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Help Launch Chicago’s Purgatory Pressings

A New Press is about to Emerge Specializing in Artistic Paranormal Expression.

I’ve spent the past twenty five years immersed in the history of Chicago and the stories of those who have had brushes with the paranormal dimension of the culture and tragedy of the city that has always been my home. Though I first began writing books out of a desire to record these histories and experiences, I have always felt limited by the written narrative and have lately sought other ways to express my great passion of the people who I call “The Experiencers” … those who have personal experience with a world caught between our physical one and the eternity that is out of reach.

As a little girl, I was always writing poetry, always picking out songs on the piano, always drawing and creating physical art. In my effort to carve out a career in life, I sought the more “sensible” route of history, aiming to become a teacher.

That plan did not exactly work out. My first books were so well received by a public thirsty for this dimension of life–and afterlife–that I became permanently sidetracked, writing book after book as the stories flowed in, and starting “Chicago Hauntings” Tours to take people to the locations I chronicled.

This past year, I began creating experimental music with another paranormal investigator and musician. He said I was a natural and talented in it. While I was very honored to hear these compliments, I know that I am just starting out and have a lot to learn. I have, however, become very interested and active in the creation of experimental music, poetry and visual art based on the haunted history of Chicago and beyond. Incorporating Electronic Voice Phenomenon, ambient sound from these locations, sound bytes of music and spoken word recordings from past eras, and my own original music, I have found it very rewarding to create “audio postcards” from these deeply emotional and historic events.

My very first composition is a track inspired by the “thoughtography” of Ted Serios, a Chicagoan who worked as a bellman at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago in the early 1960s ,who claimed he could imprint Polaroid film with images from his mind. Starting with recordings of Serios and parapsychologist Jule Eisenbud, who studied Ted for years, along with ambient recordings from the Hilton and the Palmer House, where Serios and Eisenbud met, as well as EVP recorded around the original camera and photographs housed in the special collections of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, I added recordings of a Polaroid camera in action, the shutter tripping and the film being ripped out, as well as ice tinkling in a glass (Ted always worked better drunk). The base or background track is a manipulated version of “Can’t Buy Me Love,” which was number one on the charts the week Serios and Eisenbud met. My hope is that some of the excitement and mystery of Ted Serios, as well as his very “Chicago” story, are captured in this short track of about 2 minutes.

This will be the first release of “Purgatory Press,” an institution creating music and books of a less narrative and more experiential variety than my traditional history books–and their more traditional publishers.

It is my great hope that you will support me as I return to my roots as an aspiring artist and my first loves of expression through visual art, poetry and music. My goal is to give other researchers, too, a channel through which to express their artistic impulses as paranormal investigators.

I have planned about a dozen releases for the next two years, most of them 7″ flexible phonograph records with accompanying art and notes, which will include a link to an MP3 download. Each 7″ release will cost about 500 dollars for a pressing of 250 copies. My aim is to have enough supporters to fund several pressings, but even enough support for one would be a wonderful sign to me that I’m on the right track.

I’ve been writing and creating my entire life, have operated Chicago Hauntings Tours for 12 years, have hosted the Chicago Ghost Conference for 7 years with great success, and my website has been called “one of the most important web sites for local history.” I design everything myself, create and host many creative events every year to bring people together and share ideas about the paranormal in its many expressions, and I am determined, so determined. Whatever I do works. I believe it works because people find an outlet for their own beliefs, expressions and fears in the things I do. Thank you for supporting my work these past two and a half decades!

-Ursula Bielski
founder, Chicago Hauntings, Inc.

Our Paranormal World Needs This!

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  1. Tom Forsythe says:

    That’s quite a different idea ! I wish you the very best of luck and hope it really takes off !

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