Ghost Stories

Resurrection Mary

My friend told me this story here it goes

My friend swore at the time that she was the most beautiful women he had ever seen. Her brilliant blonde hair was a sheet of flowing gold cropped just below her shoulders; her eyes, almost impossibly blue, were set in the perfectly shaped oval of her face; and her pale skin, luminescent in the dimly lit hall, looked as smooth as a burnished pearl. She was moving through the crowd at the Willowbrook Ballroom with an inborn grace. Her look of imperturbable calm left the otherworldly beauty of her face undisturbed by a single emotion. She was the aesthetic ideal of a bygone age, the embodiment of a style that women of the silver screen tried to capture years before he was born. But as far as this young my friend was concerned, Carole Lombard, Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman had nothing on the cold splendor of the women walking towards him. It was unsettling how beautiful she was.

My friend could only stare speechless as the women approached him. She glided effortlessly though the crowd of revelers at the Willowbrook, not pausing once until she stood right in front of him. Several moments passws before she spoke. "Hello." My friend was just as smitten by brilliant smile that suddenly spread across the women's face. He smiled back. Hello." Another moment or two passed before she spoke agin. Would yo care to dance?" My friend would never be able to remember how he responded to this question, but he spent the rest of the night on the ballroom dance floor, spinning through every number the band performed in a hypnotic state. As far as he was concered, it was only the two of them, dancing cloes as one song blended into another. While some words passed between them, the next morning he could not remember what they were. Nor would he be able to remember when exactly they left or how they made their way to his car. But he was able to recall a feeling of inevitability, almost of helplessness; he was in full knowledge that thus strange women was directing the course of the evening, that he had absolutely no say in what was happening. It was all he could do to look at her and remember who he was himself.

They were soon driving down Archer Avenue towards an uncewrtain destination. My friend knew he was taking the women home, but he wasn't sure where home was. He knoew he was supposed to be driving down Archer, but he wasn't sure hoe he knew---in fact, he wasn't sure if she had said word since she had gotten in his car. Yet somehow he knew he ws taking her where she wanted to go. The surreal encounter concluded quite suddenly when they passed Resurrection Cemetery. My friend felt suddenly alert, as if he had just snapped out of a stange dream. Looking over to the passenger side, he stared in amazemeat at the empty seat next ti him. Outside, the countless tombstones of Resurrection Cemetery were barely visible, rushing bt just beyond the glow of the streetlights. So ended another encounter with Resurrection Mary, one of Chicago's most famous ghosts. Haunting the suburb Resurrection Mary has enthralled, bewitched and horrified hundreds of Chicagoans. Her origins are tragically similar to so many spirits that come back to haunt the places they knew when they were alive. She was a young women, taken before her time,

killed in a freak accident along Archer Avenue late one winter night in 1934. According to local legend, her name was Mary Bregavy, a youthful Polish immigrant of remarkable beauty, who could make hearts race and plams sweat with a sinlge glance. Altough she spoke very little, her charm made her one of Justice's most popular people, and she spent most of her weekends at the old O'Henry Bellroom (the Willowbrook today) with her beau, dancing into the small hours of the evening. Things went sour one evening at the O'Henry when Mary's boyfriend grew resnetful at all the attention she was getting from aother men. Taking her aside, he began

berating her for what he perceived as playful reciprocation. Mary did not respond well to her boyfriend's accisations and, tearing herself from his covetous grasp, made her way out of the crowded ballroom and into the cold January night. Whether her boyfrirend's jealous eyes detected genuine flirtation or not would be reduced to a forgettable detail in Mary's legend. The wind was cold and firce as Mary strode away from the ballroom. Snow began falling when reached Archer Avenue, and before long she was staggering though a raging blizzard. Mary had left the ballroom in such haste that she didn't botherr to take her coat with her--an oversight she regretted as she tried to make her way down the nearly deserted, snow-choked street. She began to grow desperately cold when a pair of headlights appeared from out of the night behind her. Hoping to get

a ride in the approaching automobile, Mary leapt onto the road, waving her arms to get the driver's attention. It would be her last conscious action. The driver was navigating through the thick snowfall with morethan a little diffculty. Knowing he wouldn't be able to make any abrupt stops, he relied on his familiarity with the road to keep him out of any trouble. So he knew there was going to be trouble when Mary suddenly appeared in his headlights, no more than a dozen yards ahead. He slammed on the breaks violently, but it was too late. Skidding out of control, the driver saw the look of terror on Mary's face just before he plowed into her. The car skid a few more yards before finally coming to a stop. Although barely able to discern the figure lying on the ground in his rearview mirror, the driver could make out enough to see that wide crimson streaks were spreading across the white of her dress and the snow she lay upon. Dimbstuck by the violence of the collision, he only sat there staring for a few minutes before the horrible realization of what happened dawned on him. Reacting

more out of fear than anything eles, he stepped on the gas and sped out into the stormy night, leaving the dead body of Mary Bregavy on the road. The snow gathered over her open eyes and melted in the blood-soaked fabric of her elegant white dress.The odentity of the driver was never discovered, and mary was buried shortly after in nearby Resurrection Cemetery. Yet while her life was effectively terminated on that dark January night, Mary's story had just begun. Accounts of strange experiences on Archer Avenue begun about five years later. Drivers on the road at night told of their run-ins with a disturbingly beautiful women in a white dress. During the winter months, a blonde-haired women would suddenly appear on the side of the road, waving for assistance. Because Mary's dress seems inadequate for the frigid evening temperature, motorists almost always stop to let her in. Thoughout the years, she has invariably been described as extraordinarily attractive, with cold blue eyes and brilliant blonde hair, dressed in a thin white dress. Many have commented on the notable lack of animation in her voice when she asks

