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David Wencel

© 2010 David Wencel

Sent in via email March 23, 2010

I have some things to also share with you about bachelors grove cemetery. I first went there in the late 60's. So yes, I am old. The place was loaded with headstones. Many very old and almost unreadable with angels on top of them. I remember some of their birth dates. Some were born in the early 1800's and some late 1700's. Their deaths were in the mid 1800's. Many had Irish sounding names like MacMurray, and with rather newer looking headstones. And what I could not understand was that there were headstones which had the date of death as 1965 or a lady being buried there in 1966. Now I don't remember the fence going around the place at this time. I remember the road leading to the cemetery from the highway was still in excellent condition.

Next, the story about the care taker was told to us by a retired Cook County Sheriff Police Sergeant. At the entrance was the remains of a house. The story we were told was that the care taker of the place lived there and that he killed his wife in the house with a knife and then burned the place down to cover the crime. Then he decided to take his own life with that same knife. So he burned with the house and with his wife. The story was that he was still there keeping an eye on the place which is why he sometimes did things to people when they come there. Bruises on their body or scratches on their car because at that time, you could actually drive to the cemetery itself.

He also told us that they got lots of calls in the past from a bar near 143rd and Harlem Ave, remember there were no cell phones at the time, from people saying as they were driving, they saw a small man walking near the the entrance to the cemetery drive on 143rd street heading west covered in blood looking dazed and confused and perhaps he was the victim of an auto accident. At first the cops thought it was from someone who had one too many but they always sent out a patrol and found nothing. But they always saw him in the evenings. He said they associated him with Resurrection Mary since his police station was on Archer Ave not far from Resurrection cemetery itself and they also got a lot of calls on her too.

I did have a friend who had his vehicle horribly scratched there. He had a beautiful 1968 Chevy Impala, painted a beautiful black color. He went there with his date on prom night in 1971. He said he turned off his headlights but left his parking lights on. But he remembered locking his car doors and leaving the engine running so they could listen to the radio. He and his date were making out and having a few drinks when something covered his car windows, like with a big sheet. Then it appeared to him that a bunch of people were trying to get in his car by playing with the door handles. Then they were banging on his car all over. He said he threw the car in reverse and took off. Shortly after they pulled away, this sheet came off. He did not see who had done this to him. But the next morning, he saw his car and I admit I saw it too, and it was scratched all over to include the roof, hood and trunk lid.

I remember once when I left there with some friends and we went to my home to watch creature features on television, my mother woke up at night to use the bathroom and saw what she thought was a cloud of white smoke in her kitchen. She started to scream fire! We all ran into the room and saw that nothing was there. I was told later by some older friends that this was the old care taker giving me a warning to stay away.

This was also a dangerous place at night because drug dealers would meet there and sell their drugs. I remember you would always find drug paraphernalia laying around every where. It was sort of a big thing with the hippie generation at that time getting high in this place. And the Cook County Sheriff's police would patrol there often. Also you would find lots of dead animals as dogs and cats terribly mutilated laying about because the black occult would meet there on their Sabbath's and sacrifice their animals on the headstones. Witchcraft was also popular at that time. And they would also have a bad habit of attacking anyone who would come there and disturb their ritual. These were the folks who wore the black robes and hoods. You would also find used condoms laying around because they would have sex as part of their ritual and also lots of burnt candles and incense.

In the early 70's I was a federal agent which meant I could carry a handgun. So my friends talked me into going there and of course bringing my handgun with me. When we got close, we saw strange colored blue lights flickering about. The evening news had a story on this place some months later and said this was swamp gas. And then we heard what sounded like a lot of people talking, as say they would be at a party. We had a full moon and our flashlights. I could see a lot of headstones were moved around and many were now missing. I heard it was a big thing to steal the headstones from here and use them for Halloween docorations. We then could see a fog coming from the pond and heading towards us. Then one of the graves, which my friend was standing on, caved in. Man did he scream. The square was about six inches deep and the perfect shape of a coffin. What was odd was that the fellow that this happened to, well, his father was a grave digger at a local southwest side cemetery and his dad said to us later, that probably one of the old wooden caskets of someone who was buried there that became rotten finally gave way because of my friends weight on top of it. He said that this happened a lot in his cemetery especially with their older graves that did not have the cement crypts.

So I had enough and this was the last time I was there until last August when I took my lady friend there because she asked me about the place. So many headstones are gone. Some of them were really very large because there had the names of several family members on them. Those things must have weighed a couple of tons so how they moved them I do not know.