It's not that the dead have stopped talking — it's that the show has reached its 10-year mark and its creator/solo performer/necromancer is ready to move on.
"Supernatural Chicago," an evening of magic and storytelling hosted by Neil Tobin, will have its final performance Friday at the Castle Nightclub, that purportedly haunted Romanesque Revival granite pile formerly known as the Excalibur on the corner of Dearborn and Ontario Streets.
The 90-minute show consists mostly of macabre stories from Chicago's history and paranormal past, subjects such as Al Capone and the curse of the Cubs to the 19th-century case of Lurancy Vennum of Watseka, a 14-year-old girl allegedly possessed by spirits. "Supernatural Chicago" always wraps up with a little communion with the deceased.
"You can come as a believer or nonbeliever, it doesn't matter," Tobin said. "My thought has always been that I'm not there to try to convince anyone. I don't expect anyone to leave the show changed."
In the 10 years he's been doing "Supernatural Chicago" — the first show was Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 — he's changed the local lore and paranormal anecdotes a few times, he says, but the material has become second nature at this point. It's interacting with his audiences, he says, that has stayed interesting.
"All kinds of people come," he says. "Some are interested in the paranormal, some in the history."
The show has become popular with out-of-towners looking for a Chicago experience. For fans of theatrical magic, the sleight-of-hand Tobin does gets woven into his narratives — a spirit in the room contributing to a card trick, for example. (For the uninitiated, the self-appointed title of necromancer means someone who can communicate with dead spirits.)
But the final performance is this weekend — with devil's-food cupcakes for the audience to mark the special occasion.
From here, Tobin says he is serving as magical consultant for an upcoming production of "The Addams Family" at the Mercury Theater, and is developing a new show. No word yet as to how much the dead will take part.
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Castle Nightclub, 632 N. Dearborn St.
Tickets: $25 (includes two drinks) at 800-979-3370 or supernaturalchicago.com