Resurrecting Mary

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Resurrecting Mary

Resurrection Mary

Many people have epic stories about riding in taxi cabs.  Some are stories of crazy passengers, some are hilarious cab drivers, and others may involve antics of riding around the city.  Some drivers share stories of wild adventures and even being stiffed.  What many people’s stories don’t include are stories of phantom passengers and vanishing ladies.


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A story of this type originates on the busy streets of Chicago.  This timeless ghost story originated in the 1930s and always centers around reports of drivers picking up a hitchhiker.  While the time, place, and drivers change, the description of the hitchhiker never does.

Resurrection Mary is always wearing a formal white party dress and dancing shoes.  She has striking blonde hair and ocean blue eyes.  She is often wearing a thin shawl and carrying a clutch.  Mary always makes the same request to her final destination- to be taken home.

Unfortunately, she never gets there.  Near the Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, Illinois, she frantically asks the driver to stop.  While the driver tries to determine where on earth the girl is trying to go, a glance over to the passenger seat shows an empty chair.  Resurrection Mary disappears before the driver realizes what has happened.  Courageous drivers exit and try to find the girl, always coming up as short as their cab fare.

Legend has it that the story originated at the Oh Henry Ballroom.  Mary and her fiance had spent the evening together, dancing and enjoying themselves.  Unfortunately, their lovely evening quickly ended in a fight.  In a fit of rage, Mary left the ball and began walking in the cold evening air, rather risking the freezing walk home than spend another moment fighting.  Poor Mary’s night quickly ended even more horribly that it had began.

While she was walking, huddled over and clutching her thin shawl, she was struck by a car who did not see her walking.  Not stopping, the car quickly raced away and Mary was left to die.  Her parents eventually came looking for her and were grief stricken to find the lifeless body of the beloved daughter, frozen in the snow.  She was buried in the Resurrection Cemetery, delicately placed in her white party dress.  The driver was never found.



The stories of Resurrection Mary’s last ride have continued to be reported since those early years.   On one account, a driver claims to have met the girl at a ball in 1939.  They danced all night and even sealed the evening with a kiss.  She asked the man for a ride home and he politely obliged.  She asked to be let out near the cemetery, but when the man went to open her door, she had disappeared.  In 1973, she was picked up again, this time at Harlow Nightclub.  A taxi driver went back to inquire about a girl matching her description, giving an identical story, seeking to find a way to get his cab fare.

Similar stories surfaced in 1976 to 1989, but many included either running down or almost hitting a similarly described woman near Resurrection Cemetery.  Each time, the woman disappeared before the driver could get out and have enough time to rush over, expecting to find a body.  In 1976, there were also reports that the burn marks that appeared at the gates of the Cemetery were from the hands of Resurrection Mary herself.

Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

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