Author Topic: History of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery  (Read 29841 times)

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Offline Ghost1

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History of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
« on: Nov 07 2007 - 09:08PM »
*Updated 10/11/08

Bachelor's Grove Cemetery

Bachelor's Grove Cemetery is a small, abandoned cemetery in the Chicago metropolitan area. It is located near Midlothian and Oak Forest, Illinois near the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve on the Midlothian Turnpike. It is well-known for its haunted stories and ghost sightings. There are countless reports of glowing balls of light, apparitions, and unexplained noises.

It's History
Bachelor's Grove Cemetery was chosen to be a burial ground in 1844, settled by "yankee farmers" as Clarence Fulton, the now deceased caretaker of the cemetery claimed in a 1977 newspaper article. Currently, it is unused, but it was used for burials until at least 1989. Due to the location of the cemetery along a small, unused road, vandalism has been common.

The small entrance road was once a branch of the Midlothian Turnpike until the early 60's, when the smaller branch was left in favor of letting traffic go onto 143rd street. The closing of the road engendered the "lover's lane" era of Bachelor's Grove, making it the perfect spot for teenagers looking for a clandestine spot to park and become amorous with each other. It was around this time that many ghost stories about Bachelor's Grove came into being. In the early 70's, vandalism developed from scattered littering to full on destruction of tombstones and trees. Of the estimated 200 tombstones that once were in the cemetery, only 20 remain: the ones that are too heavy to be moved. In addition to that, several graves were dug up, forcing those in charge to set the tombs in concrete for protection.

The largest remaining gravestone, marked with the Fulton family name, is scattered with trinkets visitors have left behind at the infant Fulton child's grave. Reports of satanic rituals have enhanced the legends of hunting's and ghosts, though to this day only anecdotal evidence as well as alleged pictures of "orbs" exist to prove such a haunting. A 1991 photograph taken using infrared film purports to show a spectral 'White Lady'-type ghost seated on a checkered plinth. Well-known to ghost enthusiasts, it is the most vivid claim to hunting's. Despite the fact that the cemetery is allegedly one of the most haunted gravesites in the country, it seems as if the human visitors' desecration of the site, in addition to the natural sounds and visual stimuli of a dark forest, combined with preconceived expectations, are more likely the cause of such reports.However photographic evidence and first hand accounts of paranormal activity are cause for more extensive investigations into the enigma that persists about the cemetery proper.

Originally settled in the early 1830s by British migrants from New England, a second influx of German settlers traveled to the Bachelors Grove area during the 1840s. Though local popular history traces the site's name to four single men who migrated to these woods during the first phase of settlement, resulting in the designation as "Bachelors" Grove, local researchers now believe that the true spelling of the place name was Batchelder, and that the Grove was named for the family that had settled in the area in 1845. Still, the popular name of Bachelors Grove persists, despite the more common historical use of the hybrid "Batchelor" Grove name, among others.

Though anywhere from 150 to 200 persons are estimated to have been buried in this tiny enclosure, fewer than 20 headstones remain. Fortunately, largely owing to the efforts of historian Brad L. Bettenhausen, a plot map was compiled in the mid-1990s, which was published along with background notes in the Fall 1995 issue of the South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society's journal, Where the Trails Cross. Gathering research from area maps, students of Bremen High School, and members of local historical societies, Bettenhausen matched up burial records and plot locations to create a picture of the true Bachelors Grove, despite the vandalism, missing stones, and waist-high foliage of recent years. The result is an intriguing tale of settlement and growth and, sadly, of decline.

The last known burial of a body at Bachelors Grove took place in 1965; the last burial of ashes was recorded in 1989. Burials after 1950 are rare, and many remains have been disinterred and moved from Bachelors Grove throughout the century as a result of the migration of families, the need for larger plots, and, later, the horror of families at the desecration of the grounds.

It's ghosts and other sighting's

Woman on the tombstone:
This is by far the most famous sighting here and also one of the most famous sighting's worldwide.

The White Lady:
There is said to be lady dressed in white who is known to walk the grounds of the graveyard at night.  Sometimes she has been seen holding a baby in her arms.

Phantom Farmhouse:
This farmhouse is seen by some visitors, then vanishes before you can get to it. 

