By: Celia Borg
We roam around the city of Chicago, unaware of the history of the buildings or roads we pass or occupy. We live in this huge metropolitan, clueless to the history of our surroundings. Urban legends, a term referring to the haunted mysteries of a city or community, are quite prevalent in Chicago unbeknownst to many citizens. Here are some of the most famous urban legends in Chicago for the past 100 years.
The Chicago History Museum
Before the Chicago History Museum building was built in Lincoln Park in 1932, the area was a cemetery before it became a park in 1860. Many of the graves were unmarked for many years, leaving plots to be built on top of each other. When the museum was relocated to Lincoln Park and rebuilt in the 1930s, workers found numerous bones while digging for foundation. Since then, the museum’s eerie past casts a darker shadow from what people knew before.
The Hull House Haunting
Founded in 1889 by Jane Adams Hull, The Hull House was a settlement house for recently arrived European immigrants located in the Near West side of Chicago. It had grown to 13 buildings until many of them was torn down due to construction for the University of Illinois at Chicago. Over time, the Hull House became a Chicago landmark and formed into a museum. However, the Hull House has a distinct reputation of being haunted. It was rumored that Jane Hull, being the charitable woman that she was, took in an adopted child who was given up by their mother. Many people claimed that the baby was a child of Satan. Nevertheless, Addams took care of the child until it passed. Many visitors who have gone to the museum have reported seeing the face of the devil in the house.
Resurrection Mary may be one of the most famous Chicago urban-legends. Resurrection Mary is the classic vanishing-hitchhiker ghost story where Mary asks men driving down Archer Avenue for a ride home and then suddenly disappears. Many men in the 1930s claimed that this young woman had blue eyes and blonde hair and was dressed in a white party dress. Resurrection Mary was mostly noticed around the Southwest suburb of Justice, Illinois right by the Resurrection Cemetery (hence the name Resurrection Mary). It was rumored that Resurrection Mary was killed in a car crash with her boyfriend in 1934 and her ghost haunts that road.