LISTEN: Booze and Ghosts.

High Spirits Chicago is a PODCAST dedicated to talking about all things GHOST.
We also drink quite a bit.
Hosted by CHICAGO’S VERY OWN Noelle Schmitt and Jay Steigmann.
Listen to High Spirits Chicago PODCAST on Soundcloud and iTunes.
Follow High Spirits Chicago PODCAST on Facebook and Twitter.


People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales.

― Neil Gaiman, American Gods


I like to have a martini. Two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.

― Dorothy Parker


Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.

― Stephen King


I drink to make other people more interesting.

― Ernest Hemingway


Boos are just applause from ghosts.

― Sharon Needles


Only stupid people believe in ghosts. Also: I believe in ghosts.

― Jay Steigmann


Sweet Dreams XOXOZzzz.

― Noelle Schmitt






Anthony Bourdain

Aretha Franklin

Barbara Bush

Barbara Harris

Bernardo Bertolucci – “Last Tango in Paris”

Bill Daily – “I Dream of Jeannie”

Billy Graham

Burt Reynolds

Cecil Taylor

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Neville

Charlotte Rae

Christopher Lawford – son of Peter Lawford

Craig Mack

David Ogden Stiers – M*A*S*H

Devin Lima – LFO

Dolores O’Riordan – The Cranberries

Don Sandbur – “Bozo’s Circus”

Ed King – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Eddie Clark – Motorhead

Fidel Ángel Castro Díaz-Balart – Fidel Castro’s oldest son

Frank Adonis – Raging Bull

Frank Avruch – portrayed “Bozo the Clown”

Fredo Santana – Rapper

Gilberto Benetton – Fashion Designer

Harry Anderson

Hubert de Givenchy

Jackson Odell – “The Goldbergs”

Jerry Van Dyke

Jill Messick – Producer “Mean Girls”

Jim Rodford – The Kinks

Joe Jackson

Johann Johannsson – Composer

John Mahoney

John McCain

John Perry Barlow – Grateful Dead

Josh Fauver – Deerhunter

Kate Spade

Katherine MacGregor

Ken Berry

Linda Brown – Civil Rights figure: Brown v. Board of Education

Louise Lathem

Mac Miller

Margot Kidder

Mark Salling – “Glee”

Marty Balin – Jefferson Airplane

Matt “Guitar” Murphy

Milos Forman

Mort Walker, Cartoonist: Beetle Bailey

Neil Simon

Paul Allen – Microsoft

Paul Junger Witt – Producer “Golden Girls”

Peggy Mccay – “Days of Our Lives”

Penny Marshall

Pete Shelley – The Buzzcocks

Philip Roth

President George H Bush

Ray Thomas – The Moody Blues

Reg E. Cathey – “The Wire”

Robert Mandan – “Soap”

Robin Leach – “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”

Roy Clark

Roy Hargrove

Scott Wilson – “The Walking Dead”

Sondra Locke

Stan Lee

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hillenburg – “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Steven Bochco – “Hill Street Blues”

Susan Brown – “General Hospital”

Tab Hunter

Tom Wolfe

Tony Joe White – “Polk Salad Annie”

Vanessa Marquez – “ER”

Verne Troyer – Mini-Me

Vic Damone

Vinnie Paul – Pantera

William Goldman – “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”

Winnie Mandela

Yvonne Staples – Gospel/R&B Singer


A Brief List of the Dearly Departed: 2017

Adam West (Batman)

Barbara Sinatra (Frank’s 4th Wife)

Bernie Casey (Actor)

Bill Paxton (Actor)

Brad Bufanda (Malcom in the Middle)

Charlie Murphy (Brother of Eddie)

Chester Bennington (Linkin Park)

Chris Cornell (Soundgarden)

Chuck Berry (Musician)

David Cassidy (Partridge Family)

Della Reese (Touched By an Angel)

Dick Gregory (Comedian)

Dina Merill (Actress)

Don Rickles (Comedian)

Fats Domino (Musician)

George A. Romero (Director)

Glen Campbell (Musician)

Glenne Headly (Steppenwolf Theatre Company)

Gord Downey (The Tragically Hip)

Gregg Allman (Musician)

Harry Dean Stanton (Actor)

Hugh Hefner (Playboy)

J. Geils (Song: Centerfold)

Jake LaMotta (Boxer)

Jay Thomas (Actor)

Jeanne Moreau (French Actress)

Jerry Lewis (Comedian)

Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle)

John G. Avildsen (Director: Rocky)

John Heard (Home Alone)

Jonathan Demme (Director: Silence of the Lambs)

Kim Jong-hyun (K Pop Star)

Lee O’Denat (Founder:

Lil Peep (Rapper)

Malcolm Young (ACDC)

Martin Landau (Actor)

Mary Tyler Moore (Actress)

Michael Bond (Paddington Bear Creator)

Miguel Ferrer (NCIS)

Nelsan Ellis (True Blood)

Pat DiNizio (The Smithereens)

