As part of my calendar shots for 2009, I headed down with my friend, Mary, to Resurrection Cemetery on S. Archer Ave, a stretch of road that hosts Chicago’s most famous ghost: Resurrection Mary. This is the one shot that does not feature an exclusive grave as there is controversy over which grave claims the true Mary. Instead, we have featured this wandering spirit along the road where many a hitchhiker has spotted her. Here’s some hollywood-ized folklore about this ghost:

According to legend, Resurrection Mary has been sighted at Chet’s Melody Lounge, an old bar that boldly faces the cemetery from across the street. We went into the bar to freshen up from our drive down I-55. Mary walked in wearing her work clothes from the day, after a few minutes and a few sips of our drinks, Mary went to the restroom to get into costume. She returned to her bar stool wearing a long white wedding dress. Mike, (check out his myspace) he’s pictured here in his Ozzie sunglasses with Mary: was jamming it out on the keyboard in the back corner of the bar. He commented on her “nice dress” in mid-song. We looked for the Bloody Mary that is supposed to sit at the end of the bar for the famous ghost and we also looked for “The Ballad of Resurrection Mary” on the jukebox. (My Chicago Haunts book by Ursela Bielski promised these details.) Apparently only the bartender on Sunday has a Bloody Mary out for the ghost and the jukebox went digital and doesn’t have the song anymore. We got our fill of stories of ghost encounters from the locals in the bar. Gil, who bought two beers for us “two hippie chicks at the end of the bar,” told us of how he passed out outside the bar after claiming there was no such thing as ghosts. His cigarette went flying out of his hand. Rez Mary was not happy! Ray, Chet’s Melody Lounge webmaster, and an extra in the Resurrection Mary Movie made in 2004, recounted the time a beer “just flew off the bar– I swear, ask the bartender.” Ray says the movie’s horrible but he’s in the scene that they shoot at Chet’s Melody Lounge. Here is our rendition of Resurrection Mary at Chet’s with Ray seated in the background:

The real shots at the Cemetery gates will be fully revealed in the calendar but here’s a sneak preview:

The legendary steel bars where Mary is believed to have pulled the bars apart and imprinted her tiny lady-ghost hands have long since been replaced. (The cemetery claims that a truck backed into the gate. But believers insist that it mysteriously wouldn’t “take” to new coats of paint in that same spot.)