The Legend of Pemberton Hall is among one of the most well-known ghost stories in Illinois. Set at Eastern Illinois University, generations of young women who reside in this residence hall have been telling tales of Mary Hawkins and the ghost of an (allegedly) murdered coed. On October 24, 2013, I explored the facts and the fiction behind the tale at a presentation at MLK Student Union. So many people showed up we actually had to move to a larger room. After many years writing about this EIU legend, giving this presentation on campus was a wonderful opportunity.
Last week, hosts Kevin and Lori graciously invited me on their show “The Morning X”, 104.9FM The X in Rockford, to discuss my new documentary Tinker’s Shadow: The Hidden History of Tinker Swiss Cottage, now available on Amazon Video Direct! We talk about what it took to make the film and how everyone contributed to putting together such a great project.
Nothing like some good ghost stories on these long winter nights. Here is part two of an old presentation on the legends and lore of Rockford, Illinois and surrounding areas at Tinker Swiss Cottage. Blood’s Point Road, Charles Guiteau, and the phantom lady of Kennedy Hill Road. I honestly don’t remember when this was recorded but it might have been in 2011.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Nothing like some good ghost stories on these long winter nights. Here is part one of an old presentation on the legends and lore of Rockford, Illinois and surrounding areas at Tinker Swiss Cottage. The Emma Jones Home, Rockford College, the legend of Big Thunder, Nellie Dunton, and more. I honestly don’t remember when this was recorded but it might have been in 2011.
Back in the dingy DeKalb office building in the summer of 2011, Willy Adkins, director and executive producer, and Justin Romine, directory of photography, paused from filming Headline News to record this interview with me. Headline News, based on my short story “Coed Terror in the Ivory Tower of Doom,” premiered at the Chicago Horror Film Festival on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm at the Portage Theater. What a walk down memory lane! Check out the interview below.
On a summer day in 2011, I met director Willy Adkins and his cast and crew at an office building in DeKalb, Illinois. We were there to film Headline News, a horror short based on a story I wrote for my book Six Tales of Terror. Jason Sullivan adapted my story into a script. All the cast and crew, especially Michael Schmid, Michael Wexler, James Pusztay, and Kelsey Zukowski, really brought the characters to life. It was a surreal experience, to say the least, to see characters come to life I had previously only imagined! I even got to play a small walk on role, as a crime scene photographer. Here are some pictures from the filming. Tragically, Michael Wexler died after being hit by a car in December 2015. I only met him a few times, but he was a talented actor and seemed like a great guy. I was very sorry to hear about his loss.
A big thank you is in order to Ann Winkler Hinrichs, David Kent Coy, and the other organizers of the 150th Anniversary of the Charleston Riot event last weekend! For what might be the final time, I was asked to give my presentation on home front dissent in Illinois during the Civil War, as part of a larger series of speakers at the Coles County Courthouse on Saturday, March 29th. The presentation was well attended, and there were a lot of great questions from the audience. Afterwards, I had a book signing at Pensees Bookshop on the square (502 6th St). Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer spoke at the banquet that night, but unfortunately I had to leave before he spoke. I met some very interesting folks that day! Thanks to my friend Becky Guymon for taking these photos of my presentation: