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Features Archive:

2008 Archive:
Spirits of Christmas and Holidays Past By Edward Shanahan
December 19, 2008

Don't Bark At Me, I'm Not The Dog In The Mirror - by Lee Prosser
December 14, 2008

Column - regular feature

Welcome to Your Psychic Life By Tiffany Johnson
December 1, 2008

Fresh Paths to the Paranormal By Beth Brown
November 26, 2008

The Journals of Willard David Firestone: American Indians - by Lee Prosser
November 21, 2008

Column - regular feature

The Haunted Cemetery - Ghost Chronicles
November 12, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Jeff Belanger and Who's Haunting the White House? - Ghost Chronicles
October 24, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ectoplasm - by Lee Prosser
October 20, 2008

Column - regular feature

Salem Witch Shawn Poirier - Ghost Chronicles
October 15, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Most Famous Phenomenon by Jeff Belanger
October 8, 2008

Haunted House Diary - Ghost Chronicles
October 1, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Paranormal Journaling: A First Step by Jeff Belanger
September 30, 2008

More Horrific Predictions - by Lee Prosser
September 26, 2008

Column - regular feature

Francis Thompson (1859 - 1907) - by Lee Prosser
September 18, 2008

Column - regular feature

Evolution of an Entity by Danielle Lee
September 12, 2008

Into the Abyss: Ancient Rites of Exorcism by Bishop Daniel Garguillio
September 2, 2008

Lee Prosser and Jill Peacha - by Lee Prosser
September 1, 2008

Column - regular feature

An Open Letter to the Paranormal Community by Peter James Haviland
August 28, 2008

Return to Mystery Hill - Ghost Chronicles
August 20, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

The Ghost of Cameron Mitchell at Branson, Missouri - by Lee Prosser
August 8, 2008

Column - regular feature

Confessions of a Grief Councilor - Ghost Chronicles
August 6, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

The Residual "Jiggle" by Jack Roth
July 31, 2008

Farwell to Chris Balzano - Ghost Chronicles
July 23, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

A Matter of Respect by Patrick Burke
July 21, 2008

Economic Collapse and Depression in the United States - by Lee Prosser
July 14, 2008

Column - regular feature

The Portsmouth Lighthouse - Ghost Chronicles
July 9, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Legends Set in Stone by Beth Brown
July 3, 2008

Investigating the Pukwudgies - Ghost Chronicles
June 25, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Sensitive - by Lee Prosser
June 20, 2008

Column - regular feature

Ghost Hunting Etiquette 102 by Danielle Quinlan Lee
June 13, 2008

Allup, Leiru, Ligil, Uriel, Pulla - by Lee Prosser
May 23, 2008

Column - regular feature

Ohio's Haunted History by Sherri Brake-Recco
May 19, 2008

Weird Massachusetts - Paranormal Journeys
May 9, 2008

Paranormal Journeys - webcast

Water Ghosts: Theory of the Bobbing Heads and Floating Bodies - by Lee Prosser
May 9, 2008

Column - regular feature

The Shadows Know by Edward Shanahan
May 2, 2008

Weird Massachusetts with Jeff Belanger - Ghost Chronicles
April 23, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

American Negro Civil War Ghosts - by Lee Prosser
April 14, 2008

Column - regular feature

Landmark Ghosts By Beth Brown
April 3, 2008

The Lizzy Borden House - Ghost Chronicles
April 2, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ghosts of Hollywood - Ghost Chronicles
March 19, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

On the Nature of Group Dynamics By Rick Moran
March 19, 2008

Billy The Kid - by Lee Prosser
March 12, 2008

Column - regular feature

Women in the Paranormal: Donna LaCroix
March 5, 2008

Women in the Paranormal: Amy Bruni
March 2, 2008

Women in the Paranormal: Ursula Bielski
February 28, 2008

Women in the Paranormal: L'Aura Hladik
February 25, 2008

Women in the Paranormal: Allison Andrews
February 22, 2008

Haunted Cape Cod and the Islands - Ghost Chronicles
February 20, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Women in the Paranormal: Rosemary Ellen Guiley
February 19, 2008

Women in the Paranormal: Lorraine Warren
February 16, 2008

The Ghosts of Tombstone - Paranormal Journeys
February 14, 2008

Paranormal Journeys - webcast

Valentine's Day Special - Ghost Chronicles
February 13, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Magick and Magic, What is the Difference? - by Lee Prosser
February 13, 2008

Column - regular feature

My Theory on Spirits of the Paranormal by Edward Shanahan
February 1, 2008

Investigating the Sance with U.K. psychic Gavin Cromwell - Ghost Chronicles
January 30, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Electronic Voice Phenomena is affected by Solar Weather by Tom Ginther
January 21, 2008

The Concord Colonial Inn - Ghost Chronicles
January 16, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ghost Cat - by Lee Prosser
January 15, 2008

Column - regular feature

The Lizzie Borden House - Paranormal Journeys
January 11, 2008

Paranormal Journeys - webcast

Russian Ghosts - Ghost Chronicles
January 9, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Shadows Of Evil by Rick Hayes
January 4, 2008

Haunted Devon, UK - Ghost Chronicles
January 2, 2008

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Magickal Rings - by Lee Prosser
January 2, 2008

Column - regular feature

February 28, 2008

Women in the Paranormal: Ursula Bielski

Ursula Bielski - Women in the Paranormal. Ursula Bielski is an historian, author, parapsychology enthusiast, and the founder of Chicago Hauntings ghost tours. She's been writing and lecturing about Chicago's supernatural folklore and the Windy City's paranormal side for nearly 20 years. She's the leading authority on all things haunted in Chicago. Her books include: Chicago Haunts, More Chicago Haunts, Graveyards of Chicago, and Creepy Chicago.

