Profile: The Ghost Research Society

Text Provided by The Ghost Research Society

The Ghost Research Society is one of Chicagoland’s oldest and most respected paranormal research groups. It was founded in 1977 by Martin V. Riccardo and was originally called The Ghost Tracker’s Club. At that time, Dale D. Kaczmarek was its Research Director. Its members were from all walks of life but mostly those who just shared an interest in ghost research, hauntings and poltergeist phenomena. In 1982, Dale D. Kaczmarek was given full ownership of the GRS and became its President. Since that time, the Ghost Research Society is legendary within the field of ghost research.

Today, society members actively research and investigate all reports that come their way including private homes and businesses. The society also analyzes alleged spirit photographs, video and audio tapes that they come across from ordinary people or society members. The GRS operates using a number of devices, including air ion counters, cell sensors, electromagnetic field Gaussmeters, electromagnetic field testers, field strength meters, Geiger counters, G.E.I.S.T. (custom designed for the GRS by electronics specialist Stan Suho), magnetic field detectors, negative ion detectors, tri-feld meters, and night vision cameras and monitoring equipment.

The GRS has investigated a number of notorious locations both in the public and in private homes. A very small sampling of locations includes Graveyard X, the Joplin Spooklight, the Polish Museum in Chicago, That Steak Joynt, Rico D’s, Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Robinson Woods Cemetery, Rosehill Cemetery, Mineral Springs Hotel, the McPike mansion, the Lemp mansion, and Gettysburg. In March 2006, the Ghost Research Society was the first paranormal group to investigate the haunted Hooter’s restaurant at Wells in Chicago. The GRS is in high demand to research private homes as well and often conducts investigations upon request.

GRS President Dale Kaczmarek is well known within the ghost research field. He has been asked to speak at many conferences and lectures, and is sought out as a trained investigator. Dale is the author of four books, Windy City Ghosts, Windy City Ghosts II, A Field Guide To Spirit Photography, and Illuminating the Darkness: The Mystery of Spooklights. Dale has appeared in numerous publications including the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, Dallas Morning News, Detroit News, Fate Magazine, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Dale has also appeared on television several times including the Oprah Winfrey Show, A & E, the Sci-Fi Channel, and Discovery Channel. Further information on Dale can be found at

Today, Dale is the operator and manager of the popular Excursions Into the Unknown tour, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2007. This tour covers Chicago’s and the Chicago suburbs’ most haunted areas. The tour changes every year, so repeat patrons are always guaranteed an interesting and informative evening! There also are specialty tours such as “Murder and Mayhem” and “Tragic Events”. There are several off-stop points where participants can get a good up-close look at many famous haunted locations. All tours are run by Dale himself so riders are ensured an insightful evening with plenty of opportunities for question and answer sessions. The evening has often proved to be quite eventful as ghostly photos are frequently taken by riders on the tour! Tour information can be found at

In 2004, the Ghost Research Society expanded their goals by creating the Ghost Research Society Press. Authors and GRS members Dale Kaczmarek and Jim Graczyk joined forces to form their own publishing house. The Ghost Research Society Press not only covers books written by GRS members, but has also branched out to local authors such as Tamara Shaffer, writer of Murder Gone Cold: The Mystery of the Grimes Sisters. The GRS Press is always looking for potential new authors with an eye for the paranormal. You can learn more about the Ghost Research Society Press at

The GRS is also now sending out free monthly ghostly newsletters. These cover local ghost tales, information on the GRS and the GRS society press, book reviews, and topics in the world of ghosts. Please e-mail Dale at if you would like to sign up for the newsletter.

Like many ghost groups, the GRS also now has its own CafePress shop. This online boutique offers a number of great items such as calendars of ghostly photographs, t-shirts, bumper stickers, tote bags, caps, mugs, and coasters. The CafePress shop is located at

The GRS is always looking for new members! There are four levels of membership available: Associate, Sustaining, Patron, and Lifetime memberships. Members are invited to attend the bi-monthly meetings, receive copies of The Ghost Trackers Newsletter, attend haunted location investigations, and receive discounts on GRS merchandise and Excursions Into the Unknown tours. We invite you to check out the Ghost Research Society website at to learn more about our group. You can contact Dale directly at