Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery In Emden

Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery In Emden
© 2011 Deena Budd -
June 26, 2011

What reasons might exist for a ghost to haunt a cemetery? People don’t die in cemeteries…their bodies are buried in them…so why haunt a place where your body lies rotting away underneath the ground?

Numerous professional investigators and local citizens believe there are plenty of reasons for this once park-like one-acre resting place for the dead, Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery near Chicago, to be full of vengeful entities.

According to a documentary by the American Ghost Society National Conference regarding haunted cemeteries: Cemetery hauntings are different because they aren’t connected to unfinished business, but to “events occurring after death such as desecration, grave robbing, unmarked graves, premature burial, and natural disasters that disturb resting places.”

First called Everdon’s, the first burial in the cemetery was that of Eliza Scott, who was interred in November of 1844.

In the early years, the cemetery was a very pleasant place where families enjoyed picnics, and fishing and swimming in the nearby pond.

Most of the more than 100 reported sightings of paranormal activity started taking place after the 1960s and 1970s when teenagers started digging up and removing the bodies, destroying headstones, performing satanic rituals, and removing the headstones from the graveyard. Quite a few were thrown into the pond.

The pond was also said to be used as a depository for Al Capone to dump dead bodies during the prohibition era. Reports by forest rangers indicate the carcasses of mutilated animals have been found in the pond.

A tremendous amount of a variety of different types of paranormal activity has been reported in the cemetery over the years.

There are the usual variances in temperature, feelings of negative energy, loud screaming, glowing headstones, ghost lights, a little girl running, a little boy sitting in various positions all over the little cemetery, misty humanoid apparitions, and orbs of light. There are actually several colors of orbs glimpsed in the cemetery including red, blue, and yellowish-white. Some only show up in photographs or videotapes while others are seen by the naked eye.

Some of the more unusual activity reported in the area include:

A vanishing farmhouse has been reported all over the area since the 1950s. The house always looks the same, and is seen day or night, sunshine or rain. An old, white two-story farmhouse with “wooden posts, a porch swing, and a welcoming light the burns softly in the window” is what all witnesses describe as seeing in the woods by the cemetery.The house always seems to just fade away, sometimes appearing to diminish in size as it fades. Although there is no documentation to support the fact that the farmhouse ever existed, there is evidence of an old foundation and two well shafts in the woods to prove the house was once there.

Many sightings of a big, old black phantom car have been reported over the years. In 1978, a couple reported a collision with the phantom car. Despite the feeling of an impact and the sound of breaking glass and screeching metal, nothing was damaged…and the other car vanished.

Another interesting spectre is that of a phantom horse coming up out of the pond pulling a plow being guided by the “ghost of an old man.” This apparition was first seen by two Cook County forest rangers on patrol in the late 1970s.

There is an old legend that in the 1870s, a farmer plowing his field was dragged behind his startled horse when he became entangled in the reins and was pulled into the pond, and drowned.

Many haunted places seem to be home to a haunting spirit called “the white lady,” and Bachelor’s Grove is no exception. Also called “Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove,” this sad spirit wanders around carrying what appears to be a baby in her arms.

Other sighted entities include a group of phantom monks, a two-headed man who rises out of the murky pond, a figure in an overcoat, and a black dog.

In 1998, Pete Crapia started the Grove Restoration Project to try to restore a sense of dignity and peace to the cemetery. The group is still in existence today, and you can find out more about the project, and a wealth of other information about Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery at


Pete Crapia -
Taylor, Troy. Haunted Illinois: The History and Hauntings of Illinois from Little Egypt to the Windy City. Alton, Illinois: Whitechapel Productions, 2001.
Bielski, Ursula. Chicago Haunts: Ghostlore of the Windy City. Chicago: Lake Claremont Press, 1998.