Though her home base is Chicago, Ursula has investigated haunted locales all over the United States including: the Bell Witch Cave in Tennessee; the Oshkosh, Wisconsin Opera House; New Orleans' House of the Rising Sun; the City Cemetery in Key West, Florida; and the Civil War Battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

A graduate of St. Benedict High School in Chicago, Ursula holds a B.A. degree in history from Benedictine University and an M.A. in American cultural and intellectual history from Northeastern Illinois University. caught up with Ursula to ask her about women in the paranormal and how she's seen the field evolve.

How did you first get interested in the paranormal?

I grew up in a haunted house near Wrigley Field in Chicago, where we'd be awakened by footsteps on the stairs in the wee hours of each morning. This was something that was constantly there, so I began searching early on for others with similar experiences in their lives. However, I began officially investigating the paranormal as an undergraduate history major, tagging along to help out with the field work of a friend who was working on a psychology degree, concentrating his studies on parapsychology.

Plus, my dad was a Chicago police officer, who introduced me to the ghosts at Graceland Cemetery, Montrose Point and the old lockup at the storied Maxwell Street Police Station. Since that time I've been involved in countless investigations of haunted sites in and around Chicago, including such notorious locales as Wrigley Field, the Congress Hotel, the Indiana Dunes, the Red Lion Pub, Hull House, Bachelors Grove Cemetery, Rose Hill Cemetery, haunted Archer Avenue, Chinatown, the Eastland disaster site, Death Alley, Dillinger's Alley and the St. Valentine's Day Massacre site.

Do you feel that because you're a woman you have had to overcome some hurdles in your pursuit of the paranormal? If so, what were they?

As a woman, I've encountered some of the same difficulties that women encounter in any field: difficulty being taken seriously being the number one. Specific problems with paranormal investigation? Always being assumed to be the male investigators' "sidekick" or assistant; being afraid to venture into certain places alone -- such as abandoned buildings -- as men might feel fine with; and of course, having very serious ideas about the investigative site when male colleagues sometimes have only one thing on their minds!

Overall, the most difficult problem is one that so many women find frustrating: the severe, severe limitation of our work due to the needs of our children and families. Whereas before marriage I could spend all my time investigating, doing overnights, weekend after weekend, and working on book after book every evening of the year, that's far from true today. With two little girls, I had to make the hard choice to care for them first and foremost, despite the pull of the paranormal. And that's meant falling behind the other hardcore investigators and writers that put their paranormal pursuits first, but I try to just focus on what I'm doing and be patient enough to do it well, even if it takes a long time in small snippets .

What unique challenges do women face in the field of paranormal research today?

I think that the "men's world" of tech research always goes before us these days, because of shows like Ghost Hunters. It's very challenging to convince people that there are more subtle, sensitive -- I guess you might say "feminine" -- way of coming at the phenomena.

Have you encountered certain instances during your work where you feel that being a woman has helped you in your research?

Women are in general more aware of the nuances of family and other personal situations, and many researchers have discovered that this is so important. I find that men tend to go into an investigation saying to the family: "Okay, thanks for the lead, now leave so we can figure out what's going on." Women are, I think, more aware that the relationships in place at the site have everything to do with the phenomena.

What is the biggest misconception about women who are interested in paranormal research?

That we're all sensitives. I have no paranormal sensitivity at all as far as I can tell, but my female sensitivity to the emotions and experiences of others -- as a mother and just as a woman in general -- is real and invaluable.

As the Queen of all things haunted in Chicago, and a chronicler of many ghost encounters, do you feel you have a different approach to paranormal research compared with your male counterparts?

Oh, absolutely. See the above, of course: I am much more interested in studying the relationships among the alleged phenomena and the experiencers than with proving or disproving the phenomena.

Do you think women are becoming more prominent in the paranormal compared to five years ago? How much is still left to be done until you think there's truly an equal footing?

Of course, women are doing their thing more and more everywhere, but it comes down to the same thing I mentioned earlier: paranormal investigation is an avocation for almost everyone, men and women. Even for me, our Chicago Hauntings tours are what I have to spend time on each day, as they put the food on the table: that's my job. The investigations, the research, the books: this is what I do when I have spare time. But as a wife and mother, that spare time almost always goes to my family. Many men have a much easier time justifying spending time on their paranormal pursuits, reasoning that it's important work that must be done. So if an investigation opportunity comes up, a man is more likely to be able to say: I have to go, and my wife will make breakfast, lunch, and dinner, do the laundry, and get the kids' homework done!

You can visit Ursula Bielski's Web site at:

2014 Haunted New England Wall Calendar by Jeff Belanger photography by Frank Grace
Check out the 2014 Haunted New England wall calendar by Jeff Belanger and photography by Frank Grace!

Paranormal Conferences and Lectures
Don't miss the following events and lectures:

Jeff Belanger and “The Bridgewater Triangle” at Dedham Community Theatre - April 6, 2014 9:00PM

The Spirits of the Mark Twain House - Hartford, Connecticut - April 12, 2014

Paracon Australia - East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia - May 10-12, 2014