Things That Go Bump In The Night – Resurrection Mary

Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop 2015

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You’re driving home late at night in Illinois.  The weather is rainy, and you see a young woman in a white dress on the side of the road.  Normally you don’t pick up hitchhikers, but something about the weather makes you stop and offer a ride.

Your passenger is quiet for the most of the drive.  You notice her hairstyle or clothing is a little out-of-date, but maybe she was coming from a costume party. When you ask her where she’s heading, her only reply is “home,” if she chooses to answer you at all.  The only time she becomes excited is when she demands you pull over the car.  She dashes out almost before the car stops moving.  By the time you’ve put the car in park, she’s disappeared.  That is when you realize you are in front of a cemetery and you’ve met one of its most famous inhabitants. You just gave a ride to Resurrection Mary.

Resurrection Mary’s story is similar to other vanishing hitchhiker tales.  The driver picks up a passenger who disappears upon reaching their destination.  The story told most often about Resurrection Mary is that she was a woman who went out dancing with her sweetheart.  She and her boyfriend quarreled at some point, and she ran off, despite the bad weather.  She is hit by a car and killed.  The driver is never found. Her grief-stricken parents bury her in a white dress and dancing shoes, wanting her to rest in peace.

It wasn’t long before the stories started about a woman in a white dress being spotted on the side of the road.  She would request a ride to the Resurrection Cemetery, where she would disappear.  Other people would report seeing a woman behind the locked gates, trying to get out.  When the police would show up to release her, no one was found.  A pair of bent bars scorched with what looked like human palm palm prints was found.  The cemetery caretakers claimed the marks were caused by a botched repair job and eventually replaced that section of the bars.

Resurrection Mary sightings have tapered off since the 1970’s and 80’s, but she is occasionally seen walking along the road. Attempts have been made to link her to one of several Marys who are buried in the cemetery.   Author Ursula Bielski has documented a possible connection to Anna “Marija”Norkus.

So the next time you see a young woman in white walking down the road, if you’re feeling brave, pull over and offer her a ride.  You might be giving a ride to a ghost.

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33 Replies to “Things That Go Bump In The Night – Resurrection Mary

    1. I live in the area near the Winchester Mystery House. It’s either crazy haunted or not a ghost to be seen depending on how popular ghosts are at the moment. I think Resurrection Mary sightings may follow that too.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  1. I lived in Chicago and the southwest suburbs my whole life. Resurrection Mary was not only a Halloween staple but we always looked for her daily as we drove by the cemetery. Her sightings are year round.

  2. I have heard this tale in MS my entire life, but haven’t heard it called by this name. I love the pumpkin; thank you so much for the chance to win. michelle_willms at yahoo dot com

    1. I’ve heard similar ones out here in CA. In fact, one I discovered while researching this, is centered about fifty miles north of me.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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