The Hook

(Also known as the Hooked Maniac, Hooked Spirit and Psychiatric Patient)

Last updated September 26, 2011

The following was written by Pete Crapia, founder of the Bachelors Grove Cemetery & Settlement Research Center. A great appreciation goes out to all of those that have and continue to contribute to the research efforts!

The legend of The Hook has been a part of Bachelors Grove lore since as far back at the 1970s, and possibly into the 1940s as well. During the 1970s researcher Richard Crowe of Illinois spoke of the legend while as a guest on widespread radio broadcasts. It is also briefly mentioned in his 1985 documentary The Ghosts of Chicago. Although the legend of The Hook has been found to be an Urban Legend that did not prevent it from becoming a popular story with visitors to Bachelors Grove cemetery.

The path outside the main entrance to the cemetery used to be a part of the Midlothian Turnpike. For a while the road was also used as a Lover's Lane until being closed to vehicle traffic in the 1960s. Due to its use as a Lover's Lane it probably should be of no surprise that the legend made its way to the area.

Since the story of The Hook is an Urban Legend, what naturally followed were variations of it, something which has occurred with other locations that have adopted the legend.

Within the 1989 book True Tales of the Unknown: The Uninvited, it speaks of the "Hooked Spirit" as someone that would sneak up on parked vehicles. On page 52 it states, "He is sometimes reported to be carrying a double-barreled shotgun and chase lovers from the property which once belonged to him." That same passage can also be found to coincide with variations to the legend of the Caretaker for Bachelors Grove cemetery.

Attached to the legend is the story of a young man who parks out at the cemetery with his girlfriend. It is said that in order to persuade his girlfriend to seek protection in his arms for romantic reasons he tells her the story of The Hook. The plan backfires and she asks to be driven home instead. After arriving at her house the boyfriend opens the car door for his girlfriend. While attempting to open the door he finds a hook swinging on the door handle. They apparently ripped it from his arm upon leaving, nearly surviving an attack from "The Hook."

As part of the Urban Legend to The hook, you will also find versions that reference a patient that has escaped from a nearby hospital. With it comes different variations and Bachelors Grove cemetery has its own as well. It is said that while a young couple was parked out at the cemetery, during the middle of their "necking" they were interrupted by a report on the radio. It stated that a mass murderer escaped from a nearby psychiatric hospital and he was last seen heading in their direction.

The woman becomes frightened and demands to be driven home. As fate would have it, the car is unable to be started so the man tells her that he will go and find help. He then instructs her to lock the doors and windows and walks off to find a service station. While he is away for quite some time she also hears a strange scratching sound coming from the roof of the car. She ignores the sounds as if they are just branches from a nearby tree.

Eventually a police car pulls up with its colored lights on. Relieved, she opens the door to step out and greet them. The officer orders her to walk toward him and to not look back at the car under any circumstances. The young woman's curiosity gets the best of her and she turns around to look. There, hanging upside down from a tree, is her boyfriend with his throat cut from ear to ear. His fingernails are said to be the source of the scratching sound.

During a 1977 radio broadcast in Chicago, Richard Crowe mentioned that the Lover's Lane story of the man hung upside down goes back to the 1940s. It was not clearly stated if the legend trulyapplies to Bachelors Grove cemetery that long ago, but there is some sort of indication which suggests that it may have.

In an interview for the Southtown Economist in 1980 Crowe stated, "The tales about Bachelor's Grove date from at least World War II," he also went on to state, "It is one of these popular folk areas that were spread around the high school circuit." While on the radio in 1977 there was mention of a "friend at Cook County" that was going to supply Crowe with a file which was supposed to indicate that the "man hung upside down" had in fact taken place out at the cemetery, but the file was never received.