The Night I Was Terrified by Chicago’s Most Famous Ghost by Stephanie Wink

The Night I Was Terrified by Chicago’s Most Famous Ghost

by Stephanie Wink

What you are about to read is an account of what turned out to be one of the most frightening experiences I have ever had! Back in October of 1976, I had an experience that would change my life forever. The night I realized that ghosts really do exist. Let me explain.

During the 1970’s I grew interested in Occult sciences. I studied the likes of Anton LeVay, Allister Crowley and a host of other occult authors. As I became more interested, I started exploring places that were reported to be haunted.

On a chilly night in late October 1976, a close friend and I decided to ride out to Resurrection Cemetery on the south side of Chicago. Resurrection Cemetery was considered to be one of the most haunted sites in the Chicago area. The cemetery was supposedly haunted by a girl named “Mary.” “Mary” was a teenage girl who was killed at a very young age and then was buried in Resurrection Cemetery. Her ghost has been repeatedly seen haunting the bordering streets, nearby businesses, as well as hitching rides with unsuspecting road travelers. Legend has it that she would suddenly appear in cars (dressed in her white gown and smelling of sweet perfume) and asked to be dropped off at the dance hall where she danced as a teenager and met the man who ultimately cut her life so short. She became known as ” the hitchhiking ghost.” Some feel her spirit is earthbound due to the circumstances surrounding her death. Neither of us really believed any of these stories and didn’t expect to see anything.

We drove to the cemetery after dinner. Being born and raised on the north side of Chicago, we were both very unfamiliar with the area. For at least an hour, we drove around the area and couldn’t find the famous cemetery. Finally, we asked directions and managed to find it.

When we arrived, both of us were very surprised at the size of the cemetery. I can still remember thinking about how huge it is. Being curious, we decided to stop at each of the cemetery’s gates. We looked through each gate door to see if we could see “Mary.” I remember feeling disappointed and kind of embarrassed with myself. We wasted a whole evening and didn’t see or feel anything.

It was getting late so we decided to head home. My friend was driving and I was in the front passenger seat. To pass time, we started chatting and I recall my friend stopping at a stop sign on one of the cemetery’s bordering streets.

As we sat there, the car began to smell like flowers. The odor was overwhelming – smelling like cheap perfume. I can only describe the odor as strong, sweet, and musty. Both of us looked at each other. We couldn’t make up our minds if we should be excited or scared to death. I’d say we chose a combination of the two. At that moment, we both realized that the smell was coming from the back seat. Terrified, we were both afraid to turn around. She looked in the rear view mirror and nothing appeared. Slowly, we both turned to look in the back seat and nothing was there either. In our state of amazement, we pulled away from the stop sign to head home. The smell wouldn’t go away!

Totally baffled, we pulled over to the side of the road and decided to turn around to see if there was anything in the back seat. This time I felt the seat and there didn’t seem to be anything there. At this point, we knew that something incredible was happening to us. There was no doubt that something or someone was in the back seat. What was even more frightening is that the smell of flowers became even stronger.

At this point, we rolled down the car windows to see if the smell could have been coming from outside. There wasn’t any smell of flowers outside. The odor was definitely coming from inside the car.

Again, we both turned around. This time we felt a presence in the back seat. It was still invisible, but you could definitely feel it. The presence felt like a person. We drove around the area and hoped that whatever was in the backseat would go away. It didn’t! So we decided to head back home. For the second time, we got lost. Neither of us were sure how to find the tollway.

We drove around the cemetery and pulled into a gas station to ask for directions. When the attendant approached the car, the smell in the backseat mysteriously disappeared. He gave us directions to the tollway and we headed back home. When we got about 1/2 block away from the service station the smell was back in the back seat and stronger than it was before.

Needless to say, by now we were terrified! Somehow, even with the directions that we were given, we ended up lost again. It turned out that we were driving the wrong way down Archer Avenue. The street divided the forest preserves. Everything was pitch black except for our headlights. As we drove, the smell got stronger and stronger. We were still lost and becoming worried that we wouldn’t find our way back anytime soon.

All of a sudden on the right hand side of the road we saw a small dance hall. It was closed for the evening. As we passed by, the smell was gone. It never returned. At this point, we realized that we definitely had “Resurrection Mary” in our car. She hitched a ride with us to the dance hall where she danced as a teenager. We were both relieved that she was gone.

We continued to drive south on Archer Avenue and by happenstance we saw the tollway in the distance and managed to find the entrance and head back. About an hour and a half later, we both got home.

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