Like most major cities, Chicago has its fair share of supernatural lore and old cemeteries; including the infamous Bachelor’s Grove which is considered one of the most haunted in the world. I love a good graveyard. So when I discovered a group that met up every Sunday to do local tours, I quickly signed up. The first was about thirty-five minutes north in Justice, Illinois – Resurrection Cemetery. This Roman Catholic burial ground is over twice the size of Brookfield Zoo and home to Chicago’s most famous ghost, Resurrection Mary.
Smack dab in the middle of Erie, Pennsylvania are 75 acres dedicated to its dead. The 167 year old cemetery is treasured by its community for its beautiful setting and historical markers while others whisper of its darker side. I, myself, knew nothing of it until that cold Saturday morning in early March when the other Terror Dave, Dave Fuentes, drove me through its gates. That in itself wasn’t unusual, we Daves enjoy visiting old graveyards, but there was something rather unique about this one. And so, within minutes of our arrival, we’d begin our search for the crypt of a vampire.
It was Wednesday April 9th, the final day of our momentous two week vacation/road trip with my plane slated to leave for Chicago that evening. Originally we were planning on getting a tour of The Stone Zoo in Massachusetts (courtesy of a zookeeper friend of mine) but after hearing that it would involve dealing with some rough Boston traffic, decided it was best to play it safe and stay close to Providence. We watched “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” (which tied into the Captain America: Winter Soldier film we’d just seen the Friday before) before heading out to Rhode Island’s capital city. We only had one thing on the agenda before whiling away our final hours…visiting the grave of the legendary horror and science fiction writer, H.P. Lovecraft.
Prior to our Terror Daves road trip, I’d made arrangements for our mutual friend, Brian Maze, to meet us in Baltimore. Brian is no stranger to this site having created the bulk of the Horror Host “pogs” used in our report, not to mention our own images in the Terror Dave logo. Lately Brian has stepped away from graphic design in favor of devoting more energy to his photography…and considering the models he’s been bringing in, one can hardly blame him. I was fortunate to accompany him on one of his shoots (covered HERE) and his skills are matched only by his flawless planning with the results nothing short of fantastic.
During Svengoolie’s appearance at Flashback Weekend last August, I bumped into fan Chuck Barcik, whom I’d met at a previous appearance. Chuck was the guy who had a Svengoolie tattoo and was featured in a story I wrote HERE. This time around, he handed Jim Roche (Sven’s assistant) and I copy of a DVD he’d created with one of his friends. Later that week I popped it on and was soon introduced to something a life-long Chicagoan like me should have been aware of but somehow wasn’t.
There are definitely pros and cons with living in New England. The cons are actually the lack of cons! That’s right, we get very little in the way of horror conventions in our neck of the woods. The pros though are many and include a wide variety of history, much of it supernatural. Rhode Island, the smallest state in the union, boasts more incidents of vampirism than all other states combined and it is believed that Bram Stoker based his best-selling novel on what was going on right in my back yard.
In a short while I’ll be hopping a plane out to Rhode Island to reunite with the other Dave. We’ll be doing some sight-seeing, covering the Rock & Shock convention, as well as visiting Salem, Massachusetts. Salem, of course, is famous for its witches and the infamous trials that took place there in 1692. However, witches weren’t the only thing troubling the minds of New Englanders back in our country’s earlier days. Two hundred years later, it would become the locale for another supposed creature – the vampire!