Haunting History: Suburban Chicago Urban Legend Among Creepiest American Ghost Stories

on Oct12

11 October 2017 | 4:14 pm

Halloween is still weeks away, but things are already getting spooky at a Chicago-area cemetery.

According to a Thrillist roundup of the creepiest urban legends in the country, “The Italian Bride” burial site at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside holds Illinois’ most chilling tale.

The legend tells of a young woman named Julia Buccola Petta, a Chicago native who passed away during childbirth in 1921. The 29-year-old woman was buried in her wedding dress, still holding her deceased baby.

Buccola Petta’s mother, Filomena Buccola, reported having strange dreams about her daughter every night following the burial. Buccola claimed her daughter would appear, insisting she was buried alive and pleading to be rescued from her grave.

After six years of begging, Buccola convinced a judge to order an exhumation of Buccola Petta’s body in 1927. When the body was retrieved, the Buccola family was shocked to find Buccola Petta’s body perfectly preserved despite spending six years underground.

A life-sized statue of Buccola Petta now stands in front of her grave, along with a photograph of her unaffected body taken at the exhumation.

Tour guide and owner of Weird Chicago Tours Troy Taylor told the Chicago Tribune that Buccola Petta’s grave is his favorite haunted Midwest monument and recommends it to curious Chicagoans.

Read the remaining 49 historical hauntings on Thrillist’s list here.

Published at 11:09 AM CDT on Oct 11, 2017 | Updated at 11:14 AM CDT on Oct 11, 2017

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