A ghost called Resurrection Mary haunts the city of Chicago.

A woman in a bright white dress walking down a busy road at night.

Mary’s ghost was sited by the cemetery

A woman in a bright white dress standing in the middle of a dining room. There is a man in a tuxedo sitting at a table near her.

Mary has been sited at a local dance hall


In January of 1979, a Chicago cab driver stopped to pick up a female passenger at the front gates of Resurrection Cemetery, the final resting place of more than 150,000 souls. But before he could let her in, the mysterious woman disappeared. The cab driver had just met Chicago’s most famous ghost, Resurrection Mary.

Richard Crowe was a local historian and folklorist at the time of the sighting:

“I think that of all the ghost stories worth believing in, Resurrection Mary is the one with the best documentation. The witnesses that I’ve found are remarkably level-headed. And they’re primarily blue collar, middle-class types who have steady jobs and who have no other major claims to psychic encounters in their lives.”

Headshot of Jerry Palus.

Jerry Palus gave Mary’s ghost a ride home

As the story goes, the first person to ever encounter Resurrection Mary was Jerry Palus. The year was 1939. The place…a Chicago dance hall where Jerry was a regular.

Jerry was captivated by a young blonde woman and immediately asked her to dance. He learned little about her, except that her name was Mary and she lived on the south side of town. He danced with the young woman all night. When it was time to leave, Jerry offered Mary a ride home.

Before his death in 1992, Jerry was interviewed about his encounter with Resurrection Mary. He described the events of that evening:

“As we walked along to the street she says well you might as well take me down to Archer Road. And I said what for? I said you live up here where you told me. And she says no I want to go out to Archer Road.”

Jerry stopped in front of Resurrection Cemetery and let Mary out of the car. It was at that moment that she vanished before his eyes. Jerry admitted he was perplexed, but certainly willing to forgive one unexplained disappearance.

An article from an old newspaper, there is a darwing of Mary underneath the words 'Killed in Crash'

Actual article about Mary Bregovy’s death

Still wanting to know more about the mysterious woman, the very next day Jerry drove to the house where Mary had said she lived. Jerry found the house with little trouble. The woman who answered the door was Mary’s mother. When Jerry asked if he could see her daughter, the woman told him that Mary had been dead for five years.

According to Richard Crowe, it then dawned on Jerry that Mary was no ordinary woman:

“It’s then, Jerry said, that he understood why the woman he was dancing with that night was ice cold to the touch. He had worked in a funeral home for a while and it was the touch of a corpse.”

Years later, Richard Crowe learned the ghost was believed to be the restless spirit of a young woman named Mary Bregovy. Mary Bregovy had been killed in a traffic accident in 1934, a month before her 21st birthday. She was laid to rest in Resurrection Cemetery in her favorite white gown.

Over the years, Resurrection Mary has been seen time and time again, at dance clubs, in taxis, and walking outside the cemetery, looking for someone to take her home.

In 1980, Clare Rudnicki was driving along the front of Resurrection Cemetery, when she too spotted Mary:

“I really didn’t think there was any ghost. You hear these stories and these old ghost tales but it’s never happened to me. But now I must say I think I’m changing my mind.
I was just looking out the window as we were going down the street. And on the right hand-side of the road there was a girl walking. She was bright, very bright, like illuminating. She was just walking very slowly. I remember thinking oh my god it’s Resurrection Mary. And I can feel my stomach starting to turn. I was very frightened, I have to admit. It did scare me.”

Clare’s husband, Mark Rudnicki, was also in the car:

“We all went past it, turned around and came back and by the time we’d gotten back to where we’d originally seen her it had gone. Vanished.”

In October of 1989, Janet Kalal and a friend were out for an evening drive. After about an hour, they found themselves at Resurrection Cemetery. It was then, Janet recalled, that a pale young woman stepped in front of the car:

“There was no impact, there was no… bump to say that you know I had hit something. But I know she ran out… and I hit her. She was all in white and her hair and the dress were… flowing back. It was like a stream backwards, you know away from her. And I just saw this profile of a young woman.”

Does the ghost of Mary Bregovy really haunt Chicago? Or is Resurrection Mary just an urban myth? In any case, should you find yourself driving in the city late one night and happen to spot a pale young woman in a flowing white gown, you might think twice about offering her a ride.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season six with Robert Stack and in season three with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.


  1. Luci Szafraniec

    The Resurrection Cemetery did an investigation into this ghost seen by so many people. They narrowed it down to five possible young ladies who died during that time period. The cemetery was getting way too many reports if this young lady wandering with blonde hair long white gown who would disappear thru the gates once she was dropped off there. She would always be walking along the cemetery and many people have seen her appearance there.


  2. Nick

    The best ‘Chicago’ response to this story is ‘ My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris, I mean Mary, pass out at 31 Flavors last night’.

    If you know you know.


  3. Tina Kurowski

    Used to work at the horse stables close by. One Halloween, we were taken by my friends mom to the main entrance. The gates were obviously closed, but I could tell you that the iron bars on them were pulled apart with embedded thumbprints in them. There is no way something human could do that, even if the bars were welded hot because how, even if they were heated, can someone do that? I’ve also watch those bars changed several times over in the late 70s and early 1980s, only to have the bars pulled apart again with the embedded thumbprints.


  4. Hall

    I believe these sightings are real.
    There have been far too many sightings since 1939.
    None of the witnesses would benefit from fabricating a sighting, so it has to be legit. It is very sad to think of how Mary died in a tragic car accident at such a young age.


  5. Terry Avallone

    Sometimeed in mid 90’s my husband and I were returning from Downtown Chicagoi


  6. Matt

    I was sleeping on the couch one day and as I was waking up I blinked and for a moment it looked like there was a girl in a white gown standing over watching me. She had dirty blonde hair. This was out west in dupage county though. Another time I was walking through the woods at night and had a vision of a girl in a white gown clawing at me. I didn’t see it but had a mental image. That was different tho, more of a wedding dress probably a different girl or imagination I don’t know how this stuff works.


  7. Anonymous

    I’d date that girl, no matter she’s a ghost. Totally no luck with living ones..


  8. Leigh

    Regardless of what it is that makes up the life of a ‘ghost’, it seems like wandering around lost and lonely for all time would be a very despondent, depressing, frightening, confusing, heartbreaking way to spend eternity. I wouldn’t wish that barren existence on my worst enemy. Maybe that constitutes the punishment of hell for some individuals.


  9. Mary

    I am Mary… you may not know when I’m coming, but I’m there. You drive on my street and I will see you. Good luck!!!


    • matt

      ok that was stupid


    • Otis

      I just made a note of that, ‘Mary’. Thanks so much for the update. So greatly appreciated………


    • Luci Szafraniec

      I have heard these stories all my life and so believe the ghost is real. How could so many people report seeing her at different times and years. Every time I would drive past that cemetery I could feel sa strong electricity coming from that cemetery like string electric currents I am very sensitive to the spirit world so I do believe something is there something causing it to happen. When I lived there I would close all windows glass doors afraid she would appear on my balcony since I truly believed in her appearances. The spirit world is nothing to play with it is very serious. They moved her grave to the front entrance that could have caused disruption with her resting in peace maybe that is why she roams about her should is not at rest and she died so very young not living a full life maybe that is why she always comes back she is not at peace between this world and the heavenly world she is between both worlds still. Pray she finally finds rest peace.


  10. Anonymous

    I forgot to mention in my last post that in The Bible, God often talks about the “Peacefulness” & “Restlessness” of Human Souls. Those that believe in Him tend to have “peace” in their soul, while those who don’t believe in Him &/or resist Him seem to be “restless”.


  11. Black Bieber

    Resurrection Mary’s spirit during that 50 year period (1939 – 1989) seemed to be at some type of “unrest”, as ghosts who (are witnessed by living beings) wander around very often seem to have some “unfinished business” that they obviously can’t finish but wish they could finish. Although it seems unlikely due to the her spirit’s “restlessness”, hopefully, Mary Bergovy (born 1912 – died 1934) believed in God. Also, although this program stated that Mary died “a month before her 21st Birthday”, if her info from Ancestry.com is correct, then she was already 21 years old & would’ve turned 22 years old a month later when she died.


  12. carlos

    I bought a vhs copy of ghosts of chicago with richard crowe,the jerry palus interview was on it and was only 5 minutes long with not enough info,my question is how true was the palus account? was the girl`s name really mary or did palus think it was?what was the real palus story ?and how much was embellished by the unsolved mystery show?did palus really visit the address the next day?my problem is that all researchers believe all the accounts without questioning if it`s fake.


    • Sue Walsh

      Jerry Palus was my Uncle. Knew him all my life. He swore up and down the story was true. I agree that what of the interview was too short but I think that there’s more footage on another program. The interview was at Vito and Nick’s or Nick and Vito’s. I
      recognized the blue chairs. Even met Richard Crowe a few times at family functions and his sister and I are Facebook friends.


  13. Otis

    That’s right Martyn. But that Mary doesn’t match the description of other accounts of the hitchhiking Mary. Those that seen the hitchhiking Mary seen pictures of (Gerry’s) Mary and they said that’s not her. Is it possible that there is more than one Resurection Mary? I saw the Gerry Palus interview on TV but I can’t recall if it was mentioned that others in the dance hall seen Gerry with her. Does anyone know? I’m not trying to be a skeptic. Just wondering.


  14. Martyn Wigmore

    I don’t think there is any mystery as to resurrection Mary’s identity. Resurrection Mary gave Gerry Palus her address, and her parents confirmed that Mary had lived there up to five years ago, then she died.


  15. Otis

    Much research has been done on this. It is still confusing what deceased person is the actual ghost named Mary. The sightings of her wondering around the Justice area describe her as having blonde hair and blue eyes but Jerry Palus describes her and the picture he seen of her where she lived, as different. Brown hair. Some researchers believe it is actually Anna Norkus who danced at the ballroom (now known as Willowbrook Ballroom) and was unfortunately killed in a car wreck on Harlem Ave. on her way home. The story of a woman getting into an argument with her date at the ballroom and then walked away on Archer Ave and getting struck/killed by a hit and run driver is false. No record of such incident. I recommend reading about Anna Norkus. Think you’ll find it very interesting. She supposedly was buried at, and later moved in Resurrection Cemetary and her grave is unmarked. A contact of mine claims to know the unmarked grave sight and I plan to go see it with him soon.


    • Maggie

      I used to think it was Anna too, but Anna died when she was only 12. Girls back then in that area usually dated / married around age 16-25. Anna had short blonde hair, was petite and slim. She had a sister, Sophie, who had longer hair, same color with a similar build who was 16 at the time Anna died, also injured in the same wreck. I’m wondering if it was Sophie who was the ghost.


  16. Antsnmypants

    Whenever friends or I would drive by, which was pretty often, we would always try to catch a glimpse of her. Never did, but good legend.


  17. natalie

    im really scared of ghosts should i really be also i watch this show its awesime i watch it on escap


  18. Bernard Short

    I remember this case here because when Unsolved Mysteries had interviewed this big fella with the glasses he said that the young woman that Jerry once danced with was ice cold to the touch but in reality he worked at a Funeral Home for a while & has touched many corpses fresh outta the freezer but I remember the reinactment scene when a car loaded with 4 passengers were then driving down Archer Ave. along the front of Ressurection Cemetery back in Chicago & had seen a ghostly glow on the right hand side of the street which turned up to be a young woman who had died in a traffic accident back in 1934 but this case file is very spooky to those who’d watched it back then.


  19. kim

    My family is buried there my dad grandmother n etc I beleave it is all true… Also it is a beautiful cemetery


  20. Teresa

    Back in 1988 my sister & I were driving home from cousins house out south. We were driving along & we seen a woman running down the highway. I had to stop the car because she was right in the center of our lane. She was hitting my car and came around to my window screaming for help. She was covered in blood. She had long hair and it appeared to be light brown and she had a white gown or long blouse on covered in blood. We were so afraid of what was chasing her & decided to drive to nearby tollbooth & report to state troopers. Then we got back on road to home & when we got home my mom called state police to see if they found anyone. They said they did not find anyone and no report of accidents. This was crazy! For many years we’ve talked about this & to this day we really don’t know what happened. This was real!! We both seen this woman & heard her screams…. It was horribly real!! I would love to know who and what happened?? This was on a highway near Worth Illinois back in 1988.


  21. Anonymous

    Yep. Lydia’s Bridge is right up the road from me in Jamestown NC. Never have seen her but a real similar story.


  22. Ken

    On DESTINATION AMERICA channel they have a program called MYSTERIES and MONSTERS in AMERICA. They had a segment on LYDIA the ghostly hitch=hiker. It is almost the same story accept its in a different state and she hangs out by the bridge where she died, its worth a look.


  23. ParanormalBob

    As a paranormal investigator from the Chicago area, I can tell you that this spirit has been encountered by multiple witnesses spanning over fifty years. The full story (including the multiple sightings) can be found in many Chicago paranormal books. Although I have never personally witnessed this spirit in action, it is one of the oldest and most well-documented sightings in the United States.


