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The Mystery of Resurrection Mary

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For nearly a century Chicago residents have come face to face with the ghostly apparition of Resurrection Mary – dubbed "the most famous vanishing hitchhiker story in the world".

Since the days of the mob, the Prohibition Era of the 1930s, many hardy souls have encountered the beguiling phantasm.

Driving their motor cars along Archer Avenue near Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, ILL , just south of the Windy City, men have reported meeting a young blue-eyed blonde woman clad in a shimmering white dress.

These gentlemen then offer a lift to the enchanting specter. When they approach the cemetery, Mary asks to be let out, often screaming for the driver to stop, before vanishing through the gate to Death's cold embrace.

One man, Jerry Palus, claimed he met Mary at a dance hall in 1936. After frolicking with the phantasm, he tried to kiss her. His desire was quelled when she disappeared into the bone yard.

According to a 1979 story in the Suburban Trib, a cab driver, Ralph, picked up a young woman he called "a looker" near a small shopping center on Archer Avenue. Driving along, she abruptly ordered the cabbie to halt.

"And then she sticks out her arm and points across the road to my left and says 'There!' That's when it happened," he told the newspaper. "I looked to my left…And when I turned she was gone. Vanished! And the car door never opened!"

Many reported incidents also say motorists have swerved to avoid hitting the roadside wraith.

In August 1976, Resurrection Mary reputedly burned her handprint onto the cemetery's wrought iron fence gate and pulled the bars apart.

Parapsychology expert and author of "Creepy Chicago" Ursula Bielski, told C2C she believes Resurrection Mary may be the spirit of a teen named Anna "Marija" Norkus".

According to Bielski's research, Anna was a devout Christian who used Marija for Mary as her middle name. A "slim and vivacious girl" the blonde had begged her father to take her dancing for her birthday. On July 20, 1927, accompanied by a family friend and his date, the father and daughter hit the O Henry Ballroom. But returning home, at 1:30 AM, the car went out of control, smashing into a 25 foot deep unmarked ditch near Resurrection Cemetery. The pretty girl was dead. The grief stricken father buried Marija in her last party dress. Soon, a spirit of a young teenage girl was reportedly sighted wandering near the crash site.

So remember, if you're driving down Archer Avenue on a dark and stormy night and you see an eerie gal - don't bother to stop. The only place Resurrection Mary wants to go is to her final destination.

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