Haunted Cemetery Gets Makeover - Bachelor's Grove Ghosts Clean Up Their Act
I remember when I first read about Bachelor's Grove Cemetery, it was being highlighted as one of the top 25 haunted places in the world. My first visit there was prior to the dot.com revolution and GPS systems, so without a tour guide it was a little difficult to find. I spent the better part of a day wandering through the Bachelor's Grove Forest Preserve on the north side of 143rd St. just east of Harlem Ave. As luck would have it, I finally found the cemetery on the south side of 143rd St. about 1 mile east from where I started just before nightfall. There aren't many more exciting things than finding a haunted cemetery about one quarter mile into the forest preserve by yourself as night is falling.
The number of hauntings and legends associated with Bachelor's Grove Cemetery are numerous. Visitors to the cemetery have witnessed a lady in white, a ghostly farmer and plowhorse, mysterious lights, and a vanishing house to name a few. There have been stories of Satanic cults, mobsters dumping bodies and various murders associated with the cemetery although none have been verified as of yet. It is also rumored to be the location that started the ever popular "Lover's Lane, Hooked Maniac" urban legend. Beyond the legends and stories is a condemned, pioneer cemetery in Crestwood, IL that has been the victim of large scale desecration, neglect and vandalism for years. Enter Pete Crapia!
I met Pete by chance when traveling to the cemetery last week to document any changes to the cemetery and to attempt to transcribe what was left of the tombstones. I had seen Pete's website, http://www.bachelorsgrove.com prior to going there but didn't think I would actually run into him. Pete and I share the same love for history, ghost folklore and volunteerism. He has teamed up with local historian Brad L. Bettenhausen, president of the Tinley Park Historical Society and has put together a wonderful website that includes the history of the cemetery and surrounding area, maps, photos, videos, an in-progress listing of the burials at Bachelor's Grove and information on how you can help to restore the cemetery by cleaning up garbage, removing spraypaint on headstones and much more. I plan on keeping up to date with Pete, volunteering my time and donating information about the cemetery that I dig up on my quest to document the beginnings of the legends. Pete's ultimate goal is to attempt to identify all of the burials (the last one was 1989) and place a memorial marker near the entrance of the cemetery documenting the remaining gravesites that were never relocated.
You owe it to yourself to visit his main site http://www.bachelorsgrove.com as well as his sister sites http://www.bachelorsgrove.org and http://www.bachelorsgrove.net
For more info on the author's experiences with Bachelor's Grove visit: http://www.hauntdetective.com