Personal Stories‎ > ‎

John Kroc

Source: http://profile.myspace.com/firehawk674

Many of us have heard the story. I returned to St. Laurence in 1995 or 1996 and I saw Mr. Kroc. He told me that the school asked him to stop telling the story to his classes. If you were one of those classes who didn't get to hear it, then today is your lucky day...

In 1993, I was a Junior. Mr. Kroc ended class one day by saying that he was going to tell us the famous Blue Light Story during the next class. I came prepared with a tape recorder. One night, I popped in the tape and transcribed it all... Enjoy...

The Blue Light Story

As Told By John F. Kroc in 1993

OK, “The Blue Light Story.” What I’m going to tell you occurred to me in 1963. It was the summer of me going from sophomore to junior year in high school. Now all this stuff ran in the papers; if you would bother to go back into the summer of ’63, this stuff would be in the papers. So let me just give you the story and then I’ll give you some documentation on it. It involves the area that is still known as the Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery area. At this time, it didn’t have any specific name. But it is roughly that area that is 143rd street bounded by Ridgeland and Harlem. At this time, this is 30 years ago, this was unincorporated Cook County. There was nothing out there. I mean it was all forest preserves. Trees all over the place. There were a few people living there and they were extremely affluent people. Back then, if you had money and you wanted to escape the city, that’s where you moved. It was unincorporated Cook County and there were just trees out there and a few expensive homes. In the summer of ’63, they reported in the paper that three young boys are visiting some households in this area. Two of them were brothers and one was a buddy of theirs and they were like seven, eight, nine years old. Small kids. Because they are the sons of affluent people, the police automatically assume, and the press wrote it up as a snatch job for ransoming and everybody expected a ransom note to come down in a couple days. Days pass and there is no ransom notice. As a result of that, the police assumed and that press went along and printed terrible leads that there was a pervert running around the area and he snatched up these three kids and perverted them and killed them and then they’d find them someplace in a ditch dead. As a result of this, the people that are living down there start screaming they want increased police protection. I mean, the only police they have is the Cook County Police Department which wasn’t nearly as large as it was today. And these people are high rollers, they’re big tax payers, and when they screamed, the county listened. And the county did increase squad rolls in the area for the rest of the summer. About two weeks after the boys disappeared, one of these Cook County cops is driving down 143rd street, right around sundown, when he spots the three boys and they’re kind of just mindlessly wandering up 143rd. He knows who they are, he gets them out, he gets out of the car, gets them into his car, and he tries talking to them and they’re just out of it. I mean, they’re babbling, incoherent, and the only thing that the cop can hear is “Blue Light, Blue Light.” And he takes them to the police station, the police try to calm them down, but there’s no calming down these kids; these kids have flipped out and the only thing that the cops could make head or tail of is they keep babbling about a “Blue Light, Blue Light.” Whatever became of the boys, I have no idea. The article in the paper for that day ended with the boys being taken to Children’s Memorial Hospital on Fullerton by the lake. Whether they gained their sanity or not, I have no idea. There was no follow up story that I was aware of. Anyway, as a result of that, the cops assume, and the papers go along with the assumption that there is, in fact, a pervert running around the area and he had these kids locked up in a room or a garage or something for the past 2 weeks and in the presence of a blue light, practiced his perversions on them and somehow they escaped and got away alive. As a result of that, the people screamed more and more, they want more increased police protection and the county maintains it increased the squad rolls through the area for the rest of the summer. Now at this point, I’ve got to draw you a map and let me just caution you that what I’m going to draw is the way I recall it 30 years ago, the summer of ’63 and based on one of these articles I have, it is inaccurate. OK, but, keep in mind that 30 years is a lot of water under the dam. The area has changed considerably. So just be aware that this map will not be to scale and certain things that I point out to you, as I remember it, and they might be in error. In either case, there’s Ridgeland, here’s Harlem, here’s the front, uh, here’s 143rd Street. It curved and then went out beyond Harlem. Now, there was, and evidently still is, a cemetery here. Now, this cemetery had a gate made up of two big marble columns and there was no fence around the cemetery because it was unnecessary. I mean, you couldn’t drive your car in here because you’d bottom out on a tombstone. The only way you could get into the cemetery was on the dirt road so they just had a gate. Now this gate was six-seven hundred pounds; iron gate, massive gate, welded into these marble columns. One night a cop was driving down 143rd street and he didn’t see the gate and he assumed that the gate had been left open. So, he parks his car, walks back to close the gate. When he gets there, he sees that the gate has been ripped out of its hinges, right here. And what he assumes is that some kids came along with their car, tied one end of a chain to the bumper and the other end of the chain to the gate, ripped the god damned thing off, and he expected to find it up the road a little bit. So he gets in his car and drives up 143rd and there’s no gate. So he drives back assuming that they ripped it off in towards the cemetery and he starts walking in and lo and behold about two, three hundred feet into the cemetery, there is the gate. But what struck him as unusual… This is the dirt road. Here’s this big ass gate, six-seven hundred pounds of gate. In order for a car to rip this off, there should have been tire marks, tread marks, something on the ground and there was nothing! I mean, it was like something had ripped this gate off and heaved it for the two-three hundred feet because there were no skid marks, no drag marks of the gate or anything. It was just ripped off here and placed over there. He starts walking into the cemetery and he notices that at first, just slightly, the cemetery has been desecrated. Tombstones knocked down, stuff like that. As he gets deeper and deeper in, the desecration becomes more severe until finally, he’s in the heart of the cemetery and there’s entire gaping graves dug up, caskets open, bones strewn all over the place and this is reported in the paper and everybody assumes that the pervert has really gone off the deep end now; he’s no longer jacking little boys, now he’s getting it off jacking corpses. Heh heh. For the rest of the summer, every so now and then for the summer, there were unusual articles in connection with this place and several times, County cops themselves had reported seeing a blue light. But whenever they chased it, it escaped and disappeared into the forest out there. Now OK, summer ends, I go back to high school and it becomes a big thing at my high school to go out on a weekend and try to capture the pervert with the blue light. If you whip the shit out of him, you get to be a hero, you get your name and picture in the paper, you go back to school Monday, and every broad wants to jack you. There’s a motive for all this. So, one weekend, me and four of my buddies decided to go. We were in the habit of going regularly, once a month camping at Starved Rock in the Mississippi palisades. It wouldn’t be unusual for me to go to my ma and say, “Well, I’m off for the weekend“ and she’d let me go. I think it was the weekend of Thanksgiving vacation because it was late late fall, there were no leaves on the trees, OK, and that would have been a weekend that we would have went camping cause it was a three day weekend, but instead of going camping, we came down here. Now, for me, back in ’63, this was as good as the boondocks. I mean, I grew up on 31st and Central Park and that was always the city and this was just out and out woods. So we drive down here and we start driving the area. Now the kick to coming down here… The only paved roads, once again, were 143rd, Harlem, and Ridgeland and if that’s all you were going to do, that would have taken you 15 minutes and then you were finished. The kick of coming down here is, off 143rd and off of Ridgeland and Harlem, there were all kinds of dirt roads. You’d get on one and the sucker would fork, you’d take a fork, and then that would fork, and that would fork, and that would fork… Now what you’d do is keep taking these forks until you got yourself really good and lost. Then after you’re really lost, you needed to find your way out of this maze and the worst that could happen is eventually you’d land up on Ridgeland, or 143rd, or Harlem. Now let me preface everything by saying we did have one six-pack of beer, but there were five guys, OK and I mean, five sixteen-seventeen year old guys are not going to get looped on a can of beer a piece. I mean, what we saw, was not the result of us being stoned on Old Style at the time. What happened was we got here about eight o’clock and about two o’clock… Now we’re driving all these dirt roads, having a good old time, smoking our cigarettes, talking about all the broads we’re gonna bang when we finally get the Blue Light; all that stuff. And by two o’clock in the morning, we’re driving back up 143rd, towards Ridgeland. Incidentally, in one of these articles, it claims the cemetery and lagoon is east of Ridgeland, over here, so if you’re going there… As I recall, I thought it was east of Harlem, but according to one of these articles, it’s East of Ridgeland so we might have been here instead of here, but this is the way I recall it. There was a lagoon right next to the cemetery and we’re driving up 143rd street and it’s time to take a piss. I mean, we’d been in here for 6 hours, got a can of beer in us, we been bouncing, we’ve got to all take pisses. So what we do is we stop the car on 143rd. There’s an embankment, off of the asphalt, there’s an embankment and then there’s a lagoon here and there’s a forest back here and it’s Fall, there’s no leaves on the trees or anything like that. So all five of us, we get on line, we pull out our dicks and we start pissing and having our old contest, “Who Can Piss The Furthest” and I always won because I had a six inch advantage. “Look at Kroc! He’s cheating!” But you know that’s how it is. They always got pissed off, but I couldn’t help it; I was just the way God made me. But anyway, we’re pissing there, I’m winning as usual, everybody’s pissed off at me, when lo and behold we see a blue light. And it’s going back and forth in the forest and it looks like someone is walking with a lantern, except instead of a clear globe, it’s a blue globe. And what gave us that impression is the light bobbed. You know, like if somebody is walking back and forth with a lantern. So the first thing is I’m going to stick my dick back in my pants. Pervert sees that beauty, he’s… heh heh Put that away! Heh heh We’re yelling, “Hey! Perverted Mother Fucker, come on and get us!” Yeah, we’re five macho guys, you’re one lonely little pervert; we’ll beat you. The light stops and it starts coming towards us. Well, that doesn’t worry us. We’re five guys; one lonely little pervert. The light continues across the lagoon; however… You know, it’s a lagoon. It’s a hole in the ground filled up with water. So if the guy was walking, as he’s entering the lagoon, the light should be descending because he’s walking down a hole, but the light didn’t descend. The light was staying at exactly the same height as if this guy was walking on water. And I just know of one guy who walked on water; I’m in no rush to meet that guy. When it finally occurs to us that this light is coming across the water, as if a guy’s walking it, we panicked. We run up the embankment, get in the car and haul ass. Now, the way it worked, I landed up in the right rear seat. So, they would look out the right window and out the rear. And what I see… We’re ripping ass up 143rd Street. And what I see is the light cross the lagoon, come up the embankment, and it starts chasing us up 143rd Street. Now the other two guys in the back with me, they’re watching and we see this god damn thing, and they’re going “MOVE! MOVE! IT’S COMING! OH (garbled) KILL US!” And we’re panicking like crazy! Well, the driver’s got the damn thing floored, but then he’s looking back and he sees the damn thing and he misses this turn! Now, at the time, this was a cornfield and keep in mind this is a November cornfield so all the corn stalks are down. All you’ve got left is the ruts from the plow and the little stubs of the corn chopping. What happens, he misses the turn, the car slides off the damn road and goes into the cornfield. We don’t roll, we just end up; it stalls in the cornfield. I had my eye on the Blue Light all the way up until we went off the road. I mean, I’m watching him, seeing this damn thing come closer and closer and all of a sudden pa-doom boom boom! You turn around to see what the hell you’re gonna hit and then by the time I’m around, I know what the hell’s going on, the car has stalled. Everyone in the car is just dead silent. I’m sure it wasn’t more than 30 seconds, but it seemed like two years. Everybody is dead silent and we can’t see nothing, just still darkness. And all of a sudden, a blue light appears off the right hand top of the car, like three feet above the car and three feet away from the car. And the best way I can describe it is a basketball sized blue light. You could tell it was not a beam of light, like from a high intensity flashlight because there was no beam and it wasn’t focusing on anything. It was just a ball of blue light. You could see right through it and this ball of blue light about basketball size. It hovered around our car about three times and then just drifted across the cornfield, across 143rd, and then lost itself in the forest there. Well, what happened, we waited there about fifteen minutes until we were sure the blue light wasn’t coming back. Then we pushed the car back onto 143rd and got the hell out of there and went to Starved Rock camping. Monday, I go back to my high school and I tell everybody we saw the light. They’re (sarcastic) “Yeah, yeah, you saw the Blue Light.” We went back there two more times that year before the snow set in. Because it was senseless to come here once the snow set in ‘cause the only thing they plowed was Harlem, Ridgeland, and 143rd and as I said, the kick was going on these dirt roads. And then, the spring of ’64, yeah this would have been the spring of ’64. By this time, I had other interests, I was bored with this, so I have never gone back there. The last time I was in this area was sometime in December of ’63. Now that’s what has happened to me regarding the area.

I know of two other incidences involving the area and these were reported in the paper when I was in college. The first one had to be around 1969. There evidently is, although we didn’t see it at the time, but there is a footpath somewhere between the lagoon and the cemetery and when you get to the back of the cemetery, the footpath forks; one fork going into the woods; one fork going behind the cemetery. What had been reported was, the people involved were described as three high school girls from some southwest side Catholic girls’ school. They didn’t name names, didn’t say peace or McAuley; it’s the only way they were described. According to the article, these girls heard stories of blue lights and all this stuff and they drive their car, park here, and take this footpath, take the right fork and are hiking up this, when they see in the distance a house. But what strikes them as unusual is they said they were able to tell that the house was not lit by electricity. It was an old house, rather than being an old house, and they knew it wasn’t lit by electricity because the light emanating from the windows was kind of that yellow-orange light and also it flickered like it was candlelight or a kerosene lamp. And so they start walking towards it and after awhile, they realize that the house is like a mirage. The more they walked, the more distant the house is becoming. When it finally sinks into them that house is receding, they panic, they run back to their car, they go to the Midlothian Police Station. By this time, this area had become incorporated into Midlothian. And they tell the cops what had happened; cops say “Yeah, yeah, yeah, here’s pieces of paper, draw for us what you’ve seen.” And the three girls drew three identical pictures, but it was not unusual; they could have cooked the whole story up themselves. According to the article, what… Now, there is no house of any kind back there, according to the paper. Also, according to the paper, the cops claimed that other people at different times had come to the police station having reported seeing a house found back here and the cops had told them, “Redraw for us what you have seen.” And according to the cops, the pictures that the three girls drew, were identical in nature to the pictures other people, at other times, have drawn regarding this house. And there is no house back here.

The other story involving the area occurred about two years later. I was in graduate school, so probably about ’71, and the people involved this time were described as two male college students from the Chicago area. That’s the only way they describe them. One begins, same pitch, they hear all the stories, they come here, park their car, they take this footpath and take the right fork. And they get on the right fork and they’re walking towards it… They see a guy walking towards them and he’s got a lantern, except a clear globe lantern. It’s that yellow-orange light. And as he nears them, they can see that he’s an old guy. They describe his as being early-mid seventies. I mean, he’s obviously old. And when he’s within shouting distance, he starts yelling, “What the fuck you doing?! It’s private property, get out of here!” They wait for him and when he comes to them, they cool him down and they tell him, you know, “We heard stories about a Blue Light and a disappearing house” and all that. And the old guy says, “Well, that’s all bullshit. There’s no blue light and there is a house back there. And it’s the house of the caretaker of the cemetery and that’s me! I live in that house, and of course there is no electricity. I don’t need it, I light everything by this kerosene lantern.” But evidently, these two guys had given this old guy like the impression they didn’t believe him, so this old guy finally says, “OK, why don’t you get your asses up there, look at the house, see that it’s there, and then get the hell outta there!” So these two guys go along with it and they start hiking up the road. According to them, the old guy was behind them. They knew he was behind them cause he’s carrying a lantern and as they’re walking, they can see the light from the lantern emanating all around. So, the three of them are walking silently up this path and once again, it was late in the year, late November, early December, when all of a sudden, the light goes out, they turned around, and the son of a bitch has vanished. Now, I mean, this an old man, it’s not like he could take a swan dive and do a low crawl for 500 yards. I mean, they’re walking, the light goes out, they turn around, no noise, no nothing, this sucker has vanished. Those are the three stories I know identified with the area.

Now, lest you think I bullshit, I tell this story every year to my classes. And in the course of several years, students have brought in articles. Normally, one of the papers, Chicago papers, will run an article on haunted areas in the Chicago area over Halloween. And in the course of years, several students have brought me in these articles and let me just read you a couple of them. They involve this area and a few others.

The first two are a pitch for a guy named Richard Crowe. Richard Crowe is evidently the big ghost hunter in the Chicago area. Oh hell, maybe fifteen years ago, I don’t know, maybe he still does it. But fifteen years ago, he used to do something called “The Ghost Bus Tour.” And what this was, he had a bus, like a CTA bus and you bought a seat on this bus. And at the time it was like 15-20 bucks back then. That was, I mean, that was expensive money back then. I mean, I guess it would be equivalent today like 45-50 bucks for a seat. And what you would do is you get on this bus and he’d spend all night taking you to various alleged haunted areas in the Chicago Metropolitan area. These first two articles are a pitch for his bus tour and they mention several of the stops that he makes on it.

This first one. “Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery. A two acre cemetery nestled in a swamp in a forest preserve near 143rd and Ridgeland near Midlothian. A two headed ghost that guards the graves is said to live in the lagoon along side the cemetery. In addition, a pale blue ghostly light sometimes appears in the cemetery at night and moves across the swamp, through trees, onto the higher ground.” Well, it did a hell of a lot more than that. It moved onto the asphalt and chased us right up the damned highway. “And some people vow there is a disappearing house along side the dirt road at the entrance to the cemetery. People who don’t know one another have drawn pictures of the house they saw and then didn’t see even down to the lamp burning faintly inside.”

Next one. This article is “The interest of Resurrection Cemetery, 7200 South Archer in Justice, where Resurrection Mary, a beautiful Polish girl, about eighteen, killed some forty years ago in an auto accident on the way home from a dance frequently appears as legend has it. She has flowing hair and still wears her white dancing gown and when she comes out of the cemetery, it’s to hitch a ride from some young man whom she asks to take her dancing. After that, she’s taken back to the cemetery entrance where she dances through the gates and vanishes in her dress.”

Let’s see, second article. Once again, Resurrection Cemetery. “This old cemetery at 7200 South Archer Avenue, Justice is sometimes home of Resurrection Mary, a beautiful young blonde girl who regularly hitchhikes along Archer Avenue and goes dancing at her favorite night spot, The Willowbrook Ballroom in Willow Springs. ‘Mary has never been positively identified,’ says Crowe, ‘but can be one of three Marys in the Cemetery; all Polish, pretty, and blonde and all victims of car crashes at about the same time.” Legend has it that Mary was killed in a car accident on the way home from a dance at the O’Henry Ballroom, now the Willowbrook Ballroom, in 1931. She was buried in her dancing shoes. But Mary is not the ideal date. A number of young men have reported picking up the blonde hitchhiker, some to the justice police, they take her dancing, usually describing her as ‘a little chilly’ and then head home. As Mary and her date drive past Resurrection Cemetery, Mary shrieks, jumps out of the car, and runs through the cemetery gates and disappears.”

Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery. “Crowe rates this desolate, abandoned churchyard and surrounding marsh in Midlothian as one of the spookiest spots around Chicago. A pale blue ghost light moves and flickers through the wooded marsh. A light shines on the crumbling tombstones and people have seen an old farmhouse with wooden railing, front porch swing, and a lantern that glows within. The house has been spotted on both sides of a dirt road leading to the cemetery entrance. People have drawn the house and, according to Crowe, they all sketch the same house. Yet, the house doesn’t exist; the ghost house that appears and disappears and moves itself from place to place at night.”

I’m just going to read the ones that are on the Southwest side here. He’s got a whole bunch on the North side. Holy Sepulcher. “A good ghost inhabits Holy Sepulcher Cemetery at 6001 111th Street in Worth. Mary Alice Quinn who died in 1935 at the age of fourteen, is thought to have performed many miracle cures ever since her death, curing everything from cancer to infertility with special (garbled), according to Crowe. Quinn vows to her parents that she would someday help suffering people and reportedly said ‘I will shower roses on the world.’ An overwhelming scent of roses, even in the dead of winter, a phantom scent oft is reported at Quinn’s gravesite, says Crowe.”

The incident I’m familiar with involving this particular gravesite. As I said, I tell this story to my Students every year and, hell, maybe 13-14 years ago, I had a student named Mark Zielinski who went on to graduate out of here and then he went to Northwestern. While he was at Northwestern, he bought a seat on Crowe’s ghost bus tour and went on the bus tour. And it was just when Crowe was starting this thing and this thing went like wildfire. I mean, everybody wanted… I mean, Crowe had more business than he could handle. In the process of going on this ghost bus tour, Zielinski got the impression that Crowe was looking for some part-time help to help him with the overflow. So after the tour, Zielinski approaches Crowe and wants to know if he needs part-time help and Crowe did as long as it was reliable help. And the kid, being a sophomore at Northwestern, established himself as being reliable, so, Zielinski went to work for Crowe. And what his job was, whenever Crowe overbooked, whenever he needed a second bus, Zielinski would be the tour guide on one bus and Crowe would be the tour guide on another bus, and they’d go in opposite directions. They’d all stop at the same sites, but one would go forward, one would go reverse, but they’d still have a whole mob of people. Anyway, when Cro… Zielinski was on the tour and he went to Holy Sepulcher he said there was nothing at the site of Mary Alice Quinn, no smells, no nothing, and so he pretty much dismissed it. However, when he became a tour guide, every so now and then people would come to… Oh, that’s right, I should have told you this, but if the tour still exists, if you go on this tour, when you get to Holy Sepulcher, the bus will not drive inside the cemetery because the cemetery doesn’t want a busload of tourists gawking at graves. And so the bus parks outside the cemetery and you have to hike to the grave of Mary Alice Quinn. The tour guide will not go with you. They’ll give you instructions to the gravesite and then you head out on your own with any other tour guys who want to go. The reason being, Crowe doesn’t wa… On one of those infrequent times when the smell of roses is present, Crowe doesn’t want the people to think that the tour guide, when nobody was looking, pulled out a can of rose spray and sprayed it in the air. To avoid all that, the tour guides don’t go. They tell you how to get to the gravesite and then you go. Zielinski was taking a tour, and this was like in the death of winter, end of January, beginning of February, foot of snow on the ground, twenty, uh, easily twenty degrees. They get to Holy Sepulcher and Zielinski tells them how to get to the grave and all that. And there’s only like two or three people who want to take the hike. And so he thinks, “what the hell, I’ll take a hike with them.” And so, he does take a hike with these two-three other people. Now according to… He came back a year, couple years after that and told me about it. And I have no reason not to believe him. There’s no reason for him to bullshit me; he was long gone, out of St. Laurence; he was already a senior at Northwestern. So, I take him at his word. According to him, what he claims was as they neared the grave, you could smell roses. And I mean, this is like January. As you got closer and closer, the smell became more and more intense. Well finally, when you were standing right above the grave, there was this overpowering, nauseatingly sweet smell of roses. So that you’d take like two-three breaths and then you’d have to back away to get some fresh air it was so.. and then you’d come back and smell it again. He also said that when he stood over the grave, he felt heat emanating from the grave. But the snow was as deep over the grave as it was anyplace else. He said he could feel it as you smell this smell and you step away for a breath of fresh air and feel the sting of the cold weather and then come back and smell the roses and feel the heat. Now, whether it happened or not, I don’t know. But I have no reason to doubt him. He would have had no reason to bullshit me.

The other one that they give on the Southside is Saint Rita’s Church. “Twenty three years ago…” Now, this article is dated October 31st, 1980 so this puts the actual time in 1957. “In 1957, on All Souls Day, November second, a day when prayers are offered for the souls of the dead, about fifteen people were gathered in Saint Rita’s Church, 6243 South Fairfield. Suddenly, the organ started playing by itself screeching out sharp shrill notes, the hands of the clock church… church clock began spinning in opposite directions as (garbled) congregation saw ghostly monks, three robed in white and three in black on either side of the madly playing organ. People raced for the doors, but they wouldn’t open. The monks eased towards the cowering people, gliding through pews, floating in air, a ghostly voice said, ‘pray for us,’ the doors flew open and the congregation passed out in more ways than one. Or so goes the tale that quickly spread among parishioners.” I reca… In ’57, I was ten years old and I recall my old man reading me an article in one of the Chicago papers regarding… This was big news, this Saint Rita incident, it was… uh.. that Saint Rita’s was haunted. The only thing I remember about the article is there was a picture that was run with the article. Somehow, this guy, the photographer, got permission to set up a camera in the church overnight and leave the shutter open to take a time exposure. And what he was what was run in the paper and keep in mind, it was a newspaper quality photograph, so it wasn’t the clearest thing on earth. And it was also a time exposure, but what we saw were the pews and I don’t remember any white-hooded monks, but there were about six monks in cassocks like floating up and down the pews. OK, now what was unusual about the picture is when a guy is in a cassock, you can see where the cassock ends and his shoe begins. You should be able to see the guy’s shoes. But these monks, when they came out of the pews and they were up the aisle, you couldn’t see their shoes. In fact, the cassock was chopped off like about here, like if they were walking through the floor. Now, what was explained in the article, is the church that is Saint Rita’s today is not the original church. The original church burned down sometime the change of the turn of the century. And when they rebuilt Saint Rita’s, they rebuilt it like about four or six inches higher than the old church. So, this building burns down, they rebuild the damn thing and now the floor is about four inches higher than the old floor. In the burning of Saint Rita’s, several monks were supposed to be caught in the fire and burnt alive. And it was alleged that it was these monks that had been burnt alive in the original fire that were now haunting the existing Saint Rita’s. And that was why. They were walking on the old floor, the floor that had burnt down, the floor that they remember from the old Saint Rita’s.

The last article is and article that appeared last year, October 30th, 1992. And it’s only got two on the Southside, two I already read, but I’ll read it again just for your information. “Phantom house. Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery. A small abandoned German graveyard dates to the 1830’s…” So that sucker is like a hundred and sixty years old. “The last time people were buried there was in the late 1980’s, Kaczmarek says.” So, evidently, the cemetery was in use until recently. “Some of the sightings include, one, a light phantom farmhouse that appears and disappears along the road. ‘The many people who claim to have seen it,’ Kaczmarek says, ‘describe it in the same way. Wood railings, front porch swing, and a lantern that glows inside.’ Two, a pale blue light that moves through the wooded marsh and sometimes over the crumbling tombstones. Three, an apparition toting a baby. Four, disappearing cars along the nearby Midlothian Turnpike. Some say, they see a car on the side of the road and after they pass and look in the rearview mirror, it’s gone. The cemetery is on 143rd, just East of Ridgeland Avenue in Unincorporated Cook County near Midlothian.” So, this article puts it here. As I recall, it was over there, but once again, it was thirty years ago.

The other one. “The Dancing Hitchhiker. Sightings of the notorious Resurrection Mary at Resurrection Cemetery, 7200 South Archer, have been reported for decades. The beautiful blond apparition is said to hitchhike along Archer Avenue. Legend has it that people have picked up her ghostly figure and as they drive past the cemetery, she screams, jumps out of the car, runs into the cemetery, and disappears. Quote, “It’s been said that she was struck and killed by an auto between 1931 and ’33 and was seen soon after that,” end quote, Kaczmarek noted. The most recent sighting I’ve heard about was in 1984. So, the last time she was seen was nine years ago. “Other people claim the ghost sometimes hitchhikes to Willowbrook Ballroom in Willow Springs and goes dancing.”

That is it. If you do go to this area, I’d recommend you wait a couple weeks. I mean, Halloween just being over, everybody and their brother’s going to be there and every cop in Cook County is going to be having a stakeout to bust you. If you go there and you get busted, you’re on your own, I don’t know you, you never heard it here, and take your lumps by yourself. But anyway, it is an interesting place and that did happen to me thirty years ago. And that is all.




ARCHIVE NOTATION: Blue ball of light travels over pond and chases car as group of people run away.


Comments