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Baptized At Bachelor's Grove

Baptized At Bachelor's Grove
Chicago Tribune - Entertainment
October 21, 2009
Rebecca Kohles

Here's another entry in the Great Chicago Ghost Story Contest. Does it totally creep you out–in a good way, that is? Then tell us so in the comments below.

"So, August," the psychiatrist said, while he adjusted his wire-rimmed spectacles. "What makes you think you can contact spirits?"

A deep sigh emanated from the young man seated on the couch. "You could say that it all started in my youth. My older brother, Hammond was one of those boys that hung out with ‘the crowd' and I was his nerdy kid brother that practical jokes were played on mercilessly. Perhaps you should write this down?"

"All in good time."

"Well, one day at school became particularly unbearable. My lunchbox was hidden. My red sweater that my mother always made me wear had been hidden as well, leaving a youth fraught with anxiety over the prospect of going home without, and the tongue-lashing that he would inevitably receive from his overbearing father."

"How old were you?"

"Seven."

"Go on my boy…" the psychiatrist urged.

"It was a Friday in the fall, when dark comes early. My brothers group of friends had decided that the nightly activity for that evening was an adventure to Bachelor's Grove Cemetery. A place reputed for being particularly haunted and full of rumors of devil worship, sacrifices, and black masses."

"At the tender age of seven you agreed to this?"

The younger man gave his analyst a wry smile. "When you want to fit in with the group, you do what you think you must."

The older man nodded, tugging at his vest absently.

"Are you sure you don't want to take notes?" August asked.

"Soon."

"The gates were closed, but one of the boys managed to find a spot behind a bush where there was a gap big enough for all of us to fit through. I thought I saw something and hesitated, but my brother grabbed my wrist and dragged me inside despite my protests. Some snickered, believing I was a chicken, but they didn't understand."

"What didn't they understand, August?"

"I have to admit, I didn't understand it myself. I saw misty shapes of people. Some looked sad, some cried, others frightened me at first…they looked so angry."

"At first?"

"That was before the really scary stuff began to happen. You see, the rumors were all too true; years of sacrifices and black masses had taken place there. Before we knew what was happening, we were witnessing one and even my brother was too terrified to move for fear that the members in the black robes would hear us. Maybe kill us."

"Pah, urban legends," he scoffed.

"Sadly, no. These cult members were practicing some really dark stuff and we watched, while they called different demons by name and finally asked for one in particular to come forth into the summoning circle." He snorted. "The stupid fools thought the demon would bring them power and riches."

"What did he bring?"

"Death. He brought death with him as the portal ripped apart between our world and the underworld. He was powerful, and he unleashed it on everyone there. His true form was terrifying. But you see that was one of the biggest problems."

"I'm afraid that I don't understand, August."

"I was the only one that could actually see him; none of his followers, none of my brothers group, not even my brother; just me. I don't know why. I just saw men torn apart by an invisible force. Blood, limbs, and heads were scattered around the makeshift altar and when the demon was finished, it came for us. We scattered, but I was the only one that could hide."

"Because you were the only one that could see it?"

"Yes."

"August, I'm writing you a prescription," said the older man reaching for his pad and pen. A confused look crossed his face when his hand passed through the items.

"Forgive me sir, your daughter asked me to pose as a client and help you cross over."

"But," he sputtered. "Your story…"

"All true. That night a demonologist was born. I'm here to help you. I'm one of the few who can."

A white light appeared and the older man turned his head from August to the light.

August Benjamin nodded; time for this spirit to move on. "Go now, rest in peace."


Check out the contest rules and how to submit your own story. Read more ghost stories here. Not all eligible entries will be posted online.

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