If you ever find yourself driving down Archer AVE in Chicago ,Illinois be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a female hitchhiker. She is said to be a very good looking woman with blonde hair and blue eyes, wearing a white party dress. I know this doesn’t sound too odd in this and time, but wait it gets better. The lady is said to seem 100% solid one second, and then vanish in the blink of an eye. She was first documented being seen around Resurrection Cemetery in the middle to late 1930’s. Since this is where she was mostly seen at this time she came to be known as “Resurrection Mary.”
When the stories of Mary first started, passersby claimed that she they would first see the a few feet up the road. When they got up beside her she would attempt to jump onto the running boards of their automobiles and vanish. All of this seemed to happen right as they got to the cemetery.
Years after the first accounts new ones started to pop up. These seemed to be more interesting. They didn’t seem to center around the cemetery now. The stories now tend to begin either in or around the old O Henry Ballroom. Some accounts have her walking down the road near the ballroom and then get picked up, and some actually have her in the ballroom itself dancing with guests before being given a ride. Most of the ones that gave them rides were given bad directions by Mary that usually ended up with them driving by the cemetery and her disappearing right before their eyes at the gates. Descriptions of woman always seemed to match exactly. The other sightings weren’t as pleasant. Drivers would be startled when a blonde woman in a white dress would dart across the road. Usually the cars would drive right through her. When they stopped to see what happened they would see her turn and cross through the gates, never to be seen again.
There is one account that is different than all the rest. This account supposedly has evidence of its happening. Now wether this is 100% true story or not I’m not sure but it’s still pretty neat. Here is the story according to prairieghost.com:
“The strangest account of Mary was the one that occurred on the night of August 10, 1976. This event has remained so bizarre after all this time because on this occasion, Mary did not just appear as a passing spirit. It was on this night that she left evidence behind!
A driver was passing by the cemetery around 10:30 that night when he happened to see a girl standing on the other side of the gates. He said that when he saw her, she was wearing a white dress and grasping the iron bars of the gate. The driver was considerate enough to stop down the street at the Justice police station and alert them to the fact that someone had been accidentally locked in the cemetery at closing time. An officer responded to the call but when he arrived there was no one there. The graveyard was dark and deserted and there was no sign of any girl.
But his inspection of the gates, where the girl had been seen standing, did reveal something. The revelation chilled him to the bone! He found that two of the bars in the gate had been pulled apart and bent at sharp angles. To make things worse, at the points on the green-colored bronze where they had been pried apart were blackened scorch marks. Within these marks was what looked to be skin texture and handprints that had been seared into the metal with incredible heat.
The marks of the small hands made big news and curiosity-seekers came from all over the area to see them. In an effort to discourage the crowds, cemetery officials attempted to remove the marks with a blowtorch, making them look even worse. Finally, they cut the bars off and installed a wire fence until the two bars could be straightened or replaced.
The cemetery emphatically denied the supernatural version of what happened to the bars. They claimed that a truck backed into the gates while doing sewer work at the cemetery and that grounds workers tried to fix the bars by heating them with a blowtorch and bending them. The imprint in the metal, they said, was from a workman trying to push them together again. While this explanation was quite convenient, it did not explain why the marks of small fingers were clearly visible in the metal.
The bars were removed to discourage onlookers, but taking them out had the opposite effect and soon, people began asking what the cemetery had to hide. The events allegedly embarrassed local officials, so they demanded that the bars be put back into place. Once they were returned to the gate, they were straightened and painted over with green paint so that the blackened area would match the other bars. Unfortunately though, the scorched areas continued to defy all attempts to cover them and the twisted spots where the handprints had been impressed remained obvious until just recently, when the bars were removed for good.”
One question that many have tried to find the answer of is who was Mary and did she actually exist? I found this answer on prairieghost.com as well, and it seems plausible:
“Most researchers agree that the most accurate version of the story concerns a young girl who was killed while hitchhiking down Archer Avenue in the early 1930’s. Apparently, she had spent the evening dancing with a boyfriend at the O Henry Ballroom. At some point, they got into an argument and Mary (as she has come to be called) stormed out of the place. Even though it was a cold winter’s night, she thought, she would rather face a cold walk home than another minute with her boorish lover.
She left the ballroom and started walking up Archer Avenue. She had not gotten very far when she was struck and killed by a passing automobile. The driver fled the scene and Mary was left there to die.
Her grieving parents buried her in Resurrection Cemetery, wearing a white dress and her dancing shoes. “
Who Resurrection Mary really was will more than likely never be known. For all we know it could be a compilation of stories. However I will say that if it is, it’s a very good story. I hope that this has intrigued you enough to go out and do some research on who Mary could have been. Maybe, if you’re brave enough you’ll venture out to Chicago and take a drive down Archer AVE and experience Mary for yourself………
Stories and Accounts used from www.prairieghosts.com