Richard T. Crowe, Chicago's original professional ghost hunter, died yesterday of pancreatic cancer, according to a Facebook posting from his sister.
Richard has been running ghost tours in Chicago since the early 1970s and was, for many years, the first man you'd call with a ghost story. He was featured regularly in newspaper articles and late night radio programs, as well as appearing on Oprah and Unsolved Mysteries. In 1973, ghostlore was so unknown in the city that Midlothian police asked to comment on his stories about Bachelor's Grove cemetery told the papers that they didn't even know there was such a cemetery (though, in fact, they'd been responding to calls about vandalism and grave-robbing there off and on for years). "I think there are some things that can't be explained," Crowe said at the time. "but most people who tell of ghosts are off the wall!"
Truer words have seldom been spoken, and I can think of no better way to sum up the situation one faces as in the ghost biz: some things can't be explained, but you have to watch out for people who are just plain off the wall.
No one did more to keep Chicago's ghostlore alive over the last forty years. Happy hauntings, Richard. If you're sticking around for a few days, we'll keep an eye out for you on the tour tonight.
His sister has also posted the following:
Funeral services for Richard T. Crowe are as follows...wake will be from 3-9 p.m. on Monday, June 11, 2012, at Modell Funeral Home, 5725 S. Pulaski Rd., Chicago, IL 60629 (1-773-767-4730). Funeral will be Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 9 a.m. from the funeral home to St. Patricia Church, 9050 S. 86th Avenue, Hickory Hills, IL 60457. Interment, of course, will be at Resurrection Cemetery. Again, thanks to all for your support and myriad kindnesses throughout Richard's ordeal."