(itunes link will
above: Mary Bregovy,
from the Trib. article
about her death.
Last night I met with Ray Johnson, the Haunt Detective, and Dale Kaczmarek from the Ghost Research Society for a roundtable discussion about Resurrection Mary, Chicago’s most famous ghost. Is she real? How old is the story? Who is she the ghost of? Get the free episode on iTunes (or right here) now!
Resurrection Mary is one of those vanishing hitchhikers; people pick her up on the South Side and give her a ride home – only to have her vanish as they drive past Resurrection Cemetery at 7200 S. Archer. We spent an hour talking about the story, its origins, and the various theories as to who Mary might be the ghost of (assuming she exists at all). There’s some new information that we’ve recently uncovered – including stories of the cemetery gates, the night the police arrested “Resurrection Mary,” what the cemetery’s records say, and a whole lot more.
We discuss each of the major candidates:
Mary Bregovy, (above) killed in a wreck at Wacker and Lake in 1934. Though she’s brunette, not blonde (as most sightings say), she’s become the “classic” candidate. Some suggest that there are actually several ghosts in the cemetery.
Anna Mary Norkus, killed in a wreck on the south side in 1927 (the above is her original funeral record, which Ray brought with him – it indicates that she’s buried at St. Casimir, not Resurrection).
Mary Miskowsik (Mary Miskowsky) , said to be killed by a hit and run driver en route to a costume party in 1930 (now disproven).
We also touch on Mary Petkiewicz, a new candidate that Ray discovered, and Mary Bojacz, (above) who was killed in a train wreck while en route to a funeral at Resurrection in 1921, and the poor young women named Mary who were buried at Resurrection after dying in the Eastland disaster.
Here’s the Wade Denning’s Ghost Story version of “The Hitch Hiker.” Chilling (if a little goofy – how convenient that they have a grave yard in the back yard!)
“The Night It Rained” from In a Dark Dark Room by Alvin Schwartz – the Easy Reader that introduced my generation to the vanishing hitch hiker legend.
The famous Unsolved Mysteries episode. Did they embellish Jerry Palus’s account? We aren’t sure he ever claimed to go to her house the next day.
And here is a pdf of a 1942 article on vanishing hitch hikers – the first known scholarly work on the subject. It’s interesting to note that when the Mary story is told, elements common to these (going to the house, finding a jacket on the grave) are a part of the story. However, in practically every version of the story any of us had heard first hand, Mary simply disappears out of the car, leaving the driver confused.