49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Date: January 31, 2012 07:23PM
Hi all....wonderful forum and it's great to know that there are so many Chi history fans out there!
Anyway...this particular question may seem a little out of this world...quite literally...but I thought I'd post here as it's been in the back of my mind for the last 12 - 13 years. I'd like to know if anyone else has experienced something similar to what I'm about to relate in the area of Archer and Lawndale or knows of a strange character who may live in this particular area.
Summer of 1998, late summer night (probably around 11 PM), a friend and I were out cruising the SW side as we often did on nights when the bars/clubs weren't very active. Part of our route (actually a turnaround) as we were heading north on Archer would be to turn south on Lawndale off of Archer, then take the first right (49th Street) follow the bend in the street (where it turns into Ridgeway) north back to Archer, turn left on Archer and head back south on Archer Avenue.
On this particular night, as we approached the bend that turns 49th into Ridgeway, we saw her, him, it...still not sure what. It was the strangest sight I'd ever seen or have seen since.
There, under the light of the streetlamp, was a figure in an ankle length black robe or frock, hooded, sweeping the sidewalk with a broom straight out of the 18th century (like a wooden dowel with a bundle of twigs tied around one end of it). It had the worst hunchback I've ever seen on anyone...to the point that its body was almost bent at a right angle at mid back. My friend was the first to see it....his exclamation (something to the effect of "Holy @#@!") caused me to look over. At the moment I caught sight of this thing I said something to the same effect. This thing, creature, whatever, heard either our exclamations or our car slowly rolling by and turned its head to look at us. The hood cast a very dark shadow and we did not get a glimpse of any kind of face....so on top of the strange garb and behavior (sweeping a street corner sidewalk at 11PM) this thing appeared to have a black void where its face should have been.
It really scared the hell out of me and I didn't even think at the time to go back around the block to see if it would still be there...we just promptly drove away and didn't look back.
Fast forward about a year...late summer night. My buddy and I are cruising again and we hit this turnaround. Lo and behold on the same street corner we see the same "person" doing his/her thing with the broom. He/she doesn't look up. This time we loop the block and, on the second pass, find it still sweeping and not paying any attention to us. Didn't have the nerve to address this thing and we just left.
It didn't occur to me at the time to consider this experience as anything supernatural just because this thing looked so solid. I just marveled at how someone so eccentric, to say the least, could exist in this day and age. I've always been a very skeptical person when it came to otherworldly topics, but as the years have passed and I've yet to experience something even remotely this strange, I become more and more convinced that these experiences could, in fact, have been of a supernatural nature. I feel stupid even typing that last sentence...but it is what it is.
So my aim in posting this account is to get it in front of a group of people who have obviously spent alot of time in and around the city. I'm sure many of you hail from this particular neck of the woods.
Does anyone here know of an individual from around this area (Archer and Lawndale) who's been known to dress / behave in this fashion? Has anyone here actually seen this dude/thing/whatever it is?
I'm laughing as I type this, because I can already see the string of flames that will follow this post. It sounds like a load of s!@t, but I will swear on a stack of bibles that both my friend and I saw this thing not once, but twice.
Thanks in advance for any information you may have.