Chicago’s Most Famous Ghost: Resurrection Mary

I remember seeing this episode of Unsolved Mysteries when I was a teenager and being really, really freaked out by it. Some little thing about it just got into my head and scared the crap out of me. Thanks to the magic of youtube, I can see it again now. I really don’t see what I found so scary about it now, though sometimes I wonder how I managed to go from having a terrible fear of cemeteries barely a decade ago to being a professional ghost buster today.

And for a whole lot more information, check out our Resurrection Mary Roundtable podcast episode!  My GHOSTS OF CHICAGO book also has a full database of known sightings and theories.

I’ve always been on the fence about Mary; there are more documented sightings of her than many local ghosts (some of which have only ever been seen by one particular tour guide), but it seems more like an urban legend to me. Variations of the vanishing hitchhiker story are seen all over the world, going back in recorded history over 2000 years. Oddly, while I’ve had eyewitnesses to many Chicago ghosts on my tours, I’ve never met anyone who had a good Mary encounter to share. The story has gone around so much by now that it’s difficult to know who to believe. But, one way or the other, it’s a great story that has captured the imaginations of generations of Chicagoans.

NOTE: Jane Addams of Hull House once made a speech about Archer Avenue in the Florentine Room of the Congress Hotel – a regular tic-tac-toe of Chicago ghost stories!

4 thoughts on “Chicago’s Most Famous Ghost: Resurrection Mary

  1. A story I heard, but can't recall where, is that Anna Norkus is the girl who grabbed the bars, and that her spirit is restless because she was buried ion the wrong cemetery. It also postulated that the ghost known as the "Archer Phantom" is her father's spirit, trying to find her.

  2. I found this information to be very interesting as I was not aware of there being three girls. I only knew of Mary Bregovy. I wish they would have kept better records so we could know more about these people and maybe solve the mystery once and for all.

  3. By all means, come to Chicago (and take a Weird Chicago tour – we can even book private Mary-themed tours), but I wouldn’t expect to see her. As a ghost tour guide and researcher, I’ve met people who’ve seen most of the more notable ghosts in town, but I’ve yet to meet a single person who’s seen Mary.

  4. I Live in England and i have been reading about Mary For a couple of years and im saving up to go to chicago to see her I truly believe the she is real.
    xx
    katey

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