are usually calm, peaceful places to bury your friends and loved ones.
Most are, however, some are not. Jewish
June 26, 1977 the grave of Michael Todd, whose birth name was Avrom Hirsch
Goldbogen and Elizabeth Taylor’s third husband was broken into by vandals
looking for a 10-carat diamond ring that was allegedly buried with him.
None was ever buried with him. Two
of the vandals were convicted crime syndicate figures, Peter Basile and Glen
DeVos and a third, Ernest Lehning was convicted on October 7th of
conspiring to transport stolen property across state lines.
DeVos and Basile were identified as the grave robbers by Salvatore
Romano, an admitted organized crime figure who had become a member of the
federal witness protection program.
Todd was killed in a 1958 plane crash in
two grave robbers could not find the grave at night during the first attempt and
had to draw a map so they could find it at night.
One night Basile found DeVos drunk and they went to the grave and dug
until they uncovered the casket. They
then broke through a body bag containing Todd’s body but were unable to find
the ring. Thereafter, Basile dragged
the body bag out of the casket and threw it in the bushes.
Authorities found the body two days later after finding the grave
buried within the cemetery is St. Valentine’s Day murder victim, Albert
1986 a giant 500-pound monument crushed a 4-year-old boy to death.
He died of massive injuries to his head and chest.
The granite monument, which measured 38 inches by 20 inches by 9 inches
apparently, had loosened over time and came crashing off its stone base when the
family’s passage jarred the ground, police said.
In his panic, the boy’s father easily lifted the heavy tombstone off
his son’s body even though it later took four police officers to move it.
a series of complaints arose against the cemetery’s plans to sell a large
portion of the frontage bordering along
Hochberg, president of Sportmart, Inc. and developer of the shopping center said
he proceeded with the project when Sherbill assured him the land was not
consecrated. Secular and religious
laws appear to have been followed, said
would think that all of past trials and tribulations would stir up a ghost or
two. Amazingly only one has been
reported throughout the years dating back to around the Century of Progress
Exhibition of 1933/34. She has been
called “The Flapper Ghost” and is described as a beautiful young girl
dressed in the style of the Prohibition Era in a short-skirted Roaring Twenties
flapper dress. The hitchhiking ghost
has been a staple of American folklore for many generations.
Usually the hitchhiker is female and quite beautiful and her destination
is invariably the cemetery.
Here a nameless young Jewish girl has been seen since the latter 1930's.
It is said that she attended dances at the Melody Mill Ballroom formerly
flapper’s first appearance dates back to before the time of Resurrection Mary,
her better-known south suburban counterpart.
Lately the visitations of the flapper have been few and far between.
However during her hay day the flapper was seen quite regularly in 1933
and 1934 during the Century of Progress Exhibition.
The years prior to World War II saw the flapper meeting many young men at
the Melody Mill Ballroom where she would dance, converse and later, ask for a
the girl said was the caretaker’s house, demolished long ago, on
occasions some would run after the girl and watch her as she disappeared farther
back into the tombstones. There have
been times that the flapper ghost was seen during the daylight hours!
On a Spring day in 1973 a Jewish family, father, mother and daughter were visiting a grave of a deceased loved one when they were suddenly startled to see a girl dressed like a flapper walking towards a crypt where she then disappeared. The family ran toward the spot thinking that she might have fallen into an open grave only to find no girl at all and nowhere for one to vanish so quickly and completely.
was well aware of the ghost stories and how the ghost was dressed.
This girl wasn’t attired in old-fashioned clothing but they weren’t
modern either and ghosts were the farthest things on his mind at the time.
On the drive home she commented on how she enjoyed ballroom dancing and
frequently walked home from the Melody Mill.
turned north on
that she couldn’t have gotten into the building that fast; he went to check
the doors. They were locked.
Although the ground was wet with drizzle, there were no footprints on the
dry cement shielded by the apartment building’s awning.
local historian remembers a story a local cabdriver had told her that one of the
cabbies had picked her up once and followed her directions, ending up near the
cemetery’s entrance. Not believing
her when she said she lived there, he started back to the ballroom.
By the time he got there, so the story goes, she had disappeared from the
back seat. Other cab drivers
memorized her description so to be sure to avoid any future confrontations.
man who wishes to be known only as Jacob S. said that he had visited Jewish
Waldheim Cemetery in the late afternoon many years ago with his parents.
As the shadows lengthened, he prepared to leave.
On the way back to his car he was shocked to see “something like
smoke” rising from the ground. He
had the vague impression of certain “humanness” in the “smoke” he saw.
It was only later that he figured he had seen a ghost.
One of the last reported sightings to date was in the fall of 1984 when a couple passing by the cemetery experienced with they believed was a ghost-like figure standing by the main gates. It did not look quite human but was definitely the figure of a young woman.
often go through long periods of dormancy where sightings seem to trail off or
completely stop. This is actually
quite normal for spirits as it does take a tremendous amount of energy to
manifest in a physical form. Sometimes
ghosts simply need time to recharge their own internal batteries.
I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of “The Flapper Ghost”.
other strange recent story concerns The Commons site of the modern-day North
Riverside Police Department and former site of the old Melody Mill Ballroom.
It seems that people passing by still report the sounds of the big-band
era and Glen Miller floating in the psychic ether.
Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
© 2011 Dale Kaczmarek. All rights reserved.
Web site created by Dale Kaczmarek