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
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. Investigators 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.
Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor
Thanks to Ghosts of the
You may have thought we left Resurrection
Cemetery behind when we said good-bye and happy haunting to Resurrection Mary, but we’re back again with a different
apparition. Resurrection Mary has become such a well-known sighting now-even appearing on national television-that another
ghostly phenomenon that occurs near her home cemetery is all but forgotten.
This apparition involves a driverless
hearse-and old-time vintage horse-drawn hearse that is seen rushing out of the gates of Resurrection Cemetery and dashing
wildly down Archer Avenue. Oddly enough, its destination is another cemetery: St. James of Sag Cemetery which was in use earlier
in the 1900s.
Although it may seem odd for a hearse to rush from one cemetery to another-maybe he had taken a burial
to the wrong graveyard-you also have to take into account that the vehicle is driverless. Maybe the ghost horse was simply
following the route it knew best.
Many people have been startled by this odd sight as well as by peculiar occurrences
at the huge mausoleum that stands on the grounds of Resurrection Cemetery. Frequently in the middle of the night organ playing
has been heard and the lights in part of the building begin flickering wildly. When authorities are called to the scene there
is never anyone there or any logical explanation such as faulty wiring or an electrical storm for the behavior of the lights.
But there’s even more. Another manifestation is associated with this general area-the Sag Bridge ghost. It may
even be the same driverless hearse that appears to bolt from Resurrection Cemetery and is merely being seen at another point
on its journey crossing the Sag Bridge on Route 171.
At any rate, the vision was first seen by two visiting musicians
from Chicago who were in Lemont, Illinois, to give a performance at the St. James of Sag parish church. The sound of hoofbeats
awoke then n the middle of the night but when they went to the window to check on the noise they didn’t see any horses.
What they did see, however, was a black-haired woman dressed in white who was floating down the middle of the street. However,
the horses that had been making the clatter then appeared, pulling a dark vehicle behind them. The shocked musicians watched
in amazement as seconds later both the woman in white and the dark vehicle were swallowed into the road. No explanation has
even been given as to who the white lady might have been or the reason for the appearance of the dark vehicle. The answers
seem to have been swallowed into the ground with the apparitions.
by Dylan Clearfield
Copyright © Gary Stempien