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The Ghost Story of “The Italian Bride”

Most of us enjoy a good yarn spun around a campfire, or these days, by the light of our cellphones. I was intrigued when I heard this story because of the proof they had to back it up. I can tell you that every ghost story I have heard, there is always a lady in white, walking a road somewhere, and ALWAYS after midnight. And when you hear them over and over again, you become kind of numb to them. The excitement isn’t really there anymore because there are SO MANY out there now, that you can’t keep straight half of them anymore…until her.


Her name was Julia Buccola Petta, born March 17th, 1892. She would go on to marry in her 20s and become a house wife to her beloved husband, Mattew Petta. Unfortunately, she would die during childbirth at the age of 29, giving birth to a stillborn son. She was buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, IL, in her wedding dress (with her son), with a picture on her tomb of her in it on her wedding day. The story goes that her mother, Filomena Buccola, starting having nightmares where her beloved daughter was telling her that she was still alive! After 6 years of these dreams, Filomena got permission to exhume her daughter’s body. When they brought the coffin up, they could see it was disheveled and decomposed. BUT when it was opened…. she was in pristene condition except for her son and the arm that held him. Her mother actually took a picture of her daughter and what she saw….and it is ON THE TOMBSTONE!!!! They don’t have any real explanation for such great condition of the body but that they think back in those days that with the right ebalming liquids and an air tight coffin, decomposing would move at a slower rate. OR she’s a vampire. Who knows.


Whats also interesting is that she was buried under her maiden name, not married name, and no mention of the child’s name that she had bore and eternally slept with. Rumors are that there may have been some beef with mom-in-law and the son-in-law, as happens, and once he got remarried, I’m sure Mom didn’t want any trace of him on her stone. The Mother also rests next to her now.


And with any ghost story, they said you can see her walking among the stones in her area, or along the drive inside the Cemetery. Her stone is a full-size statue of herself in her wedding gown, along with her “live” and “afterlife” pictures on the stones. I can say looking at the photos I was creeped out, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she was hanging out in there, maybe chatting it up with Al Capone, who knows? To find her for yourself and pay your respects, you can find her in the Northeast corner of the cemetery, coming in from Harrison Street and taking an immediate left. She is right across from the offices and can’t be missed. Enjoy your visit!

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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