Resurrection Mary

"Resurrection Mary" is the best-known ghost story in the Chicago area.

According to the legend, a young Polish girl (between 17 and 22) was killed in a car crash in the early 1930s and buried in Resurrection Cemetery. Her death occurred on the way back from a dance at the nearby O'Henry Ballroom (now called the Willowbrook Ballroom).

She is now encountered as a "Vanishing Hitchhiker". Several people have reported picking her up as a hitchhiker, taking her to or from the ballroom. As the car passes Resurrection, she usually vanishes. She is described as looking like a living person, speaking very little, wearing a 1930's ball gown. Sometimes her flesh is cool to the touch.

In a 1977 incident, a passerby saw a woman locked inside the fence of the cemetery after dark. Rather than stopping, he called the police, who came to let her out. When the police arrived, she was nowhere to be seen - but they discovered that two bars of the main gate had been bent outwards, and the bars bore the imprint of human hands. Officials quickly removed the bars - but, embarrassed, later re-installed them, using a blowtorch to obscure the handprints. The two burned areas can still be seen.

For more information on Resurrection Mary, visit the Ghost Research Society at

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