ANDERSONVILLE — Nationally renowned storytellers Orion Couling and Zack Meyer are bringing their ghost walking tours back to Andersonville next month.
Participants will learn more about the neighborhood’s lore and legends, said Couling, a Rogers Park resident who is a licensed tour guide and has led walks in Andersonville the past four years.
The 1.5-mile tour starts at 5060 N. Clark St. on the corner beside Dollop Diner and ends at Fireside Restaurant, 5739 N. Ravenswood Ave., which Meyer and Couling recommend for dinner and drinks after the walk.
You can sign up for a walking tour for $20 online. There are 12 tours in October and the beginning of November — the most Meyer and Couling have offered.
The first tour is 8-10 p.m. Oct. 6.
Couling recommends wearing comfortable walking shoes and bringing a water bottle. People should expect to learn a lot about Andersonville, even if they think they already know their way around, he said.
“It’s one thing to walk down a charming street of one of our beloved Chicago neighborhoods and go, ‘There’s a restaurant I love and that park I adore,'” he said. “And what I can say to someone is, ‘Do you know what used to be there on that park? Well, there was an old orphanage.'”
There is also a sit-down event Nov. 5 at Mrs. Murphy’s Pub, 3905 N. Lincoln Ave., so people who don’t want to do the walk can still learn about the neighborhood.
Couling said he has gone to museums, businesses and local organizations such as the Edgewater Historical Society to collect stories for the walking tours.
“Some folks are eager to talk about the lore or legends around their businesses …,” he said.
The goal of the ghost tour isn’t to get gory, but to showcase the elegance and history of the neighborhood, Couling said.
“If you can walk through your neighborhood with a sense of wonder and imagination, well, that’s a fine, fine thing,” he said.
Andersonville is the perfect neighborhood to host the ghost tours because it is “as charming as it gets” and is filled with lots of restaurants and businesses, and yet its hidden history is relatively easy to uncover, Couling said.
The walking tour is presented under the same name as the duo’s podcast, “Shadow Carriers,” which they describe as “a curated collection of paranormal folklore, assembled by two life-long storytellers, sonically mixed to bring you into the darkness and out again.”
The podcast’s first season, which ran September 2020-August 2021, focuses on Chicago disturbia and ghost stories. The most recent season dives into New Orleans lore and legends, where Couling also hosts walking tours.
Listen to the Block Club Chicago podcast: