Haunted Places – Resurrection Cemetery – Chicago, IL
One of the largest cemeteries in North America, Resurrection Cemetery covers more than 500 acres. It is shaped like a very large, sprawling isosceles triangle and contains more than 153 thousand graves. More, it contains over 5300 crypts inside a mammoth mausoleum.
Consecrated as hallowed ground by the Roman Catholic church, the consecration took place in 1904 but the cemetery didn’t actually open until 1912. It was named for the feast day of the Roman Catholics that celebrates the resurrection of Christ. The cemetery is maintained by the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Chicago.
So many strange and unique events have taken place there that the local people who live near it have dubbed it the Resurrection Triangle. The cemetery is home to the most famous ghost –in Chicago, if not in America, known only as Resurrection Mary. Resurrection Mary haunts not only the cemetery, but also the surrounding area and even a ballroom that is close by, the Willowbrook Ballroom.
Just near the cemetery’s chapel, a lovingly designed area, the Statue that is known as the Resurrection of Christ stands, keeping watch over the cemetery. The large stone statue is said to be a favorite place for Mary and she has been repeatedly seen dancing around the foot of the statue, when she is not cavorting through the graveyard.
Since the 1930’s Resurrection Mary has been a part of the Chicago Resurrection Cemetery landscape. She was originally a local resident who was a regular at the dance hall. Legend says she had gone to a dance with her boyfriend on the O’Henry Ballroom, which is now the Willowbrook Ballroom. She and her steady boyfriend had a fight and she ran away from him. As she crossed the street up the road a little way, not watching where she was going, she was struck and killed by a hit and run. She was not found for several hours and left to die in the street.
Among the first people to see her and to recognize her was Gerald Palus, who was a frequent visitor to the Hall that was located near 47th street and Mozart. His memories of her and seeing her dancing lasted until he died in 1992.
He had seen her in the hall more than once and had asked her to dance. She did so and her hands were icy cold though she looked, according to him, as real as he was. He even commented to her, Cold hands, warm heart, but she did not reply, simply finished the dance and said she had to leave. He offered her a ride home. The woman gave him an address, but she then asked him to take her down Archer Road—the old name of the road, and as they approached the gates of the cemetery, she told him to pull over. He did so and she got out of the car and told him that she had to cross the road and he could not follow. She crossed the road and disappeared into the cemetery. When he saw her disappear, he understood that he had been with a ghost.
The next day he went to the original address the girl had given him has her home address. The woman who lived there answered the door before he even knocked, frightening him. He then told her about the girl and asked for her. Her mother informed him that he could not have been with her daughter because she had been dead for years.
His story was so real and real to him, and had been shared by so many people that Robert Stack recreated his evening on Unsolved Mysteries to showcase it and try to ask if anyone else would come forward who had the same experience. Multiple people came forward to say they had seen or met the beautiful blonde girl.
Resurrection Mary has also left her mark on the wrought iron fence. In August of 1976, the spirit is believed to have left her handprints on the iron fence as seen in the image. While the official story has become a truck causing the damage, the bars have never been fixed. Perhaps most strange, is how a truck could manage the obvious finger indentations in the bars.