Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Resurrection Mary

The "vanishing hitchhiker" is a story that is told over and over, a good campfire story to have in one's repertoire.

The basic story is this: A man, driving down the street late at night, sees a young woman in a pretty dress waving at him. He stops, and she tells him that she needs a ride home. He agrees, and offers her his jacket, since it is cold outside and her dress is thin. When they arrive at the address she gave him, he is shocked to discover that she is no longer in the car. It's far too late for him to knock on the door of the house, so he returns the following day. The door is answered by a weary-looking man or woman, and the young man tells of the woman who asked to be brought home.

The homeowner tells him that the young woman was the daughter of the house. She was killed in a car accident near the place where he picked her up.

Unable to believe it, he drives to the cemetery where (he was told) she is buried. He finds her tombstone easily enough, because draped neatly over it is his jacket.

This story has a factual basis. Starting in the 1930s, dozens of men have reported picking up a young woman, wearing a fancy but thin dress, when driving northeast on Archer Avenue in Justice, Illinois. The routine was the same, every time. As the driver neared Resurrection Cemetery, his passenger asked to be let out, and promptly vanished into the cemetery. Hence, the name "Resurrection Mary".

Was Mary real? She may well have been. The popular story is that Mary was dancing at a nearby ballroom in the 1930s when she and her date had an argument. Mary stormed out of the ballroom into an Illinois winter night, clad only in her dress, shoes, and shawl, clutching her purse. She never made it home. A driver struck her as she walked along Archer Avenue, and immediately fled the scene. Mary died in the street; her parents had her buried in Resurrection Cemetery, wearing a white dress and her dancing shoes.

Mary has spent more time out of the grave than in it, according to reports. She is usually seen in the winter months; sometimes walking down Archer Avenue, sometimes hitching a ride, sometimes inside the cemetery gates, looking out. The TV show Unsolved Mysteries did a segment on Mary as part of a series of shows on the supernatural, with many fascinating stories, including one from a couple who saw her walking down the street, but could not see her face.

It's Halloween. Will Mary come out to dance tonight?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Your Stories

Please feel free to send in your stories of the supernatural - something that happened to you, a family member, a friend, an occurrence in the area where you live, etc.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Some Halloween Viewing

Here are some movies that are highly recommended during any season, but especially for Halloween:

The Changeling, 1979.

This is not to be confused with the 2008 film with almost the same title. George C. Scott plays a man who has experienced a double tragedy, and moves across the country to rebuild his life. Unfortunately for him, his magnificent rental house is haunted.

Night of the Living Dead, 1968.

The one that started an entire, wildly popular genre. Seven people take refuge in an isolated Pennsylvania farmhouse when the dead reanimate and eat the living.

The Haunting, 1963.

Based on Shirley Jackson's classic novel The Haunting of Hill House. Four people investigate the supernatural in Hill House, long known to be haunted.

Evil Dead, 1981.

Five college students rent a cabin in the middle of nowhere, and find a reel-to-reel tape in the basement. Playing the tape causes horrific - and gruesome - results.

Psycho, 1960.

A true classic, often imitated and ripped off, never equaled. 12 cabins, 12 vacancies ... and a convenient swamp nearby.

The Birds, 1963.

A coastal community in Northern California is besieged by bird attacks.

The Norliss Tapes, 1973.

An author who has written a book debunking mediums, seances, and the like is asked to investigate strange happenings on a rich widow's estate. He gets far more than he'd bargained for.

Dead of Night, 1945.

A man has a recurring dream of traveling to a stately manor and meeting a group of people. When the dream comes true, he finds himself wondering what is real and what is fantasy.

Dead of Night, 1977.

NOT a remake of the 1945 classic. This is an anthology of three stories, the last of which is horrifying.

The Exorcist, 1973.

A young girl begins to exhibit bizarre behavior. After her mother exhausts all other forms of treatment, she turns to an exorcist.

Salem's Lot, 1979.

A well-known writer comes to the small Maine town where he lived as a child, only to find that the town is being taken over by vampires.

Angel Heart, 1987.

A private detective in 1955 New York City is hired by a mysterious businessman to track down a former client, who vanished after World War II. The detective finds himself in over his head.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

La Clairon's Ghost

Eighteenth-century French actress La Clairon (born Claire Leris) came from humble beginnings, which made her rise to fame all the more remarkable. The daughter of unmarried parents, she made her stage debut at the age of thirteen in the year 1736. She worked (and, quite possibly, slept) her way up the career ladder, and at the age of twenty, she landed the title role in Racine's play Phรจdre.

That same year, she attracted the admirer she remembered longer, and for a very different reason, than any other. In her memoirs, La Clairon referred to this young man as "M. de S--". Like her, he came from a humble background. Unlike her, he did everything he could to hide it. La Clairon was put off when he confided in her that he was pretending to be a member of the upper class; she also resisted his need to have her all to himself. Furthermore, he was less than stellar company, being depressed much of the time.

As time went on, his obsession with her became the focus of his life. La Clairon then took measures to end the relationship. She stopped meeting him, refused his letters, and spent most of her time working. M. de S-- went into a deep depression, worsened by the fact that his financial situation was precarious; La Clairon sent him money, but continued to refuse his letters.

One night, he sent word begging her to see him. La Clairon would have done so, but she was entertaining friends, who talked her out of it. She had no idea that her former lover was dying. 

He died that night, at eleven o'clock. At that time La Clairon's friends had been entertained by her singing, and as the applause faded, a horrible cry sounded through the room. La Clairon realized immediately that M. de S-- had died, and persuaded some of her guests to stay with her that night.

The cry rang out at fairly regular intervals for some months, and finally faded - only to be replaced by a sound as if a gunshot had been fired. This noise was heard every night at eleven o'clock

This sound, after some time, also disappeared, and La Clairon began to hear sounds of hands clapping, and finally, a mysterious melody she could never remember later.

During this time, her career had skyrocketed, and her income far exceeded anything she had every known before. She moved to a better and more fashionable house, deciding to rent the old one. Most of Paris now knew of the hauntings, and quite a few people came to view the old house simply out of curiosity. One visitor was an elderly woman who insisted upon seeing La Clairon, stating that she had been a friend of M. de S--. The actress met with her immediately.

The old woman told La Clairon that she had taken care of M. de S-- during his final illness, and that when the young woman failed to visit her former lover, he swore that he would haunt her for as long as he had been obsessed by her.

Indeed, he did. The affair and its aftermath had lasted for two and a half years, as did the haunting.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tarot readings

In keeping with the Halloween season, I highly recommend that anyone wanting a tarot reading contact this guy.