Bachelor's Grove Cemetary
Bachelor's Grove Cemetery

There are more ghost stories and eerie legends told about this small, abandoned cemetery than any other place in the Chicago area. It is located on the edge of the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve, near the suburb of Midlothian, Illinois.

The haunted history of the place began in 1864 when the area was set aside as a burial ground. Near the cemetery was a settlement of immigrants, mostly German, who had helped to build the Illinois-Michgan Canal. The settlers lived on small farms and most of the men were unmarried, so the place became known as Bachelor's Grove. The small village is gone today. . .but the place is anything but empty.

Access to the cemetery is gained by way of a narrow gravel trail that was once a main road through the area, until the Midlothian Turnpike was constructed in it's place. Along this trail, many visitors to the area have reported seeing a phantom farmhouse that seems to appear and disappear at random. The house is always described in the same way, as a white house with porch pillars, a swing and a soft light burning in the window, but it is never reported in the same place. As witnesses approach the house, it always disappears.

The cemetery itself is in terrible condition, desecrated and forgotten. There have been no burials here since 1965, when vandalism was so bad that the cemetery was closed. It is believed that satanic and occultist groups perform ceremonies here, sometimes leaving the ghastly remains of their rituals behind. Vandals have left few of the graves still standing and many tombstones have been stolen, and sometimes returned to the grounds, giving rise to legends that the grave stones sometimes move by themselves. There have been over 100 paranormal incidents reported here including ghost lights, inexplicable lights and voices, apparitions, strange photos, anomalous recordings and even sighting of unbelievable creatures.

Just past the fence surrounding the cemetery is a small lagoon that borders the nearby turnpike. This pond was once a favorite dumping ground for Chicago gangsters during the years of Prohibition. Large numbers of bodies were found floating here in the past, so it isn't surprising that the pond is said to be haunted. Strangely, one ghost linked to the lagoon, is said to be a two-headed creature that has been reported on many occasions.

The most famous ghost of the lagoon is an old farmer who was pulled into the water by his plow horse in the 1870's. The horse was drowned by the weight of the plow, taking the farmer with it. Two forest rangers spotted the farmer guiding the horse and plow more than 100 years later.

The cemetery itself has it's own ghosts, form the image of people dressed in monk's robes to the spirit of a glowing yellow man seen in 1984. Many of these ghosts have been captured on film, like the image of a woman seated on a tombstone that was taken with infrared film a few years ago.

The most famous is the "White Lady" or the "Madonna of Bachelor's Grove". She is said to be the ghost of a woman buried in the cemetery next to her young son. She has been seen on nights of the full moon, wandering the cemetery with a baby in her arms.

The ghost lights of the cemetery, and the trail leading through the woods, are also well known to researchers. The strange lights on the trail are said to be red in color and move so fast that they leave a streak behind them in the air. The blue balls of light in the cemetery itself seem to have an intelligence, dancing just out of reach of those who pursue them.

Even the turnpike near Bachelor's Grove is said to be haunted. For a number of years, witnesses have reported phantom cars that disappear along this road. One couple even had an auto accident with a car that vanished before their eyes, leaving their own vehicle untouched . . .despite the sounds of bending metal and breaking glass.

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Haunted Places in Chicago