Resurrection Mary

Informant, speaking in low tones, holding hands out, but still relaxed: There’s a ghost named Resurrection Mary who is supposed to haunt the road near a graveyard on the southwest side of Chicago [Gesturing in a Direction]. Apparently, she died on her way to prom so what you see is a young girl in a prom dress [Gestures to Body and Ground] hitchhiking near the cemetery.

Author: That’s awesome! So have you ever seen her?

Informant, nonchalantly shaking head: Nope. Never.

Author: So when would you hear this story or when did you hear this story first? Did it ever scare you?

Informant, shrugging: My mom has told me about it a few times. It didn’t ever scare me but that’s probably because I didn’t hear it ’til I was a bit older.

Informant was notably not as excited about this story, as the next stories he shared.¬†Informant’s excitement over stories about the origins of his town and his favorite sports team from his home town, indicate what it really important to him, and perhaps to other Chicagoans. He was not as excited about this ghost story more typically associated with the roads around his neighborhood than the stories about Chicago itself. To be a Chicagoan, or to be a Cubs fan, is clearly a larger identity than simply to be someone who lives in a city, or a specific suburb.

Resurrection Mary, though, is a popular story, and has been made into a film twice:

Resurrection Mary [2005]. Film. Directed by Michael Lansu. Aurora, IL: Maxim Media International, 2005.

Resurrection Mary [2007]. Film. Directed by Sean Michael Beyer. Beverly Hills, CA: Entertaiment Studios Home Entertainment, 2007.