Prodigy (Rapper)

Ralphie May (Comedian)

Richard Anderson (The Six Million Dollar Man)

Robert Guillaume (Soap)

Robert Hardy (Actor)

Roger Ailes (Fox News)

Roger Moore (Bond)

Rose Marie (Dick Van Dyke Show)

Sam Shepard (Director)

Stephen Furst (Animal House)

Sue Grafton (Author)

Tobe Hooper (Director: Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

Tom Petty (Musician)

Walter Becker (Steely Dan)

Wendy Pepper (Project Runway)

William Christopher (MASH)

William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist)



  • Places that are haunted are usually believed to be associated with some occurrence or emotion in the ghost’s past; they are often a former home or the place where he or she died.
  • Aside from actual ghostly apparitions, traditional signs of haunting range from strange noises, lights, odors or breezes to the displacement of objects, bells that ring spontaneously or musical instruments.
  • While ghost stories are often explicitly meant to be scary, they have been written to serve all sorts of purposes, from comedy to morality tales.
  • Ghosts often appear in the narrative as sentinels or prophets of things to come.
  • Belief in ghosts is found in all cultures around the world, and thus ghost stories may be passed down orally or in written form
  • The “ghost” may appear of its own accord or be summoned by magic.
  • Linked to the ghost is the idea of “hauntings” – where a supernatural entity is tied to a place, object or person.
  • A widespread belief concerning ghosts is that they are composed of a misty, airy, or subtle material.
  • Anthropologists link this idea to early beliefs that ghosts were the person within the person (the person’s spirit), most noticeable in ancient cultures as a person’s breath.
  • Ghosts in the classical world often appeared in the form of vapor or smoke, but at other times they were described as being substantial, appearing as they had been at the time of death, complete with the wounds that killed them.


Some places speak distinctly. Certain dark gardens cry aloud for a murder; certain old houses demand to be haunted; certain coasts are set apart for shipwreck.

— Robert Louis Stevenson


Ghosts seem harder to please than we are; it is as though they haunted for haunting’s sake – much as we relive, brood, and smoulder over our pasts.

— Elizabeth Bowen




  • Humans have been burying their dead for at least 100,000 years.
  • Burial is often seen as indicating respect for the dead.
  • It’s the ritual act of placing a dead person or animal, sometimes with objects, into the ground.
  • This is accomplished by excavating a pit or trench, placing the deceased and objects in it, and covering it over.
  • It has been used to prevent the odor of decay, to give family members closure and prevent them from witnessing the decomposition of their loved ones, and in many cultures it has been seen as a necessary step for the deceased to enter the afterlife or to give back to the cycle of life.
  • The location of the burial may be determined taking into account concerns surrounding health and sanitation, religious concerns, and cultural practices.
  • Some cultures keep the dead close to provide guidance to the living, while others “banish” them by locating burial grounds at a distance from inhabited areas.
  • Depending on the culture, the way the body is positioned may have great significance.
  • Some religions consecrate special ground to bury the dead, and some families build private family cemeteries.
  • Some cultures believe in an afterlife —and burial is believed to be a necessary step for an individual to reach the afterlife.
  • Most modern cultures document the location of graves with headstones, which may be inscribed with information and tributes to the deceased.


Probably the scariest thing about cemeteries is that music they play in your head when you drive by one.

― Demetri Martin


The lawn

Is pressed by unseen feet, and ghosts return

Gently at twilight, gently go at dawn,

The sad intangible who grieve and yearn.

― T.S. Eliot


Now it is the time of night

That the graves, all gaping wide,

Every one lets forth his sprite

In the church-way paths to glide.

― William Shakespeare


I fully believe in ghosts. I have, my entire life. The first house I ever lived in was haunted. There was a grave of a man in the backyard. I was just a baby then, but my parents would tell me that every night, at the same time, they would hear someone walking up the stairs.

— Meaghan Rath


The moon is hidden behind a cloud…

On the leaves is a sound of falling rain…

No other sounds than these I hear;

The hour of midnight must be near…

So many ghosts, and forms of fright,

Have started from their graves to-night,

They have driven sleep from mine eyes away:

I will go down to the chapel and pray.

― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



  • The Epic of Gilgamesh – Tablets 11-12
  • Gilgamesh is overcome with the death of his friend Enkidu – so he sets out on a series of journeys to search for his ancestor Utnapishtim.
  • Gilgamesh finds Utnapishtim – who lives at the mouth of the rivers and has been given eternal life because he survived a Noah’s Ark-like flood.
  • Utnapishtim counsels Gilgamesh to abandon his search for immortality but tells him about a plant that can make him young again.
  • Gilgamesh obtains the plant from the bottom of the sea in Dilmun (current day Bahrain) but a serpent steals it.
  • Gilgamesh returns home to the city of Urukhaving abandoned hope of either immortality or renewed youth — but, then he finds out that all he has to do is to stay awake for six days and seven nights.
  • He fails at this quest and falls asleep.
  • Out of this the ghost of Enkidu rose “like a wind” — and the two friends embraced again.
  • Gilgamish at once questions the ghost about the condition of the dead, but Enkidu does not answer.
  • Enkidu knew that what he must reveal would only cause his friend Gilgamesh sorrow.


