Chicago’s Very Own Haunted Cemetery
ARTICLE CORRECTION/NOTATION: The path to the cemetery used to be called Midlothian Turnpike and not Bachelors Grove Road.
It was a cool fall evening. The wind blew just enough to take what was left of the leaves and shuffle them around on the forest floor, creating an eerie sound throughout the woods. There was just enough moonlight shining through the clouds to show me what I was about to get myself into. Definitely the perfect weather to do some ghost hunting. I stood at the beginning of the path that used to be known as Bachelors Grove Road. Now it is the start of the trail that leads you through the woods to Bachelors Grove Cemetery.
For some reason that spot was somewhat of a threshold for me. Looking down this dark path I debated whether or not I really wanted to do this. Half of me really wanted to explore this haunted place that I had heard so much about and the other half thought it wasn’t a very good idea to be wandering around in the woods in the middle of the night. As I tried to come to terms with my decision, I couldn’t help but notice the loud noises coming from the direction of the cemetery. It almost sounded as if someone was hitting a tree with a baseball bat. To this day, I still couldn’t tell you who or what made those noises that night. You could only imagine my thought process now. My adventurous side wanted to go even more and my timid side said its time to run.
That’s about the time I noticed the headlights approaching slowly from Midlothian Turnpike. Was this the phantom car I had read about? Nope, not quite. It was the cops! They politely informed me that if I were to go any further down the trail, they would have to arrest me for trespassing. Needless to say, they made up my mind for me whether or not I was going to see the cemetery that night. So I headed back to the car with my tail between my legs and my pride a little hurt, but at least I lived to hunt another day.
That doesn’t end my story about Bachelors Grove though. I was able to research this place on two separate occasions in the daytime. Don’t think that just because it is light outside there won’t be any paranormal activity. There have been hundreds of reports of activity occurring in the daytime. Case in point would be the infamous photo of the “ Madonna of Bachelors Grove ”. Google it! I personally believe this picture single handedly put Bachelors Grove in the upper echelon of paranormal activity. It is one of the best examples of a ghost caught on film, but Madonna isn’t the only ghost in the cemetery. There have been reports of ghost houses, phantom cars and even a ghostly horse and buggy. Quite a resume for any haunted place.
I’d like to tell you I have encountered all these things first hand and you will definitely have an experience if you go there, but the truth is my results have been inconclusive. On two separate occasions I have failed to capture or feel anything supernatural, unless you count some strange sounds. I don’t. That’s not to say that I think Bachelors Grove is not haunted. Ghosts don’t perform on command and it all depends on timing I suppose.
All in all, this is an awesome place to check out for all the lore and for the history of our early settlers as well. Just do it during the day so you don’t get busted and for goodness sake don’t vandalize. Come on really, I’m amazed I have to say it, but GROW UP!
Bachelors Grove Cemetery is located on 143rd St. (Midlothian Turnpike). Between Ridgeland and Central Ave., in Midlothian or Oak Forest depending on who you ask. Parking is located across the street from the entrance in the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve.