Ghosts Of Haunted Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
Chicago Graveyard Site Of Ghostly Activity And Urban Legends
Bachelor's Grove Cemetery was founded in the 1840s. The first burial was Eliza Scott who was interred in November 1844. For many years it was a place where families picnicked and fished. The lagoon was a burial place for gangsters in the ‘20s and ‘30s.
In the ‘50s and '60s, teenagers began reporting mysterious lights and an eerie house that appeared and disappeared. There has been news about satanic rites. Sacrificed animal were found. During the '70s, vandals dug up graves and robbed tombstones. The graveyard is lonely and neglected making it a good place for hauntings and urban legends.
The most frequently sighted specter is called the White Lady, Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove and Mrs. Rogers.
According to legend, she was buried next to her baby’s grave. She aimlessly wanders through the cemetery on nights of the full moon with an infant in her arms, unaware of the people who have seen her.
In the late 1970s, two Cook County Forest Preserve Rangers were on night patrol when they saw a phantom horse emerge from the pond. It was pulling a plow steered by an old man. The pair crossed the road in front of the rangers’ vehicle, then vanished into the forest. It’s said that, in the 1870s, a farmer was plowing in a nearby field when something startled his horse. The man became tangled in the reins. He was dragged behind the horse until it plunged into the pond. Unable to free himself, the farmer was pulled down into the water and drowned.
People have seen the disappearing farmhouse for several decades during the day and night in all types of weather.
Witnesses say it’s a white two story frame house with a swing on the porch and a light in the window. As people approach it, the house grows smaller, then fades away. There’s no record of a house being on that land.
There have been reports of mysterious bluish ghost lights that bob erratically near the cemetery. A very bright brilliant red orb has been seen flying swiftly up and down the trail to the graveyard. Most witnesses say that they have seen a red trail behind it. A woman said she put her hand through the orb and felt nothing.
The most notorious one is the Hooked Spirit. A young man took his girlfriend to the cemetery and told her about the ghost in hopes that she would snuggle in his arms, but she wanted to go home. He obliged and, when he opened her door, he saw a hook hanging from the handle.
The version told in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania was that the couple was listening to the radio and there was a news bulletin that a dangerous psychopathic killer escaped from Allentown State Hospital. When they heard the report, they went home. Like the Chicago legend, the young man found a hook on the door handle. The facility didn’t have “criminally insane” patients.
A couple was parking when they heard a news report that a killer escaped and was in the area. The man tried to start the car but couldn’t, so he went to get help and told her to stay in the locked car. She waited and heard something scratching the car’s roof.
Soon, a police car arrived. The officer told her to walk towards him and not to look back. More police arrived. She looked back and saw her boyfriend hanging from a tree limb, his feet dragging against the car’s roof.
The ghosts are hauntings, energy imprinted on time and space without intelligence, like a videotape. The vanishing farmhouse is still in the realm of the unexplained. There are others including the barn in Williams Township, Pennsylvania and, in neighboring Easton, s stone gothic mansion. The lights are orbs, a relatively new phenomenon, that appear as mysterious balls of light in various colors which have been photographed.
Urban legends are rumors where people claim to know an unnamed person who knows another anonymous person claims to have witnessed the subject of the folk tale.
The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, (FactsOnFile, 1992).