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Ghost on Staircase

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ghosts in the News...

From the Chicago Tribune today:

Young blond woman's ghost haunts restaurant, legend says
Woman killed in '50s lingers, the legend says
By Vikki Ortiz Chicago Tribune Reporter
October 20, 2008

It's that time of year when Country House restaurant workers in Clarendon Hills answer as many questions about their ghost as about their half-pound burger.Missy Dupre, the restaurant's hostess, says Country House doesn't brag about its alleged haunted history, but employees are trained to talk about it if need be.As the story goes, an attractive blond woman who was dating a bartender back in the 1950s came in distraught, asking him to watch her baby. When he refused, she left, and died after driving into a tree.Whether or not you believe the ghoulish tale, it's been repeated many times over the years — on the Discovery and Travel Channels, in local news reports and on haunted-house Web sites. Some employees have added their own spooky encounters to the running list — the smell of the ghost's perfume, the sound of her footsteps, napkins flying for no reason.

"I didn't believe it for a lot of years," says manager Lynn Banks, who's worked at the restaurant for 26 years. These days, she says, she's less sure. She's heard some strange noises herself.In any event, Halloween season means that ghost-seeking diners request Table 13, take pictures in which they claim to have captured "orbs" and report strange noises in the bathroom.Country House staff try to stay in good, ahem, spirits."We laugh it off," Dupre says. "It's like, 'Could you move your [tarot] cards so I can put your burger down?' "


And another from Canada's The Telegram...
In March of 1999, I collected a strange story from a young man from Manuels, C.B.S., that took place on a fall evening when he was 16. Returning home along the old railway track, he heard a strange noise behind him.“I heard what I thought to be another set of footsteps behind me,” he told me. “I just shrugged it off to being my own feet ‘flicking’ the crushed stones about. Then, I realized that the steps were a distance behind me and must belong to another source other than myself.”The boy was nervous, but brave enough to turn around and look. What he saw terrified him.“I looked down towards the ground about 15 feet behind me,” he remembered, “and saw the crushed stone being disturbed with the impressions of someone’s footsteps coming towards me. I ran the remaining 60-70 feet and the sounds of the footsteps had ceased, though, my prayers to heaven above hadn’t.”Local folklore at the time included a story about a woman known as “Mrs. Molloy” who was killed on the train track many years ago when she was a young girl. The boy’s experience with the ghost was not the first and, apparently, it was not to be the last.Early this October I was contacted by “Natasha G” from C.B.S. She had found a reference to my 1999 story about Mrs. Molloy and shared her own, more recent encounter with the ghost.Natasha’s encounter took place about five or six years ago, when she was out late one night with a few friends.“I happened to look up the track and see what appeared to be a white/grey blob, almost like a patch of fog,” she told me.“I kept my eyes fixed on it and as I got closer I could make out the figure of a woman in an older-style white dress. She had her head down as if she was looking for something or saddened.”Natasha moved closer, and could clearly see the woman in white.“She walked into a little pathway that is only about four-feet long, if that, that goes onto the next road which you can clearly see from the tracks, and then she was gone,” Natasha said. “I kept looking back as we walked past the path, but there was nothing there.“I have never seen anything like it in my life,” the woman told me. “I wasn’t scared though, I have an interest in the paranormal and it was probably one of the greatest things I could have seen in my life. I didn’t tell anyone about it for a while, until I could convince myself that it was indeed what I had seen. I only told close friends, my mom and my sister.”Only a few days after sharing her story to me, Natasha wrote me back saying she had heard an intriguing local legend from an old friend.According to the storyteller, the ghost on the track in C.B.S. is said to be the phantom of a bride-to-be who was left standing at the altar when her fiance didn’t show. The jilted bride was upset, left the church and started walking down the old train tracks in the area of Eason’s Road.The bride heard a train moving closer, and she started to move away from the track. Her wedding dress, never a practical outfit for the serious hiker, got caught in one of the railway spikes. She struggled to free herself but was unable to escape the onrushing train. In true ghost story fashion, it is said she now roams the tracks looking for the man who would have been her husband.The story of the bride on the tracks sounds a bit like a contemporary legend to me, and has parallels to other legends of ghostly brides who killed themselves on their wedding nights. It is interesting, however, that two different people, years apart, had ghostly experiences near the same spot.I’d love to know more about this legend, and the unlucky Mrs. (or Miss) Molloy. If you’ve spotted a lady in white along the tracks in C.B.S., or have heard the story before, please contact me c/o The Telegram, or e-mail


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