Hey everyone! A bit of housekeeping first. Yesterday I had my 50th post and broke my previous view record! 133 page views compared to 105 after I was published by Listverse, so that feels like an awesome thing since I haven’t been published in a while. Thank you all so much for commenting and sharing and liking! It was awesome seeing that record break, and I’ll admit I had a celebratory Bulleit Bourbon on the rocks while writing this next post last night.
I’ve decided to share 2 true stories with you regarding Bachelor’s. First about Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, called the most haunted in the United States. Second, about my bachelor party, which nearly killed us and would have left a plot of land in Wisconsin the most haunted site in the US. Enjoy! Thanks so much again everyone!
Oh, also creepy side note. I’ve been waking up each morning at 5am (those who know me can tell you that’s scary enough,) however today when I was gathering my writing materials and about to walk out the bedroom door, I could’ve sworn I heard talking in our kitchen and movement. I looked through the house, checking every room, door, and window. Nothing was disturbed. My life is apparently turning into ‘The Map.’ I’m thinking it’s still just my brain waking up and hearing things even though I had been awake for 10 minutes at my time because that’s a nice thing to tell myself.
I grew up near Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in the south suburbs of Chicago. Legend has it that it is the most haunted cemetery in Illinois, if not the entire US. The cemetery is a run down and ill kept plot of land fenced off in the woods, just off a major thoroughfare. Driving along the road, your car will pass over a bridge looking over a pond in front of the cemetery, with the overgrown tombstone in the distance.
It’s more famous cousin, Resurrection Cemetery on Archer Avenue is one of the birthplaces of the phantom woman hitchhiker myth, but Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery is infinitely creepier. There have been several groups that go out periodically and clean up the area, but each time I’ve been there it has been in disarray and overgrown.
There are quite a few legends regarding the location. The aforementioned pond supposedly was a dumping ground for victims of mob hits in the 20’s and 30’s, however it seems like quite the distance to drive at the time when there would have been quite a few better options closer to the city. Some of the stories claim a phantom Packard automobile will chase lone drivers at night. Having been down that road very often near midnight, I’ve never been lucky.
There is also a picture taken of one of the benches showing a spectral woman who was supposedly not there when the photo was shot. I have a hard time believing it, only because it looks too perfectly staged, and the woman looks too defined. However, other unconfirmed reports also include black masses being held on Halloween, animal sacrifices, and a strange glowing orb that can be seen moving through the woods.
Unfortunately, the only thing I have personally seen is desecration of graves by destruction of tombstones. Markers can be seen dumped in the pond in front of the cemetery leading to the idea that the disturbance and insult to the dead is what causes the area to have that mysterious haunted aura.
Now, I haven’t mentioned my favorite story of Bachelor’s Grove. Legend has it that if you walk along the access road, occasionally you will see a farmhouse in the woods, lantern burning in the window. The legend diverges that if you approach the house it will disappear, you will never get close, or if you enter you’re never seen again.
Some of the accounts I’ve read state that no farmhouses had been in the area. My father has aerial maps from the 1930’s showing the region, and indeed there were no farmhouses within a few miles. He acquired the maps specifically to find long gone farmhouses, as they would dump their trash in holes the farmers dug so you can still find bottles and other cool relics from the 1800’s.
I love the idea of a haunted house that wasn’t ever there. It seems much more alien and mysterious than a simple ghost or strange lights in the woods. The idea of a spectral building and what you find inside seems far scarier to me than any normal phantom, hitchhiker or not.
Last time I went to Bachelor’s Grove we also went hiking in the woods around the property. Less then a quarter mile in the woods we found the remains of an old well.
Just past that, the ruined foundation of a small, long gone farmhouse, barely outlined through the forest undergrowth. It doesn’t appear on my dad’s map. It gives me a chill just thinking about it.
One day I plan on going back to Bachelor’s Grove, but honestly, I have no idea what I’d do if I saw a farmhouse just outside the entrance, door slightly cracked open, with the warm, inviting glow of lamplight trying to welcome me inside.
If you have any stories of cemeteries around where you live I’d love to hear about them. Local legends are the best legends, and I love a good story.