devil babies, prohibition-era mobsters, nuns who turned to stone, an "arson queen," public hangings, and more in one 90 minute history-packed tour.
GHOSTS OF LINCOLN PARK
The Chicago Tribune once said that there had been murders and suicides enough in Lincoln Park to furnish a ghost for every dark nook and cranny - and they didn't even mention the fact that it used to be a cemetery! A 90 minute trip through the park with ghost stories related to various sites, plus a trip to the site of Al Capone's St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
FATAL DROP: Hangings In Chicago Now, HERE are some historical crime stories you don't hear on every gangster tour! From Chicago's first hanging in 1840 through the last in 1927, this walking tour around the loop/River North area tells stories of crimes that led local criminals to a date with the "steps and the string." More than 100 men were hanged in the city over the years, and some of the stories are so wild that it's hard to believe that they slipped through the cracks of history. Come along and discover them!
MYSTERIOUS CHICAGO GRAB BAG! Antique serial killers…defiant flappers…mystery submarines…re-animated corpses….hidden cow paths…grimy grave robbers… Adam Selzer’s MYSTERIOUS CHICAGO GRAB BAG walking tours are different every time, full of offbeat, hilarious and gruesome stories of unsolved crimes, strange secrets, and more tales from the Dickensian Chicago of old that you won’t hear on other tours. A little bit of everything! (public dates TBA)
BUS / CAR TOURS (Click for Info)
HH HOLMES and THE WHITE CITY: MYTH AND MYSTERY
Adam is one of the world’s leading experts on HH Holmes, the murderer whose story was popularized by Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City. Adam can trace him to about 100 Chicago addresses, though only half a dozen are still standing. The 2.5 hour Devil in the White City tour goes past most of them, as well as some of the highlights of Victorian Chicago, the 1893 World’s Fair, and the site of Holmes’s famous “Murder Castle.” You might have seen Adam talking about Holmes on shows like Haunted History, Hotel Secrets, and more, or caught one of his many lectures. There is no better-informed (or more entertaining) Holmes tour in the city. See our dedicated site, holmestours.com!
GHOSTS OF CHICAGO A two hour bus trip through some of this city’s most haunted and historical spots, with stories of deadly disasters, antique serial killers, famous mob hits, abandoned graveyards, and a whole lot more historically-based ghost stories, based on his Ghosts of Chicago book. Great for school groups! These stories are built from primary sources and true research, not just BS and hearsay.
GANGS OF CHICAGO A two hour crash course in Chicago’s gangland history - Adam recently wrote “American Mafia: Chicago” for Globe Press under the name William Griffith. He is less theatrical than some gangster tour guides (he doesn’t speak in a mobster voice), but just as entertaining, and a lot more informative. Tales of Al Capone, Bugs Moran, and more obscure (but just as fascinating) gangsters like Sam “Il Diavolo” Cardinella, Vinnie “The Schemer” Drucci, and more.
THE BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM: THE CIVIL WAR IN CHICAGO A Civil War tour in Chicago? We didn’t have any battles here, and the whole city burned down six years after the war, but Chicago’s impact on the War Between the States can’t be overstated, and 2 hours isn’t nearly enough time to cover it all. Though most of the buildings are long gone, the stories remain. In addition to the lengthy Civil War section in Smart Aleck’s Guide to American History, Adam is the author of Ghosts of Lincoln (Llewelyn 2015), and has uncovered dozens of fascinating Civil War era stories from Chicago, from the day Senator Douglas was pelted with eggs over the Kansas Nebraska Act to the Chicago stop on Lincoln’s cross-country funeral (walking tour version available, too).