We all fall into our routines: home, work, knitting circle, repeat. Check out a side of Chicago you’ve never seen before with today’s Groupon for a $20 tour (normally $30) at Weird Chicago Tours, curators of the city’s finest ghosts, gangsters, and superfreaks. Call or visit Weird Chicago's online schedule to book your tour ahead of time. All tours last about three hours and depart from the conveniently central Hard Rock Cafe, from which all weirdness radiates outward in concentric strangelets due to its construction upon a reality bending vortex. Children must be at least 10 if they want to explore Chicago's dark side, and 18 for the Red Light District Sex Tour.
Weird Chicago offers a tour to sate every twisted taste. Ghost-gawkers can visit a wide array of haunted hotspots throughout the north side, west side, and Loop during the “Weird & Haunted” Tour. History buffs might prefer the “Devil & The White City” Tour, which includes the location of the Murder Castle where serial killer H. H. Holmes went about his grisly business during the 1893 World's Fair, before becoming the first human being to eat an ice cream cone on a Ferris Wheel. Crime buffs will love the "Bloody Chicago" Crime Tour of gangster-related sites, while those who prefer sex to violence can explore the kinkiest locations of Chicago, past and present, including red light districts, S&M dungeons, toy shops that don't sell any action figures you'll recognize, and more.
Owners Troy Taylor, Adam Selzer, and Ken Melvoin-Berg and guide Erica Behringer bring more than 30 years of combined local experience to every tour. They're a diverse, ink-armed bunch of authors, filmmakers, seance-mediums, and ghost-hunters as fascinatingly weird as the tours they guide. Chicago has a gritty side to its history that other major cities can only wimpily aspire to, and Weird Tours offers you the chance to reconnect with it. So bring along your most paranormal pals, your entire bachelorette party, or your easily frightened hippie roommate and his talking dog.
Yelpers give Weird Chicago Tours five stars:
- If you are a Chicago native and are looking for something different and interesting then I wholeheartedly recommend this tour! – Orlando R.
- A great idea for a private party. – doris d.
- Another good thing about the Weird Chicago tours is that they have sites where they have exclusive access, and you will not get the same tour twice as Ken told us that he likes to change things around to keep it fresh. – Linda P.
Too Weird To Tour
Due to various scheduling, legal, and safety concerns, not all of Chicago’s weirdness can be contained by a single tour. Please peruse this supplementary section of weirdness stops that you might visit independently once you’re whetted for weirdness. If you dare, that is.
- Grandma Fortunes’ Skeleton Powder Boutique
- The Creeping Vines Carnivorous Conservatory
- Atom House: The Legendary House Constructed From a Single Atom!
- John Averies Bundercroft Museum of Mustachioed Babies
- Ditka Caverns
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Weird Chicago Tours
The labyrinthine streets of Chicago contain a wealth of bizarre secrets—it just takes the right person to find them. That's where the team of quirky guides behind Weird Chicago Tours come in. As a diverse group of amateur detectives, history buffs, and ghost-hunters, they've acquired the knowledge and experience necessary to lead others into the city's darkest corners. At some stops, passengers disembark and venture inside for a closer look.
Weird Chicago Tours is always devising new tour themes, such as the Roaring '20s Tour: an adults-only exploration of Prohibition and 1920s gangster activity through visits to a former brothel district and a series of bars. The Haunted History Tour recounts some of Chicago's most unusual ghost stories and stops at areas of reported paranormal activity. Other tours prowl sites tied to Al Capone's notorious career and the St. Valentine's Day massacre or grisly crime scenes straight out of the novel Devil in the White City.