A recognized authority on the Chicago region's ghostlore, historian, author, and parapsychology enthusiast Ursula Bielski has been writing and speaking about Chicago's supernatural history, folklore, and the paranormal for more than 16 years. Her interests in ghosthunting and local legends began at a young age. She grew up in a haunted house on Chicago's North Side and received an early education in Chicago history from her father, a Chicago police officer. Since that time she has been involved in various investigations of haunted sites in and around Chicago, including such notorious locales as the Country House Restaurant in Clarendon Hills, Illinois; Chicago's Red Lion Pub; southwest-suburban Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery; and the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Opera House.
Bielski and her books have been featured in several television documentaries, including productions by the A&E Network, The History Channel, The Learning Channel, The Travel Channel, and PBS. She appears regularly on Chicago television and radio, and lectures throughout the year at various libraries and to historical and professional societies. She has also authored numerous scholarly articles exploring the links between history and the paranormal, including pieces for the International Journal of Parapsychology. Bielski is a past editor of PA News, the quarterly newsletter of the Parapsychological Association; a past president and board member of the Pi Gamma Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society; and a member of the Society of Midland Authors.
Bielski graduated from St. Benedict High School in Chicago; Benedictine University in Lisle, where she received a B.A. in history; and from Northeastern Illinois University, where she earned an M.A. in American cultural and intellectual history. Her academic explorations include the spiritualist movement of the nineteenth century and its transformation into psychical research and parapsychology; and the relationship among belief, experience, science, and religion.
In 2004, she founded Chicago Hauntings, a company that gives bus tours and holds special events devoted to exploring Chicago's haunted history. Bielski lives in Chicago with her two daughters.