Of all ghosts, the ghosts of our old loves are the worst.

― Arthur Conan Doyle


The ghosts you chase you never catch.

― John Malkovich


Well. I don’t suppose you have to believe in ghosts to know that we are all haunted, all of us, by things we can see and feel and guess at, and many more things that we can’t.

― Beth Gutcheon



  • 8th Century BC
  • Odysseus travels to the Underworld and makes the offerings according to Circe’s instructions.
  • The shades of the dead (ghosts) gather to drink the blood talk to Odysseus.
  • The first shade is Elpenor, freshly fallen from Circe’s roof. This was a crew member of Pybysseus, so —he weeps when listens to the man’s story.
  • Elpenor begs for Odysseus to honor his death by building a burial mound (essentially a pile of rocks) for his dead body. Odysseus agrees.
  • Odysseus then glimpses his mother’s shade among the rest of the dead. This is news to him, since last he heard she was still alive.
  • Odysseus meets up with Teiresias (the blind prophet) who tells him that all of Odysseus’ crew members will die. He says that Odysseus will make it home – but he’ll find trouble there.
  • Odysseus meets shade after shade in the underworld – some personal to him and some famous in Greek mythology – before he high tails it back to his ship and gets on with his journey.





  • Written by Plautus
  • A young man called Philolaches is having a great time while his father is overseas on business. Philolaches has also borrowed a lot of money to buy the freedom of the slave-girl he loves.
  • One day he is having a house party with many friends, when his slave Tranio interrupts the merry-making to announce that Philolaches’ father has returned unexpectedly and will arrive from the harbour at any minute.
  • Amid the general panic, Tranio has an idea.
  • He hustles Philolaches and his friends into the house and locks the door.
  • The father now arrives.
  • Tranio greets him respectfully but pretends that it is dangerous to enter the house because it is haunted.
  • Unfortunately, at this moment a money-lender turns up to claim the money that Philolaches borrowed.
  • Tranio thinks quickly and pretends that the money was borrowed to buy the house next door.
  • Even when Philolaches’ father meets the real owner of the house, Tranio manages to hide the truth for some time, but he is found out at last and jumps onto the top of an altar to escape punishment.
  • All ends happily, however, when one of Philolaches’ friends offers to repay the debt, thus allowing the father to forgive his son. Even Tranio is forgiven.
  • Inspired Stephen Sondheim, Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”.


Must be a rule in the ghost handbook—if in danger of evaporating, make sure you’re in the middle of a dire pronouncement.

― Kelley Armstrong


 You get what anybody gets – you get a lifetime.

― Neil Gaiman



  • Pliny the Younger wrote one of the first “haunted house” stories ever recorded around 50 AD.
  • In the story, Pliny describes a house in which the apparition of an old man, emaciated, bearded, and burdened with heavy chains plagues the inhabitants therein.
  • Those who bought or rented the house became so frightened that they evacuated the property.
  • Finally, a philosopher, who was identified as Athendorus, takes up residence there.
  • Familiar with tales of the ghost, Athendorus decides to immerse himself in his writing, in the hopes of distracting himself when the ghost appears.
  • However, the sound of the rattling chains and moaning becomes so dreadfully loud and terrifying that Athendorus follows the ghost to a spot outside the house, whereupon the figure disappears.
  • Athendorus marks the spot with grass and leaves and in the morning orders the spot to be dug up.
  • The excavation produced the corpse of a man wrapped in heavy chains.
  • Athendorus promptly ordered a proper burial for the man, and his ghost was never seen in the house again.


Nature is a Haunted House – but Art – a House that tries to be haunted.

— Emily Dickinson


Behind every man now alive stand 30 ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living.

― Arthur C. Clarke


There are a few of the open-air spirits; the more domestic of their tribe gather within-doors, plentiful as swallows under southern eaves.

― William Butler Yeats


Houses are not haunted. We are haunted, and regardless of the architecture with which we surround ourselves, our ghosts stay with us until we ourselves are ghosts.

― Dean Koontz



  • 930 BC: The Ghost of Samuel
  • 1 Samuel 28:3-25
  • Israel’s King Saul finds his nation on the verge of war with the Philistines.
  • Saul is terrified and seeks God for guidance.
  • However, God does not respond to Saul in visions, through the words of prophets or by any other means.
  • Saul, therefore, seeks the help of a medium to conjure the spirit of Samuel the prophet, who had been dead and buried years before.
  • Saul indeed finds his medium, the so-called “witch” of Endor, who subsequently succeeds in calling forth the spirit of Samuel.
  • Samuel then informs Saul that God has torn the kingdom out of his hands, due to his disobedience, thus delivering the kingdom of Israel to David.