    • nicole

      I thought resurrection Mary had short blonde hair? The other Mary Who was killed in the loop with a couple of her friends she had brown hair. Which one of the mary is seen walking down Archer Avenue the blonde? And has she ever went to her mother and father’s house or had somebody drop her off there?


    • Vicki Jotzat

      The only problem I see with some of these “sightings” is that Mary is KNOWN for only showing herself to men traveling alone!!! So all these women who have claimed to have seen her? I have to wonder if they saw something else entirely…….cuz it doesn’t fit with the lore…..n trust me I know it well even did a report on her back in school LoL


  24. Mulder

    One of the spookiest and well done segments they ever produced. Doubt in the veracity of the incident. But its awesome.


  25. xxHyper_Gamingxx

    i have a feeling that this is all phony


  26. Combat Arms CA



  27. BRUH

    im not seeing why that was so hard


  28. Bernard Short

    That story is pretty spooky there because I remember watching that story several years ago back on Lifetime because the man back in the late 1930’s claimed that he had danced with this young woman because her hands were like ice to the touch but right after the dance he’d then offer her a ride home but instead he was ordered to stop along this cemetery then as she gotten outta the car & as the man watched this young woman had vanished before his very eyes which was kinda spooky there but this story is very great.


  29. Will

    She is really buried in that cemetery. As far as the ghost I’m not sure but I’ve seen her tombstone.


  30. Anonymous

    Oh it’s so real trust me on that one


  31. Anonymous

    Not real


  32. marie

    I know some ones dad who has seen her.


  33. Jessica

    I have been there. The cemetary has no record of Mary Bregovy


    • mirandajade

      Well if Mary died in 1934 then her death certificate my have been lost or because of how old the certificate is it might of aged and got thrown out because it is or was unreadable


      • Dave

        I Saw her in 1982, it was a foggy rainy night. I saw a real plain face girl walking like she was determined. I never did see her feet, that came to me 10 years latter. I just thought that that poor girl was going to ruin that beautiful antique light blue dress to me but there was a glow like to it. I believe it was white. Being 18 years old at that time I found it weird that I was worried about her dress..I hit my brakes and they screeched and I spun the car around and When I looked for her she was gone. There was no place for her to go to, but she was gone. To this day I still can’t believe that I was worried about her ruining that antique dress. I have never worried about a girls dress before or since. I did worry about getting laid a lot back then. LOL The report ON unsolved mysteries didn’t do the story justice. I saw what I saw and I know what I know.


        • Pete

          Dave your story is credible for several reasons you say she didn’t have feet and it’s 1982 the separation began to diminish throughout the 80s to where ended up being just a dress without a curl is the story I heard in 85. And many reports that the dress was actually a very light pale blue have been reported. Me and my nephew saw a lady in white apparition ( that’s what these are called) they’re worldwide….. in Colorado in broad daylight


    • Dorothy Wingenfeld

      Search for “mary Bregovy” at Ancestry.com
      Bregovy, Mary 19720716
      b. Apr. 7, 1912 d. Mar. 10, 1934 Resurrection Catholic Cem…
      Cook County
      Illinois, USA
      Bregovy, Mary 32105701
      b. 1888 d. Feb. 3, 1922 Resurrection Catholic Cem…
      Cook Count


    • Jon segotti

      Are u for real?


  34. Anonymous

    ya listen to that person


  35. Drew

    Why doesn’t any one set up cameras around archer ave to see if u can catch the ghost of Mary on camera? Thank you


    • Frank Kuzmanic

      Richard crowe was a personal friend of mine for over 20 years. My parents,grandparents and aunts and uncles are buried in resurrection. Richard had a picture of the front gate pulled apart by 2 hands with burn marks where the 4 fingers were. I pèrsonally thought it was done with a torch and car jack. Richard believed it real. Im 64 now and grew up in Oak Lawn. I was in batchellor grove cemetery the first time in 1958. My parents best friend lived in the closest house. The son did steal a headstone and had it under his bed . Richard had never been there until i took him. He took a picture across old oak park ane where i was told a man named BAtchellor lived. There were huge 10 foot iron gates that were chained but we squeezed through. Richard took a picture of the foundation where the original house stood. It had burned down. I called hey rich, take a look at this. He took a picture and when he had it developed, his name Rich was written in ectoplasm.


    • Pete

      She stopped appearing in the late 80s that’s why


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