Chicago’s Most Haunted #2: Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Midlothian, Illinois (143rd St and Rubio Woods)
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery has been a hotbed of paranormal activity since the 1950s. There are no less than 7 documented spirits active in the graveyard and its surrounding area. However, the cemetery wasn’t always this active. In fact, it didn’t have a haunted reputation until one of the most disastrous things happened to it–suburban teenagers.
As the Chicago suburbs expanded, the farm area around the cemetery converted to housing. In the 1950s, the local teenagers found the quiet, little cemetery in the backwoods, and they turned it into a party spot. They vandalized the tombstones and we believe that angered the spirits, making it one of the most active paranormal locations in the country.
Today, seven spirits haunt the area. The most documented paranormal activity is the blue light phenomena. The orbs roam the entire graveyard area. You can find them in the cemetery, over a nearby pond and along the pathway from 143rd Street. They seem to be intelligent because they respond to your movements.
Next, we have the ladies of the cemetery. The Madonna, as she’s known to locals, can be found by the Fulton family headstone. She appears as a semi-transparent apparition and openly sobs. Some witnesses said she asked them if they had seen her infant daughter. The other female ghost is called, “The White Lady.” She was photographed sitting on a tombstone in 1991. The two ghosts are not related and they seem to be unaware of each other.
The creepiest spirit has to be the Farmer. In 1870, a man was plowing a field next to the cemetery. His horse got spooked and it dragged him into a nearby pond. Both drowned. You would think that would be the end of it, but, no; that pond is a ghost machine. In the 1920s and 1930s, the mob dumped the bodies of their hits in it. You take the tragic drowning event, plus dozens of dead gangsters, and you get a twisted, hunchback specter that crawls out of the pond at night. Police first reported seeing it cross 143rd Street in 1973. The farmer’s ghost has been a routine sighting since then.
If you see a man in his 70s, with a shotgun, lantern and ornery disposition the pathway between the cemetery’s entrance and Rubio Woods, you just met the caretaker. Usually, he tells you to leave. Occasionally, he chases you out. His friend is a phantom dog and he’s a big, scary, growling Doberman Pinscher. This spectral pooch follows you from a distance until you reach 143rd Street. Then, he fades away into the background.
The last spirit is also the newest one discovered. In 2009, a local ghost hunter wanted to capture the Madonna by the Fulton tombstone. She found something else, the Yellow Man. While she was setting up her equipment, she heard someone by the Shields family plot. When she turned around, she saw the yellow apparition of a man dressed in 1930s clothing. Since then, a yellow light has manifested with the blue lights mentioned earlier.
Why is Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery #2 on the list?
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery has very consistent and active spirits, however, there’s a catch. You can only visit the cemetery during the day. Most ghostly activity happens at night. If the police find you there at night, they will arrest you for trespassing.
The cemetery is also very popular. Ghost Adventures, a paranormal reality TV show, had the last authorized night investigation in 2010. Since then, many ghost hunters visit the cemetery and it can get crowded.
Ghost Hunting Tips
Bachelor’s Grove is next to a very busy roadway, so the traffic will interfere with your audio data collection. On the bright side, the cemetery isn’t known for its EVP. It’s known for apparitions. I recommend using an infrared camera to take pictures. A standard camera may not capture apparitions during the day, but the infrared one can do it. The famous picture of the White Lady was taken in daylight with an infrared camera.
I also recommend investigating during weekdays and in the winter. You can avoid the ghost hunting crowds. After all, no one wants to run an investigation on a Tuesday afternoon, in the middle of January, out in these woods.