Your Ultimate Guide to Real Estate on Chicago's North Shore

North Shore Haunts: Calvary Cemetery

Calvary Cemetery main entranceOn the southernmost edge of Evanston lies Calvary Cemetery, a large Catholic cemetery first established in 1859. The main entrance to the cemetery is a pair of massive limestone gates designed by architect James Egan. There are some well-known locals buried here, including Charles Comisky (founder of the White Sox and the American League), John M. Smythe (furniture maker), Edward Kelly (former Chicago mayor) and Edward Hines (lumber giant).  But the most interesting thing about the cemetery may be one of its less earthly inhabitants.

For twenty years during the 40’s and 50’s an apparition would appear nightly to drivers along Sheridan Road. Thousands of stunned motorists reported seeing a ghost climb out of the lake and over the rocks, then stagger across the road dodging traffic to the cemetery entrance, where he would pace back and forth in front of the closed gates. Speculation at the time was that the ghost was a World War II airman who had crashed into the lake during a training exercise and his body never recovered.

Finally, in 1960, the gates were inadvertently left open one night, which allowed the ghost to enter and find himself a permanent resting place. After that night he was never seen again.

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