If you're running the 5K in south suburban Justice on October 20 and you see a pretty blonde in a formal white dress jogging next to you, don't expect her to stick around for the whole race. I read recently that a local school named their 5K fundraiser after the urban legend Resurrection Mary. Althought the famous ghost usually prefers dancing at Willowbrook Ballroom, it's fun to think that she might join the joggers this time.
A beloved character in Chicago folklore, Mary is featured in many local guidebooks. Graveyards of Chicago by Matt Hucke and Ursula Bielski tells the tale of the girl who appears at the gates of Resurrection Cemetery, clutching the bars and asking passing drivers for a lift. By the time they reach the cemetery, she disappears.
Bielski's other book, Chicago Haunts, explains that some locals believe wholeheartedly in the legend, connecting the story to a girl who died in a car accident on Archer Avenue in the 1930s, while others insist that the story is an example of a "vanishing hitchhiker" urban legend.
Troy Taylor's Haunted Chicago records South Siders' firsthand encounters with Mary, who he calls "a mysterious, elusive and romantic spirit of the Windy City."
Here's a Travel Channel piece where Taylor chats about Mary's antics. Happy Haunting!