St Mary of the Angels Church

History, Mystery, and Ghosts!

Now in its eighth season, Bizarre Bucktown tells forgotten history and lore behind the neighborhood’s iconic factories, churches, and taverns. You'll hear about the hauntings, scandals, murders, and activism that belie the quiet residential streets.

a home in Bucktown

Easy to see, hard to forget

Bucktown is a one of Chicago's best neighborhoods and is just two miles North of downtown. The candlelit tour begins at dusk at Walsh Park and ends nearby about 75 minutes later, after walking one mile.

Gordon Meyer

Your guide

Hi, I'm Gordon Meyer. I created the tour and personally conduct each one. I've lived in the neighborhood for seventeen years. I’m a graduate of the Second City Training Center, and I’ve been a magician for decades so you can expect some surprises along the way. Oh, and I’m also very tall.

Schedule and Tickets

Tours are hibernating for the winter and are planned to resume in April 2022, weather permitting. Join my mailing list to be notified when the calendar is updated. Meanwhile, visit BizarreChicago.com for a free self-guided tour of The 606 Bloomingdale Trail, neighborhood history booklets, and other goodies.

Reviews

Time Out Chicago recommends Bizarre Bucktown as one of “The Best Haunted Tours in Chicago”

“This is a really great tour. Bucktown has lots of colorful stories. Gordon has done the research and tells them in a very entertaining fashion.” — Ray

“Gordon really knows his stuff and is so funny. Totally recommend..” — Josh S.

“We booked a private tour with Gordon for my husband’s birthday. We had an awesome evening and learned new things we never knew about the neighborhood or Chicago for that matter. I highly recommend this tour for tourists and locals. We already can’t wait to take his other tour. Thank you again, Gordon! I’d give 10 stars if I could!” — Dani

“Thanks for such an amazing adventure. This was way beyond our expectations!!” — Josh M.

“We were in Chicago on vacation and looking for things to do that weren’t the typical tourist attraction. We stumbled upon Bizarre Bucktown online and it was one of the best parts of the whole trip! Gordon was a fantastic guide and put a lot of time and effort into making the tour fun. If you have the opportunity, take this tour!!” — Tina

“The tour was awesome! It was really engaging and I learned a lot. I really appreciated all the research…and the mysteries were an awesome bonus.” — Pat

“An engaging, thought-provoking and fun experience that is a welcome addition (and alternative) to Chicago’s standard roster of historical tour offerings. Bizarre Bucktown packs a lot of uncanny lore and little-known factual information into a compact mile of walking.” — Meg

“I have lived in Bucktown 21 years and still learned more about my bizarre little community!” — Cheryl

“Awesome! Get to know the weird side of Bucktown on a one of a kind guided tour.” — Time Out Chicago

“Thanks for bringing a sense of wonder to our everyday neighborhood.” — Patrick

“I loved hearing the ghost stories, but more than that I loved learning about the city and its history. Not a dull moment on the tour. Two thumbs up!!!!!!” — Todd

“We had a blast! The tour was truly wonderful, entertaining, and informative. Who would ever know the things that you pointed out? I’m still in shock over what you told us about Saint Mary of the Angels.” — Nikki

“Thank you for hosting a great walking tour - we all thoroughly enjoyed it!” — Andrea

“I took my 16 year old granddaughter on the Bucktown tour. Not an eye roll or snapchat for the entire 90 minutes! I highly recommend this experience for residents and visitors. I have been on this tour 3 times. Love it.” — Joy

“You are a remarkable storyteller!” — Chris

“Gordon is an awesome guide with lots of charisma” — Jordan

“If you've never done a Bizarre Bucktown walking tour, you should do it. You'll love it. Gordon Meyer is an amazing storyteller.” — Bucktown Chamber

“The most delightful quirky neighborhood tour. A bit of history, a bit of local folklore, a fair bit of ghost stories, all with a sprinkle of some magic. Would definitely recommend to visitors and locals alike!.” — Gina

“It was just wonderful! Every bit of it.” — Shana

“We had a lovely time touring Bucktown with Gordon.” — Joshua

“This tour was interesting, entertaining and quirky. An hour and fifteen minutes that was very well-spent. I loved it!” — Mary Ellen

“Excellent tour and Gordon was an excellent host. Loved it!” — Deborah

“The tour was a heckuva show!” — Kyle

“We had a great time last night at the Bizarre Bucktown walking tour. We live in the neighborhood and brought my boyfriend’s parents along with us. Great stories and history. Thanks Gordon, we’ll be checking out the Bizarre Wicker Park tour soon!” — Jennifer

“We had an absolute blast!” — Jon

“Bizarre Bucktown combines history with a little bit of magic, with a tour guide who’s easy to love” — Choose Chicago

” — Adam, Greg, Carol, and many others

Answers

Are there any daytime tours?

Bizarre Bucktown is best experienced after sunset. If your schedule requires a tour during the day, consider my Bizarre Wicker Park tour instead.

How many tickets are there for each tour?

The total size of your group will be between two and twelve people. Group size is strictly limited out of respect for residents, and also to ensure that everyone can easily see and hear.

Should I buy tickets now, or wait until later?

Tickets must be purchased in advance, walk-ups are not admitted. If your plans are solid, buy your tickets now to avoid disappointment. Tours do sell out, and ticket sales stop approximately two hours before the tour starts.

What about the weather?

Once ticketed, tours happen rain or shine. Please check the Bucktown-Wicker Park weather. The tour takes place entirely outdoors.

Where do we meet?

Full details, directions, and transportation recommendations are provided via email with your tickets. Bucktown is about two miles from downtown Chicago and is accessible by subway (Blue Line/O’Hare ‘L’ train), Metra (commuter rail), CTA (bus), and of course taxi or ride share.

What’s the terrain?

We walk at a brisk pace, but make many stops. Most of the tour is on residential streets.

Why aren't kids allowed?

History isn't pretty. Bizarre Bucktown is for mature audiences and attendees must be at least 13 years of age. Infants and toddlers are not permitted. Trigger warnings include (spoiler alert): suicide, murder, assault, gambling, arson, alcohol, lawlessness, gentrification, organized labor, organized crime, feminism, corruption, fortune telling, paranormal manifestation, spirit communication, vandalism, prostitution, and Catholicism. Also, there is one “F-bomb.”

Can I bring my dog?

Sorry, no. Dogs are not permitted on the tour.

Other Tours & Offerings

On the Bizarre Wicker Park walking tour you’ll learn about the snake oil tycoon, the beer baron, and the artists, radicals, and mobsters that built and shaped Bucktown's sister neighborhood.

Chicago’s most unique park, The 606, features an elevated trail made from a former railway. Bizarre 606 is a self-guided tour of strange and obscure history along the Bucktown and Wicker Park portion of the Bloomingdale Trail. Sign up for my mailing list to receive a free copy of the tour that you can take along when you visit the trail.


Do you live in Bucktown? Test your neighborhood mettle with a free, fun quiz. Privacy-friendly, no sign-up required.

P.S.

Neighborhood Photo Blog