It was in December 1933, two days before Christmas when a five foot, four inch auburn-haired, hazel-eyed young woman dressed in blue arrived to the town of Willoughby, Ohio. No one knew her name.
She had been travelling by the Greyhound bus alone, her motives for being in the city unknown. She exited the bus roughly a quarter mile beyond the downtown station. Dressed entirely in blue, the young woman walked the streets, greeting anyone she passed by with heartfelt warmth. As she approached the train station, an eastbound flyer was rushing nearby, bound for New York. Witnesses of the event say that the Girl in Blue dropped her suitcase and sprinted for the tracks. Suddenly, a glancing blow from the train sent her body hurtling through the air before she landed on the gravel siding.
When authorities arrived shortly after the tragedy, they were astonished to find no blood or visible wounds. However, after an examination, it was indicated that her death was caused by a fractured skull due to the injuries sustained by the train.
With no identification found in her purse, the only clue to the mystery of her life lay in a train ticket to Corry, Pennsylvania. Saddened by the circumstances surrounding her death, the residents of Willoughby were left mesmerized by the enigma surrounding the short life of the Girl in Blue. Questions of whether she had committed suicide or was racing to catch the train lingered.
McMahon Funeral Home adopted the young woman’s funeral arrangements, while local donations paid for a headstone and flowers. Though none of the locals knew anything about the girl, more than 3,000 people attended the funeral service to bid her a farewell. She was interred in the Willoughby Village Cemetery.
As the years passed, the mystery of the Girl in Blue lived on, until the week before Christmas Eve in 1993, when the News Herald ran an article commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of her death. It was with this publication that a real estate broker near Corry, Pennsylvania named Edward Sekerak remembered the sale of a family farm by the Klimczak family.
With the assistance of his wife, the Sekeraks’ made a startling discovery. The Girl in Blue had a name. The daughter of Jacob and Catherine Klimczak, Polish immigrants who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1901, the Girl in Blue was named Josephine Klimczak, but to her five sisters and three brothers, she was known as Sophie. Through the documents that finalized the sale of the one-hundred-acre farm, a signed affidavit was filed by her brother Leo in 1985, stating Josephine had died in Willoughby, Ohio after a tragic accident on December 24, 1933, and was buried as “The Girl in Blue”.
Quickly word began to spread throughout Willoughby and nearby communities, after which a second gravestone was added to her burial plot, bearing her name Josephine “Sophie” Klimczak, followed by the date of her death. Even after nearly 80 years, the mystery of her death still haunts the city. Photographs of her gravesite have documented strange orbs hovering nearby; recordings of a mystifying female voice have been captured at her grave; and in some instances, it has been said a figure of a woman has been seen standing next to the headstone, dressed in blue and staring with a forlorn melancholy at the gravesite.
Regularly, since her death fresh flowers would appear on her grave with many visitors asking for directions to her location. Meanwhile, shortly after her death, a fund was established by city administrators to ensure certain geraniums were planted on her grave annually. To this day, the fund still continues to provide her grave with proper maintenance.
J.M.Dover - Writer
Girl in Blue to be published in mid-August 2017.
The True Story of The Girl in Blue
I wrote the story of the Girl in Blue with only this black and white picture as a prompt. I named the young woman in my story Sophie. It wasn't until much later that I found the information below on the internet, and I got a chill when I read the name of the real Girl in Blue.