Grave Robbing 101 - Atlas Obscura

Chicago, Illinois

Grave Robbing 101

Tour relics of the old city cemetery and learn all you need to know to launch YOUR career as a 19th-century body snatcher—today!

When the area now known as Lincoln Park was the City Cemetery during the 1840s to 1860s, it was a regular smorgasbord for grave robbers—medical schools tended to have a "no questions asked" policy, and a fresh cadaver could pay as much as a month in the coal mines.

Author and tour guide Adam Selzer leads "pupils" on a walking tour of Lincoln Park, showing relics of the old cemetery, a tomb-snooping demonstration, and repeating stories and quotes from the archives about all of the body snatching that took place on the grounds—featuring enough tricks of the trade to launch your very own career as a "resurrectionist."


Meet outside the Chicago History Museum at North and Clark. Street metered parking is available around the museum and at the museum parking lot located one block north of the Museum at Clark and LaSalle Streets.


  • The tour is not affiliated with the Chicago History Museum. 
  • The event will run rain or shine.
  • The tour is approximately 2 miles and has limited ADA access. Pavement will be available, but we might also be walking off the path in the grass.
  • This tour is family friendly, though we must insist that parents keep a close watch on their children.
  • Wear your walking shoes and bring your cameras!


Email Adam Selzer at

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.