A young man went out dancing at the Willowbrook Ballroom in Willow Springs, Illinois, and meets a young, attractive polish girl with long flowing blond hair in a beautiful white dress. The man asked her to dance. She wasn't very talkative. He took her hand guiding her to the dance floor, thinking she felt quite cold to the touch but there is something about her that is both exciting and mysterious.
|The main gate of Resurrection Cemetery on Archer Avenue in Justice, Illinois.|
The next day he remembers that he has her address in is pocket. He drives to her house to ensure that his date made it home safely. An older woman answeres the door. he asks for Mary. He is invited in and takes a seat on the sofa. The young man notices photographs on the credenza and immediately recognizes one picture as the woman that he had danced with the night before. The old lady told him that her daughter was killed by a hit-and-run driver coming home from a night of dancing some years ago.
The above legend is a conglomerate of stories told about the "vanishing hitchhiker" along Archer Avenue known as "Resurrection Mary." Some eyewitnesses have reported seeing a young blond girl in a white dress step out in front of their car only to disappear. Some have seen "Mary" hitchhiking along Archer Avenue near Resurrection Cemetery only to have her disappear on second glance. Others still have had very vivid recollections of actually dancing with her. Mary has been a rite of passage for youthful drivers on the southwest side of Chicago, especially on Halloween, for many years and one of the most beloved spirits of the Chicagoland area.
Law Enforcement Officer's Story
A Cook County Sheriff was on patrol in the early 1980s and was across the street from Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, Illinois parked next to and chatting with a Justice police officer. The Justice policeman was keeping an eye on the cemetery entrance that night because it was so close to Halloween, to discourage vandals and curiosity seekers from entering the cemetery after dark, while it was closed.
As they were talking, a car pulled up to them at a high rate of speed and a female jumped from the vehicle. She looked terrified and was screaming that they had just seen "Resurrection Mary!" along Archer Avenue near the Fairmount Cemetery. Fairmount Cemetery is within eyeshot of The Willowbrook Ballroom which is one of the locations associated with the legend of "Mary".
|The Willowbrook Ballroom, formerly the "Oh Henry," where Mary allegedly danced.|
As they passed the Willowbrook Ballroom, they said they actually did see a glowing figure disappear into the woods near the Fairmount Cemetery. He was actually a little bit startled at seeing this and pulled off the road to investigate. He started to walk into the woods with his gun drawn, chuckling, because he didn't know how his gun was going to protect him from a ghost!
He caught another glimpse of the figure in the woods and it was quickly gone again! He walked in the direction of where he last saw the glowing figure and he couldn't believe that he could see a figure wearing a glowing white dress behind a group of trees! His voice cracking, he identified himself as a police officer and ordered the figure to come out from behind the trees. The figure moved and started walking toward him. What he saw next was... well shocking! As the figure came closer he could see that it was actually a male figure wearing a white dress and blonde wig. The male subject had covered the dress in the liquid from numerous glow sticks causing it to glow in the dark.
This is the censored version of what the Justice policeman said to this individual. "What the heck do you think you are doing out here!" The individual explained that he had been dressing up like "Resurrection Mary" for the past 10 years in the 1970s-1980s and scaring people along Archer Ave as it got close to Halloween.
He asked him if there was anyone else in the woods and the guy yelled to a number of his friends to come out. They were hiding with video cameras and lights. Of course, now it was funny and other police officers were showing up to get a gander at "Mary" and it started taking on a kind of "circus atmosphere." Some officers had taken Polaroid pictures standing next to and putting their arms around "Mary."
They finished by deciding to extend "Mary" and her friends some grace and let them go with a stern warning to cease their ghostly activities or face prosecution for startling motorists and possibly causing an accident.
The next day it was apparent that "Mary" had not heeded their advice and it was also painfully apparent that the Cook County Sheriff's Police did not find his antics as amusing as the local authorities did. The glowing drag queen, in handcuffs and being "assisted" into a Cook County Cruiser, he thought that this would be a really cool booking photo!graph!
|Thought to be Resurrection Mary's Mugshot.|
Edited by Neil Gale, Ph.D.