Resurrection Mary's Counterpart

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Chicago has quite a harrowing history, and not all of it has stayed in the past. Meet the ghosts at Oprah's studios, the strange hitchhikers along Archer Avenue, the frightened souls from the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and the feared La Llorona, who just may steal your children! The devil baby and the haunted Hull house will chill you to the bone, as will Resurrection Mary. By the time you're through reading, you'll know all of Chi-town's greatest supernatural secrets, and you might never look at the city the same way again.

Submitted: December 02, 2007

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Submitted: December 02, 2007



Anyone from the Chicago area is likely familiar with the long standing tale of Resurrection Mary, the wandering ghost of a young woman who haunts a long and desolate stretch of road along Archer Avenue where she was struck down one cold winter night. Resurrection Mary is certainly the most infamous of Chi-town's hitchhiking apparitions, and possibly the most popular ghost in all of Chicago, but there's another ghost who shares her namesake. This other Mary haunts the halls of Pemberton Hall, one of the women's dorms on the Eastern Illinois University campus in Charleston, Illinois. Unlike her classmates, Mary Hawkins, once a student at Eastern and resident of Pemberton Hall, would never graduate. In fact, she would never leave the campus. Her benevolent spirit is always around looking after the residents of Pemberton Hall. Girls who go to sleep leaving their dorm room doors unlocked, wake in the morning to find someone's locked the door for them during the night. Lights, televisions, and radios left on are often turned off by her as well. Although, in the wake of the subsequent silence when everything has been turned off, other unexplained noises become readily audible, such as knocking and scratching sounds on the doors and walls. And sometimes the faint sound of a piano being played can be heard coming from the fourth floor of the dorm, a floor that has long been closed off without inhabitants.

So what could have happened in Pemberton Hall to cause the spirit of Mary Hawkins to linger indefinitely? Sometime back in 1917, on a nasty winter night, one of the college co-eds was having a hard time sleeping. Her restlessness prompted her to exit her dorm room and wander down to the music room where she took a seat at the piano and began playing quietly, as the hour was late. While the unsuspecting young woman continued to tickle the ivory keys of the piano, a sinister event was unfolding. A male janitor with keys to the building had let himself in and made his way up to the fourth floor where the insomnia plagued girl played the piano. As the girl's fingers danced across the smooth white keys, she was grabbed from behind by the janitor, who violently beat her to a bloody pulp, sexually assaulted her, and left her for dead before escaping into the dark veil of night. The tenacious young woman roused enough strength to pull herself along the floor, out of the music room, and down the hall to the stairwell. She made it down the stairs leaving a bloody trail behind her and, with the little bit of strength she had left, began scratching at the dorm room doors of her fellow Pemberton Hall residents, but no one woke to help her. Her cold dead body would be found immediately outside the door of the resident advisor's room. The girl died alone and in agony. But the girl was not Mary Hawkins.

The identity of that girl seems to have died with her because in all the tales of the Pemberton Hall hauntings, the murdered girl's name is never said. And while many believe the murdered pianist does sometimes haunt the dorm, most hauntings are attributed to Mary Hawkins. So who was Mary Hawkins? Remember that resident advisor's door, the one in front of which the slain girl ultimately died? As you might have guessed, the resident advisor was none other than Mary Hawkins. After discovering the dead girl's body, Mary reportedly felt terribly guilty on several counts. She had not waken to assist the assaulted girl when she had attempted to scratch at Mary's door, and beyond that, Mary had failed to protect the girl from ever experiencing that brutal attack in the first place. Apparently, Mary was so distraught over the entire experience that she soon began suffering from insomnia herself. Other girls in the dorm regularly observed Mary pacing the halls all night long. Mary was experiencing horrible nightmares and ultimately delved into such a deep depression that she had to be hospitalized. She never recovered. Instead, Mary sank into such an abyss of despair until she could no longer stand it and she killed herself.

Unfortunately, death has not alleviated Mary of her guilt over the murder of one of her resident's as she has chosen to return to Pemberton Hall where she now watches over everyone fortunate or unfortunate enough to live there. Unlike Resurrection Mary, this Mary took her own life; however, both girls seem to be destined to walk this world for eternity, long after each one should have departed.

For more scary stories, including the tale of the original Resurrection Mary, check out the complete book available immediately via Schiffer Books and Barnes & Noble, and on very soon.

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