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Chicago’s Most Haunted #4: Resurrection Cemetery at 7201 South Archer Avenue in Justice, Illinois
It’s not the cemetery that’s haunted; it’s the hitchhiker. Resurrection Cemetery in Chicago is home to the infamous, vanishing hitchhiker spirit: Resurrection Mary.
Her story is very well documented. Most paranormal investigators believe Mary is the ghost of a young woman named Anna Marija Norkus. She died in a car accident near Resurrection Cemetery in 1927.
The ghost first appeared in the early 1930s along a lonely stretch of Archer Avenue. More than 35 witnesses have come forward to tell their encounters with Mary since then. All stories have these elements in common:
- They are driving alone between Willowbrook and Justice, Illinois;
- They see a blond, teenage girl wearing a white dress, shawl and dancing shoes, walking along the side of the road;
- She asks for a ride home and gets in the backseat;
- She says stop by the main gates of the cemetery;
- She vanishes into thin air.
In some cases, motorists have hit Mary, but she disappears once the driver exits the car.
In 1976, a witness had an unusual encounter with Mary. He had just stopped by the cemetery gates and Mary got out of his car. She walked up to the closed gates and tried to open them. Her hands left burn marks on the iron. Then, she disappeared. The maintenance staff replaced the gates within a few days.
Why is Resurrection Cemetery #4 on the list?
Mary hasn’t been seen since 1989. Until then, her appearances seemed to be two to three years apart, so you have to be lucky to see her. She may have moved on because there’s such a large gap between her last appearance and today. Resurrection Cemetery doesn’t have any other known ghosts haunting it. If you get evidence of Mary, you’ll be a paranormal rock star.
Ghost Hunting Tips
Audio data is difficult to collect during the day. The cemetery is on a busy street, a flight path to Midway airport, and by an active rail line. The background noise from cars, trains and planes will smother any ghostly voice evidence. It’s better to focus on visual evidence. In this case, you don’t need an infrared camera. Mary can be strong enough to generate a life-like apparition. A digital camera should work. You also want to go ghost hunting at night because witnesses have only seen her then. The cemetery doesn’t allow anyone inside after dark, but you can investigate along Archer Avenue’s shoulder. It’s fairly wide, so you should have room to setup your equipment. If possible, I also recommend using an electromagnetic field (EMF) generator to help Mary manifest. She may be dormant and needs the energy to appear.