I know I started a thread like this, but I thought with Halloween coming soon, it'd be a good time to bring it up again...
Here's the most well-known urban legend in the Chicago area:
One of the Midwest's, and America's, favorite ghost stories is the tale of Resurrection Mary, the vanishing hitchhiker. The cemetery, located in Justice, Illinois has been home to this famous spirit since the 1930's.
One cold Winter night around 1934, a young girl was killed in an accident coming home from the O. Henry Ballroom (now Willowbrook Ballroom) on Archer Avenue in Justice, a southern suburb of Chicago. Her name was Mary and many believe that she may have been a young Polish girl named Mary Bregavy, although her exact identity is still unknown. The girl was buried in Resurrection Cemetery, dressed in her favorite gown and wearing the same dancing shoes she had worn on her final date.
She rested peacefully for the next five years, but in 1939 a cab driver picked up a young girl on Archer Avenue wearing a white gown. It was a snowy January night, but the girl was not wearing a coat. She jumped in the front door of the cab and sat by the driver. She gave him instructions to get her home, saying that he needed to go north on Archer. Suddenly, she told him to stop and the driver looked out the window to where she had pointed. He turned back to the passenger seat and saw that the girl had vanished. . .and the door had never opened. The cab was directly in front of Resurrection Cemetery.
Over the years, sightings of Mary have been frequent. Many young men even claim to have picked her up and taken her dancing with them. Some very reliable witnesses say they have kissed her and found her lips chilled with cold. As they take her home, she always disappears when they reach Resurrection Cemetery.
One night in 1977, a passing motorist saw Mary holding onto the bars of the cemetery gate. He called the police, thinking a girl was trapped inside of the locked cemetery. Officers found no one inside when they arrived but two of the bars in the gate were bent apart and small hand prints were etched into the iron. Supervisors at the cemetery had the sections of the gate cut out to keep the curiosity seekers away. They were embarrassed into welding them back into place a year later. Between the time they were removed and then replaced, the bars were analyzed by a lab for trickery. It was determined that on one would have made those hand prints without applying extremely high amounts of heat. The indention can still be seen in the gate today (see photo at beginning of this section).
As the years have passed, sightings of Mary have continued. Cab drivers, motorists, reputable witnesses like police officers and ministers, and ghost hunters have reported the spirit as she walks along the side of the road or vanishes from the interior of moving automobiles. She has become one of the most famous ghosts of all time. Does she still haunt the gates and roadsides near Resurrection Cemetery? Here is your chance to find out.
Resurrection Cemetery is located along Archer Avenue in Justice, Illinois. Follow 95th Street to Roberts Road, which goes north to Archer. The cemetery is located at 7600 South Archer Avenue. This street will also take you to Mary's favorite haunt, the Willowbrook Ballroom.
Mike F.May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.