Friday, January 20, 2012

Resurrection Mary: Other Marys at Resurrection

One day soon I need to put up a proper database of all the possible "candidates" for who Resurrection Mary could be the ghost of. The internet is just LITTERED with pages that get a lot of the information wrong. Multiple people having the same name tends to create some confusion, and maybe just having ONE of these posts would cut back somewhat on the rambling, incoherent emails I get about Mary. When you get into the ghost busting business, you know that you're going to be meeting some weirdos.

One candidate whose name is mentioned now and then, but whom I've never mentioned here, is Mary Rozanc, whose gravestone is visible at Resurrection. She was 16 years old when she died in 1930, but little else is known about her. She comes up as a possible "candidate" on web sites now and then, though. From death index records, we can see that she was born on Feb 26, 1914 and died on December 30th, 1930. Her father, John Rozanc, was born in Yugoslavia and died in 1953 at the age of 75 in Kalamazoo. Her mother's maiden name was Jennie Intihar (also spelled Antinher in some documents). I couldn't find an obituary or cause of death.

However, a brief look at the death index indicates that there are LOTS of Marys about her age and who died around the same time at Resurrection - about 500 from a rough check of the records. A great many, perhaps even most, died as babies or toddlers (looking this stuff up gets pretty depressing); many were in their teens or twenties, but most of those for which I've seen a death certificate died of various diseases (pneumonia is a particularly common culprit). Mary Roznac probably succumbed to something like this. Had it been a car wreck, there would probably have been a mention of it in the papers. That doesn't seem to be the case here.

For a while I was trying to collect records on every Mary between the ages of 15 and 25 who died from about 1910-1935 and was buried at Resurrection, but the list is just too big. Now, I'm trying to narrow it down to single girls who died of some trauma, such as a car accident, which is traditionally given as Mary's cause of death (even as a skeptic, it's worth noting that a majority of ghost stories seem to concern people who died very suddenly and traumatically, usually due to trauma to the head or spine).

Just a few of the other young Marys who are buried at Resurrection:

Mary Slezak (died 1927 at the age of 16)
Mary Demko (died in 1922 at age 15 of tuberculosis)
Mary Wlekinska (died 1918 at the age of 16 of pneumonia)
Mary Greis (died 1919 at the age of 19, pneumonia)
Mary Janiszewiki (died 1921 a the age of 18)
Mary Geirut (died 1921 at 19)
Mary Mikos (died 1919 at 20)
Mary Kuruc (died 1926 at 16)
Mary Macko (died 1928 at 19)
Mary Bialas (died 1927 at 18)
Mary Polasz (died 1927 at 19)
Mary Kovacic (died 1931 at 20)
Mary Ladonski (died 1931 at 21)
Mary Wroblewska (died 1930 at 16)
Mary Poradylla (died 1931 at 22)
Mary Theresa Rezek (died 1931 at 17)
Mary Marcisz (died 1930 at 16)
Mary Ciesielcyzk (died 1934 at 16)

I don't know the cause of death on most of these - surprisingly few had obits in the Tribune. "Pneumonia" is a safe bet for any of them, though.




Check out our recent "Resurrection Mary Roundtable" podcast and see our other posts on Mary and the various theories surrounding her.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Iroquois Theatre on Celebrity Ghost Stories

I had never seen this program before, but watching this episode cracked me up. The stories are fairly run of the mill, but they ham them up MERCILESSLY - even by ghost TV show standards, which is really saying something.  In this segment, Ana Gasteyer, who played Elphaba in the Chicago run of Wicked at the Oriental Theatre (which was built on the site of the Iroquois Theatre) discusses her experience seeing ghosts one night during her run, as well as her feelings about "The Alley of Death and Mutilation:" "The alley that the Oriental opens to is one of the worst environments I've ever...intuited... in my.... (unintelligible)...always had the gloomiest, darkest, most dismal...it was a terrible, terrible alley. It really was, it felt...terrible."

A few notes:
- The alley they show is not the real one - the garbage and bums make it look like an alley from a 1980s movie about New York.
- That said, the alley WAS gloomier in 2005, before they revamped it and added lighting around 2007. THis was when they tore up the blacktop - and the original brick underneath - and re-paved it with new bricks. People still get that "terrible" feeling, but it gets a lot more foot traffic now (really, it's had heavy traffic for years - like Dillinger's Alley, stories that "no one ever uses the alley anymore" are greatly exaggerated).
- In a fairly common issue with these shows, the ghosts look pretty goofy and seem to come from the wrong period. In this case, they sort of look like pilgrims.
- Clearly, the Oriental didn't let them do any filming. She talks about the decor a lot, but they show stock footage of brick walls and stuff.

All that said, they get the history pretty well right. They don't go into MUCH detail about the fire, but, unlike most of the footage, the shots they show of the burned out theatre are real.

The segment starts at around the 4:50 mark. This'll likely be pulled from youtube eventually, so get it while it's hot!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ghosts at the H.H. Holmes body dump?

My, but there've been a lot of ghost shots here, lately, haven't there? I'll have to get some historical stuff going soon just to balance it out!

I started taking people to the HH Holmes "glass bending factory" site (click for podcast and more info) in 2008 as a historical curiosity on Holmes tours - but so much weird stuff went on there that I had to start adding it to the ghost tours, too!  Chris Hannigan, a recent tour passenger, sent these shots taken by Erin Brink. What do you think?  There's SOME motion blur in the first one, but I don't think it's enough to account for the stuff on the center right that looks like a humanesque form, or the smaller one in the second shot.



Saturday, January 7, 2012

Another Ghost Pic From the Vaults

Here's an odd shot from a July, 2009 tour by Christy Jackson - a shot from the Florentine Ballroom at the Congress hotel.


Doesn't look like much on its own. Here's a close-up, though, of the thing on the left. Dude with an old-timey mustache?


Odd, huh? My first though on seeing it was to make a crack about Buffalo Bill (who did, in fact, stay at the Congress and was probably in this ballroom at one time or another). But what about Captain Louis Ostheim, the Spanish American war vet who killed himself in the hotel in 1900?


Notes from the photographer:
"This is a photo I took on the Devil in the White City Tour in the Florentine Ballroom at the Congress Hotel. I didn't notice the strange figure to the left until about 3 weeks later when I finally got around to putting the photos on my computer. I don't remember any white haired colonial dressed men with us on the tour, so this is definitely freaky! As for you skeptics, I guess it doesn't really matter what I say, but I wouldn't have the slightest clue about how to fake this photo, nor would I have the time to waste creating it. Anyways, what fun would it be for me to know that it's not real?"
I was looking at the pictures I took afterword that I took with a flash, and there was a lady standing around but I can't see how that would be her. But I guess it could be proof enough for some people to say it's not real."

What do you think?  Messing around with the photo makes me think that it's probably actually a woman on the tour, and the "mustache" is an optical illusion caused by motion blur.  But, as I say, there's no GOOD ghost evidence, only COOL ghost evidence. This is pretty nifty-looking even if it's an optical illusion!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ghost Pic from the Vaults

While I was going through records and files from old tours today, I came across one from a girl named Anna Schultz from 2007 that I somehow never noticed before. Around that time (especially the summer before it) there were lots of reports of the ghost of a little girl at Hull House, who we nicknamed "Becky." We've no idea who this might be the ghost of, but if I made a list of the 10 coolest possible ghost shots I've seen, at least three of them would be "Becky" shots. Here's Anna's.


Anna noted in her email that no one was in the garden when the shot was taken. As always, I won't vouch for it as "authentically paranormal," but I sure can't explain this one!

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