49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: RealThing ()
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 [email protected], 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.

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: SlickPoetry ()
Date: January 31, 2012 07:48PM

Cool story. I have no information other than the fact that I know its not that uncommon for old people (those who are REALLY into keeping their neighborhood clean) to sweep the sidewalks in front of their house. Its something I have seen more than once.

As far as wearing a black robe while they did it...that's something else entirely.

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: SlickPoetry ()
Date: January 31, 2012 07:57PM

Just looked at google maps...again for no particular reason...and 49th doesn't turn into Ridgeway there, it turns into Hamlin (one block further west than Ridgeway). No big deal, you probably just misremembered the area

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: RealThing ()
Date: January 31, 2012 08:02PM

Yep...thanks for the correction, it's been a while....we definitely did make the turn on Ridgeway to get back to Archer when we looped that block so my memory of the natural bend in the road is a bit off. We saw the thing both times on the NE corner of 49th and Ridgeway.

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Date: January 31, 2012 08:24PM

[b]I'm from that area and hope to hear some explanation about it. Sometimes supernatural things look very real and not spooky. I know from my experiences being 75 years old and experienced a few things in life.[/b]

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: crowamonghens ()
Date: February 02, 2012 11:05PM

awesome story. if you go to google street view and look at the ne corner of thst intersection, you'll see three black things laying in the street. bags or....robes? in any case, the property at that corner looks very overgrown and old, you can't even see the house in there.

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Date: February 03, 2012 12:31AM

[b]I think the house is on the back of the lot. [/b]crowamonghens Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> awesome story. if you go to google street view and
> look at the ne corner of thst intersection, you'll
> see three black things laying in the street. bags
> or....robes? in any case, the property at that
> corner looks very overgrown and old, you can't
> even see the house in there.

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: RealThing ()
Date: February 03, 2012 12:38PM

That is the case Richard. The overgrown area is actually kind of a sidelot. The house on the property faces 49th. As I recall, on the sidelot there was a pretty old detached garage as well as an older vehicle (early 70's make?) rusted out parked outside. Still creeps me out thinking about that thing.

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: RealThing ()
Date: February 03, 2012 12:39PM

Richard, you mentioned that you may have had some experiences of a supernatural nature that looked solid, real. Anything similar to this? If I'm prying, I apologize in advance.

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Date: February 03, 2012 11:31PM

[b]One was the house by the bachelor's grove cemetary. The first time I went there in the 70's I noticed a house a little south of the cemetary. I thought nothing of it only strange to see it there in a forest preserve. Later on people told me of it so I looked again a year or so later and it wasn't there. Other people said just lately that they saw it as I described. I looked it up on aeriel views and saw that there was a house in that location by the revine just like I saw it. I think we all see supernatural things but pass them by without thought. I am not supersensitive or phycic just been observant at times.[/b]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/2012 09:20PM by Richard Stachowski.

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: crowamonghens ()
Date: February 05, 2012 04:54AM

so how much drugs were you on?

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: HOLTANEK ()
Date: February 06, 2012 12:25PM

Hey Crowamonghens, you really seem to like drugs..what are YOU on?

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Date: February 06, 2012 08:51PM

[b]No drugs or booze or spooky stuff just facts.[/b]

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: crowamonghens ()
Date: February 07, 2012 12:35AM

none at all, sir. just paying it forward.

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: HOLTANEK ()
Date: February 07, 2012 02:08PM

I've found that in seeking out the paranormaL,there are those that truly believe,quite often seeing something in nothing, and those that truly dont,or after serious investigation find it all to be urban legends on steroids. A beliver or non believer cant be persuaded to accept the others opinion, it's just human nature, the "need" (or not) to believe, and will never change. Personally, I feel there are things that cant be explained, but I dont fool myself into placing undue significance on noises and such, as on Ghost Hunters and other such dribble.

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: matrix2004 ()
Date: August 05, 2012 09:46PM

First Resurrection Mary, now this. I've seen a couple strange things myself but on the Northside.

Re: 49th and S Ridgeway "Specter"
Posted by: Jeff_Weiner ()
Date: February 07, 2016 04:23AM

Spooky!

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