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The Ghostly Side Of Chicago

The Ghostly Side Of Chicago
Fish Soup, Medill School of Journalism
2002? - Melissa "Neon" Bearns

Are the streets of Chicago safe at night? Maybe the danger comes not from the living but from the dead: Brutally murdered gangsters, restless souls that hang around the buildings and streets where they met an untimely demise.

Floating orbs are one of the many unexplainable phenomenon at Bachelor's Grove Cemetery.

Chicago and the surrounding areas are rife with tales of sinister sitings, floating mists and the sound of moans and shrieks that come from nowhere. There have been numerous books written about the hauntings of the city and there's even a tour company that will take you on a spooky trip to visit the its most infamous haunted locations.

Bachelor's Grove Cemetary, located in Midlothian, Ill., is one of the most famous haunted spots. According to the website, there have been over 100 paranormal events documented inside the chainlink fence that surrounds the small, one-acre cemetery. That makes it one of the top ten haunted places in the United States.

The cemetery was started in the 1830s by a group of British and German settlers who were hired to build the Cal-Sag Canal and lived nearby in an area known to locals as Bachelor's Grove.

The first burial took place in 1844 and in the following years, 82 people from the nearby Bremen Township were interred at the cemetery, originally called Everdon's. The ground was last broken to bury someone in 1989, but the area has a long history of desecration including signs of satanic activity.

According to Illinois ghosthunters, the three best-known phenomenon seen at Bachelor's Grove Cemetery are the floating orbs, the vanishing house and the White Lady.

The orbs, which appear as semi-opaque balls of yellow, white or red light, cannot be seen by the naked eye. They can only be documented on film.

In Haunted Chicago, Ursula Bielski writes that the house appears and disappears for no apparent reason and when researchers began collecting drawings from the people who claimed to have seen it, those drawings were almost identical: "a two-story Victorian home with a swing on a colonnaded porch."

But Bachelor's Grove isn't the only haunted spot in the Chicagoland area.

The Biograph Theater at 2457 N. Lincoln Ave. is said to be haunted by the ghost of John Dillinger who was shot there in 1934. The site of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, where members of Al Capone’s gang were gunned down, is also said to be haunted as is the Graceland Cemetery.

All the while, groups such as the Eastern Illinois Society for Paranormal Research, the International Ghost Hunter's Society and the group, Haunted Chicago, keep close tabs on the ghostly activities throughout the state.