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Taken from first-person accounts and historical documents, this book chronicles more than 300 examples of alien encounters, conspiracy theories, and the influence of extraterrestrials on human events throughout history. Investigating claims of visits from otherworldly creatures, aliens living among us, abductions of humans to alien spacecraft, and accounts of interstellar cooperation since the UFO crash in Roswell, this discussion of the theories and mysteries surrounding aliens is packed with thought-provoking stories and shocking revelations of alien involvement in the lives of Earthling
Resurrection Mary is a famous ghost story
and is considered by many to be the original
hitchhiker ghost story. It takes place around
the Chicago area in Justice, Illinois. Many
travelers down Archer Avenue -- a street
which runs through the city of Chicago --
and its South Suburbs, have reported seeing
a young blonde girl walking by, some who
have seen her have claimed to even have
given her a ride. The girl is said to be
very quiet once picked up and disappears
once the driver passes the gates of Resurrection
Cemetery in Justice Illinois.
first, first-person account came from Jerry
Palus, a south-side man who recently died.
He picked up a girl at the Liberty Grove
and Hall near 47th and Mozart and danced
with her the entire evening. The only strange
thing is that she was very cold to the touch.
Later she asked for a ride home which was
somewhere in the Bridgeport area of Chicago
but decided she'd like to go for a ride
past the large Catholic cemetery along Archer
Avenue, Resurrection. As they began to approach
the main gates, she began to act very strangely.
She told Jerry to pull the car off the road
and, for some reason, she had to run toward
the cemetery and that Jerry could not follow.
Before he knew what was happening, she darted
from the car, ran towards the main gates
but disappeared before reaching those gates
in plain view of Jerry. He then began to
put all of this together and surmised that
he had been with a ghost that evening. On
a later visit to the home of Mary, he was
greeted by a woman who told him that her
daughter had been dead for sometime. He
even saw a picture of her sitting on a table
and was convinced that she was the same
girl he had been with. However, that was
Cemetery is located at 7600 S. Archer Ave.
in Justice, Illinois.
Resurrection Mary Legend
One of the many legends of Resurrection
Mary is that she was a young Polish girl,
perhaps named Mary Bregovy. Even though
Bregovy was killed in an auto accident in
1934, it is unlikely that she was returning
home from the Oh Henry Ballroom/Willowbrook
Ballroom, as some have claimed. The accident
in which she was killed took place on Wacker
Drive in downtown Chicago. The car that
she was riding in collided with an elevated
train support and she was thrown through
the windshield. This is a far cry from being
killed by a hit-and-run driver on Archer
claimed that Mary was actually the ghost
of a young woman named Mary Miskowski, who
was killed crossing the street one night
in October 1930 on her way to a costume
from the Suburban Trib, January 31, 1979
and written by Bill Geist:
"It was Thursday night - would have
been two weeks ago - and I was lost, basically,"
says Ralph , a cab driver.
dropped this big spender way the hell down
in Palos Heights or Hills or someplace like
that and was trying to make my way back
to the tollway. I'd just turned on to Archer,
down there where it's still a lonely road,
especially at midnight.
"And there she was. She was standing
there with no coat on by the entrance
to this little shopping center. No coat!
And it was one of those real cold ones,
"She didn't put out her thumb or
nothing like that. She just looked at
my cab. Of course, I stopped. I figured
maybe she had car trouble or something.
"She hopped right in the front seat.
She had on this fancy kind of white dress,
like she'd just been to a wedding or something,
and those new kind of disco-type shoes,
with the straps and that.
"She was a looker. A blond. I didn't
have ideas or like that; she was young
enough to be my daughter - 21 tops.
"I asked her where she was going
and she said she had to get home. I asked
her what was wrong, if she'd had car trouble
or what but she really didn't answer me.
She was fuzzy. Maybe she'd had a couple
of drinks or something or was just tired.
I don't know.
"Oh, the only thing she did say
really was 'The snow came early this year'
or 'The snows came early this year' or
like that. Other than that she just nodded
when I asked sometimes if we were supposed
to just keep going up Archer. She was
just looking out the window at the snow
and the trees and that. Her mind was a
million miles away. Maybe she smoked something
or something. Who knows?
"A couple miles up Archer there,
she jumped with a start like a horse and
said 'Here! Here!' I hit the brakes.
looked around and didn't see no kind of
house. 'Where?' I said. And then she sticks
out her arm and points across the road to
my left and says 'There!'
that's when it happened.
looked to my left, like this, at this little
shack. And when I turned she was gone.
"And the car door never opened.
May the good Lord strike me dead, it never
I hope Ralph is reading this, because
I've learned since talking with him that
there's a simple explanation for what
He was understandably upset - and not
just about being stiffed for the fare
- both when he told me the story over
the phone and when he repeated it in person.
He wouldn't tell me his last name. He
wouldn't give me his telephone number
or let me see the car he was going to
leave in. "You might trace my phone
or my plates and put my name in the paper
and make me look like a maniac or an idiot,"
he said. "No way. I'll call you."
He says he is not an idiot or a maniac,
but rather "a typical 52-year-old
working guy, a veteran, father, Little
League baseball coach, churchgoer, the
This simple explanation, Ralph is that
you picked up the Chicago area's preeminent
ghost: Resurrection Mary. All you have
to do to accept this explanation and start
resting easy is to start believing in
ghosts - something you seem reluctant
I hadn't heard of her either when we
talked. But Resurrection Mary is a legend
and has been one - particularly in the
Polish neighborhoods on the Southwest
side and southwest suburbs of Chicago
- for about 40 years. There have been
numerous reported encounters with her
in that time.
The ballroom was closed Friday, January
12, and for about two weeks thereafter,
owing to the blizzard. But Thursday the
11th it was open until midnight, an estimated
ten minutes before Ralph says he picked
up his gowned hitchhiker three blocks
a special night in the ballroom: a single
night, for those without escorts to come
and dance the waltz and the foxtrot just
the way they did here for 40 years.
theories suggest that Resurrection Mary
is the ghost of a twelve-year-old Polish
girl named Anna Norkus, who called
herself Marija (Mary) in devotion to Mary,
the mother of Jesus. "Marija"
loved dancing and persuaded her father to
take her to the Oh Henry Ballroom/Willowbrook
Ballroom as a birthday present. However,
they were both in a car accident on the
way home, an accident which killed "Marija."
This leads some to claim that Resurrection
Mary is really Anna "Marija" Norkus.
However, Resurrection Mary's dance partners
are the first to vigorously note that their
spectral date was closer to eighteen or
twenty than to twelve or thirteen years
old. Other researchers have turned up stories
of girls named Mary who died on or near
Archer Avenue, but none of them precede
the first sightings in the 1930s.
to Resurrection Cemetery is recessed from
the road. These gates were closed when
a person driving by afterdark reported
seeing a young woman trapped inside, clutching
the bars. Hand prints found on the bars
the next day were attributed to Resurrection
Mary.That building you see straight ahead
is NOT a mausoleum. It is the cemetery
offices and is where the rest rooms and
other conveniences are located. NEVER
ask about "Resurrection Mary"
in the office. No they want nothing to
do with the "legend" and will
not answer any questions about it.
Mary have been going on for years but seem
to have stopped around the early 1980s when
Archer Avenue underwent severe construction.
The original road that Mary is said to have
walked down has since been raised and changed
and believers suggest that this may have
stopped the walking of her spirit. Despite
this reports still show up occasionally
from people seen the apparition walking
from time to time. She has also reportedly
burned her handprints into the gate at the
cemetery. These prints apparently could
not be painted over until the fence was
She is always encountered as, and
perceived to be a real living person
- in fact she is categorized as
a "Vanishing Hitchhiker Ghost."
Several people have reported picking
up this pretty lone hitchhiker and
taking her to or from the ballroom.
As their car passes Resurrection
Cemetery, she usually vanishes into
thin air before the startled driver's
Resurrection Mary is described
as appearing to be a real, living
person, pale and blonde with rosy
cheeks, speaking very little, and
wearing a delicate white 1920's
style ball gown. Sometimes they
say a chill seems to emanate from
Mary's story may have inspired similar legends
in other cities. One such story, written
in 1965 by fifteen-year-old Cathie Harmon
for a Memphis, Tennessee newspaper, was
picked up by psychologist-songwriter Milton
Addington, who used it as the basis for
Dickey Lee's song Laurie (Strange Things
Happen In This World).
It's a classic
ghost story. A young man spends an evening
dancing with a girl he has just met. He
offers to drive her home, but she insists
on getting out of the car when they pass
the cemetery gates. She runs off towards
the cemetery and disappears. In many versions
of the story, the boy discovers the true
nature of his dancing partner when he tracks
down the girl's parents who tell him their
daughter died several years before. But
though the story has many variations, they
have their origin in the real-life encounter
of Jarry Palus who, in 1936, met Chicago's
most famous ghost -- Resurrection Mary.
documented sighting of Resurrection Mary
was in 1936 when the aforementioned Jerry
Palus danced with a young woman at the Liberty
Grove Hall in Chicago (now demolished).
He offered to drive her home, and Mary directed
him to Archer Avenue. When they reached
the gates of Resurrection Cemetery, Mary
said she had to leave him and warned him
he could not follow her. She ran from the
car, vanishing as she reached the cemetery
gates. Later, in 1939, late-night motorists
driving along Archer Ave. complained to
police that a woman had tried to jump onto
the running boards of their cars.
This stretch of Archer Avenue is part
of Resurrection Mary's territory. Mary,
the hitchhiking ghost, is picked up
by drivers and disappears as they drive
past Resurrection Cemetery.
The greatest and most
well-documented Resurrection Mary sighting
occurred in 1976 when a police sergeant
from the Justice Police Department received
a late-night phone call from someone claiming
a blonde woman in a white dress had been
locked inside Resurrection Cemetery and
was wandering around just inside the gates.
Convinced it was a hoax, the police sergeant
arrived at the cemetery only to discover
that two of the bronze bars of the cemetery
gate had been pried apart. The bars were
scarred by scorch marks that bore the unmistakable
impression of finger and palm prints. The
phenomenon received widespread attention.
A year later cemetery employees removed
the two bars, sending them away to be blow-torched
and straightened. The bars were replaced,
but a single depression still remains which
many believe is a lingering thumbprint.
10, 1979 there was a massive blackout in
and along Archer Avenue but only in Justice.
Commonwealth Edison and the police were
riding around in the cemetery shining their
light in the mausoleum because it was determined
that the blackout was centered in the mausoleum
in the middle of the night.
Believers say the best
time to catch a glimpse of Mary is in the
early morning hours, preferably on a full
moon night. It also doesn't hurt if you're
a man because almost all of the documented
sightings of Resurrection Mary have been
by men. She may try to hitch a ride, or
you might see her walking along the side
of the road near the cemetery fence. But
no matter who she once was or what form
her appearance, she still remains Chicago's
most well-known and best-loved ghost.
Ballroom was formerly known as the O'HenryBallroom.
Legend has it that Mary and her friends
were dancing here on the cold January
night she died in a tragic auto accident.
A few years after her death, Mary was
reported to dance with young men at the
O'Henry. She'd request a ride home and
disappear from the vehicle while passing
Experience the Ghosts, Local Legends & Best Kept Secrets of the Windy City!
Bielski, Ursula. Chicago
Haunts: Ghostlore of the Windy City. Chicago:
Lake Claremont Press, 1998.
Crowe, Richard T. Chicago's
Street Guide to the Supernatural. Oak Park,
IL: Carolando Press,
Resurrection Mary's story
may have inspired similar legends in other
cities. One such story, written in 1965
by fifteen-year-old Cathie Harmon for a
Memphis, Tennessee newspaper, was picked
up by psychologist-songwriter Milton Addington,
who used it as the basis for Dickey Lee's
song Laurie (Strange Things Happen In This
Artist: Dickey Lee Lyrics
Song: Laurie (Strange Things Happen)
Last night at the dance I met
So lovely and warm, an angel of
Last night I fell in love with
Strange things happen in this
As I walked her home,
She said it was her birthday.
I pulled her close and said
"Will I see you anymore?"
Then suddenly she asked for my
And said that she was very, very
I kissed her goodnight
At her door and started home,
Then thought about my sweater
And went right back instead.
I knocked at her door and a man
I told why I'd come, then he said:
"You're wrong, son.
You weren't with my daughter.
How can you be so cruel
To come to me this way?
My Laurie left this world on her
She died a year ago today."
A strange force drew me to the
I stood in the dark,
I saw the shadows wave,
And then I looked and saw my sweater
Lyin' there upon her grave.
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