Saturday, June 7, 2008

Midnight Mary


Ah, nothing like a classic resurrection tale along the lines of The White Lady of Wopsy Mountain or Chicago's Resurrection Mary, the momma of them all. Toss together a young woman, an untimely end, a bit of a morality play, and viola - a resurrection legend is born. We love them all.

In 1935, Gertrude Spring and her date were on their way to, or maybe from, the prom. But their car skidded off the Bordentown Pike in Bucks County and splashed down into the depths of Penn Manor Lake (known by the locals as Tulleytown Lake or Van Sciver Lake), killing them both.

An alternate tale claims that the pair had a spat, and he dumped her off at the lake to find her way home to Bristol. She hitched a ride with another boy who was drunk (well, it was prom night) and he veered into the lake waters, killing them both.

The car and the body of the boy were recovered, but Spring was never found, according to both versions. We'd take that last bit with a grain of salt, since her grave site is pretty well known, and unless it's empty...

Some say they have seen Spring's spirit floating above the lake in her pink prom dress to this day, accompanied by the strains of ballroom music. They add that sometimes she seems to dance on the water.

Others have seen her on Bordentown Road, thumbing a ride. She's wearing a wet pink dress and is obviously distraught, telling the drivers that she has to find her Bobby. She eventually disappears, leaving behind a puddle in the car and sometimes a corsage.

She's buried in St. James Episcopal Cemetery, and her grave is still a popular stop.

The biggest mystery is why they call the wraith Mary. We're sure it's just for the alliteration. Midnight Gertrude just doesn't have the same ring. Now Tulleytown Trudy or Gertie's Ghost, hmmmm, they have some spooky potential....

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