for a lift, while others, so taken with her ethereal beauty, have not been able to recall what she says,let alone how she sounds when she says it. But all remember driving north on Archer Avenue with this stunning women on the passenger side, waiting fort further directions on where to let her off. They never seem to drive beyond Resurtrection Cemetery. For the moment theey pass by the front gates of the sprawling cemrtery, the mysterious women suddenly vanishes. Others have witnessed different manifestations of the active spirit on Archer Avenue. Some motorists have been shocked out of the peaceful stillness of their nocturnal commutes at the sight of a women's disembodied head hovering by the side of the road. It isseen floating just outside Resurrection Cemetery, looking blankly at terrified drivers going by. She matches the description of the hitchhiker on Archer Avenue, with blonde hair, blue eyes and incredible beauty. Her head never remains for lond, disappearing in the moment it takes for drivers to glance over thier shoulders. As startling as such sightings have been, the pale apparition has also been responsible for more than one near-accident over the years. No one konws why she seems to grow so animated at times, but more than once she has been known to run at cars as they pass by the entrance to Resurrection Cemetery, approaching terrified motorists with a preternatural speed. She has even jumped up on

the sides of some vehicles, standing on the sideboards of moving cars as frightened drivers swerve on the road, trying to recover from their sudden terror. In the next instant she is gone, leaving motorists wondering if they might be going mad. Yet as these events continuedto occur over the years, locals began to accept the presence of the ghost near resurrection Cemetery. Fright-filled accounts were recounted across the state. Before long, people connected the beautiful phantom to the death of Mary Bregavy in 1934. The physical chaeacteristics of the ghost loosely matched the descriptions people offered to the young Polish women while she was alive, except perhaps, for a stange hypnotic quality she never displayed. The specter's attachment to Resurrection Cemetery--the same graveyard where Mary Bregavy was buried--was not lost on locals, and the phantpm of Archer Avenue was soon named Resurrection Mary. Her unusually

frequent appearances among Chicagoans would make her one of America's most famous spirits. Resurrection Mary does not seem to mind the attention. As the years have passed, incidents on Archer Avenue have ensured that her legend remains current. Even today, cab drivers driving at night are extra cautious while driving down the now-infamous stretch of road, all too mindful of the stories of a women in white subbenly appearing in front of motoriststs. Every one of them knows someone who konws someone who, in a moment of incredible fear, has run over the young pedestrian, only to see her vanish the moment she comes into contact with the car hood. Ever-increasing numbers of young men claim to have spent strange, almost dream-like evenings with a mysterious women they met in the Willowbrook. Their stories are always the same. They spend the whole night dancing with the young women, after which she asks them for a ride home. She gives directions that lead north up Archer avenue, but no man has ever found out where her home is, for without fail she always vanishes when they pass the gate outside Resurrection Cemetery. Perhaps the cemetery is Mary's new home. If this indeed is the case, there is some evidence that she isn't happy about it. The most famous sighting of the young ghost occurred one night in December 1977 when a passing motorist noticed the lightly dressed apparition just inside the cemetery. She was standing against the bronze barrier od the front gate, her

bone-white hands clenched around two bars, pulling at them desperatey. She looked distressed and angry as she yanked on the cemetery gate. My friend stopped at a payphone to call the police, reporting that a young women was trapped in Resurrection Cemetery. By the time the authorities arrived, she was gone. This isn't to say that there was no trace of the women in question. For two of the bronze bars were inexplicably damaged. Both were wawrped and bent, as if they had been transformed by some ummense heat. If discovery wasn't strange enough, the police noticed that two handprints were pressed into both of the damaged bars--evidence of the strength of some unsually powerful being. When word of the community, the spirit of Resurrection Mary became the accepted explanation. Soon afterwards, people were coming from near and far to look at the ghostly handprints embedded in the warped metal. Embarrassed by the public furor over the damaged gate, the cemetery authorities tried to provide alernate explanations. They spread word about a loading truck that had backed up into the gate. When people brought up the handprints in the bent bars, officials changed theur story, claiming that steelworkers had accidentally damaged the gate while working on it; the marks on the gate were caused by their hands, encased in protective welders'gloves. No one though much of this explanation, and as crowds continued to congregate around the graveyard gates, the staff at Resurrection Cemetery decided to take drastic measyres. A week before Halloweenm in 1978, the two troublesome bars were removed completely, effectively putting an end to the controversy. Although the physical evidence may have been removed from pudlicsight, nopthing could erase the warped barts from the public memory. After the incident at the gates, Resurrection Mary became something od a supernatural celebrity. To this day, her name is synonymous with the "vanishing hitchhiker" story that is told and retold across the country. Many people describing their experiences with phantom commuters on American roadsides will often talk of their own "Resurrection Mary-type" encounters with similar details. In fact, the Resurrection Mary story has achieved the greatest prominence among highway hauntings. Perhaps this honor reflects her striking looks or the tragedy of her death. Or perhaps her fame might be attributed to the frequency of her aooeaerances along Archer Avenue and in the Willowbrook still report their mesmerizing encounters with an astonishing young beauty, while motorisrs driving Archer Avenue late at night continue to spot the well-dressed specter on the side od the road, waiting for a ride home to the desolate rows of tombstores in Resurrection Cemetery.

This is a true story from my friend

Ben have a great day or night