Strange Lights:
There are many visual phenomena encountered at Bachelor's Grove, including red, orange & white lights flying around the graves and through the trees.  Also a mysterious mist. Many photographs taken here include such mists. (I have taken a very good picture of some orange mist myself)

The Farmer and his Horse:
It is said that a farmer plowing had some sort of accident, and him and his plow horse fell into the lagoon and drowned.
People have claimed to still see the farmer plowing his field by the lagoon on dark nights.

Ghost Cars:
People have told stories of driving down Midlothian turnpike right by the graveyard when a old car just appears in front of them and they hit it.  When they check there car there is no damage and the other car, which is said to look like a 1940's gangster car is no where to be seen?

Click below for the Bachelors Grove non-paranormal photo gallery:
There are dozens of pictures of the whole graveyard and surrounding woods.  Including the foundation and old well.

Here is one of the most famous ghost pictures in the world, It's the Lady on the Tombstone taken at bachelor's Grove.  It was taken by Jude Felz and published in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Here is a quote from the book "Ghost Hunters Guidebook" By Troy Taylor about this picture:

I received a copy of this photo and had it examined by several independent photographers. Most of them would have liked to come up with a reason why the photo could not be real, but unfortunately they couldn't. They ruled out the idea of a double exposure and also the theory that the person in the photo was a living woman who was placed in the photo and made to appear like she was a ghost. One skeptic also claimed that the woman in the photo was casting a shadow. but according to the photographers who analyzed the image, the "shadow" is actually nothing more the natural shading of the landscape. Besides that, one of them asked, if she is castind a shadow in that direction, then why isn't anything else in the frame doing the same?

Below is a 7 min minute video on Bachelor's Grove, it gives you a tour of the whole graveyard.

Bachelor's Grove location:

Off 143rd Street (Midlothian Turnpike) , just East of Ridgeland Avenue in Midlothian IL.   Just west of Rubio Woods Forest Preserve on the South side of the street.  Go down the long path through the woods to get to the graveyard, which will be on your right.

 (4137'51.25"N Latitude  8746'14.38"W Longitude)

If you want to see Bachelor's Grove location in Google Earth, just click this link:
(This will show you where to park and how to find the graveyard also)

Here is a link to Google Earth if you don't have it: Google Earth Download

Here is a Satellite map of  Bachelor's Grove location.

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All Rights Reserved
« Last Edit: Oct 06 2009 - 02:41PM by Ghost1 »
Always remember.........Just because you have never seen something, does not mean that something does not exist.

Offline Colleen2510

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Re: History of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
« Reply #1 on: Nov 11 2007 - 10:48PM »
Very interesting!  I watched the vid that you posted and a couple more.  There was one that actually claimed to have caught the "White Lady" on video and it sure did look like her! But of course I wonder if it really was her then why aren't they shouting it from the roof tops?! Qu  Still might be true.....I'm not much of a skeptic actually cause I totally believe in spirits but it was just so clear and vivid!

Thanks for the history Ghost1 that was very interesting!

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Offline Darkone

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Re: History of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
« Reply #2 on: Mar 03 2008 - 06:53PM »
Very good job Ghost, all kinds of cool info here  =D>

Offline Jeepgirlgina

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Re: History of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
« Reply #3 on: Mar 04 2008 - 02:52PM »
Nice Job Ghost !!!!!

Offline Maggpie

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Re: History of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
« Reply #4 on: Mar 06 2008 - 01:01AM »
Great Job Ghost =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>
Heather & Maggie

Offline Demon

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Re: History of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
« Reply #5 on: Jun 17 2008 - 11:22PM »
You did a great job on this post Ghost1, it's very informative.  Plus you have very clear direction to the place to, even showed where to park.

Great job!

Offline prisoner666

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Re: History of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
« Reply #6 on: Sep 02 2008 - 02:34PM »
great job lost of great info here... :Y:

Offline dancinchris

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Re: History of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
« Reply #7 on: Jul 29 2009 - 10:36AM »
Thanks for all of the information.
The overhead map was fantastic.

Offline Ghost1

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Re: History of Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
« Reply #8 on: Jul 29 2009 - 11:34AM »
Your quite welcome........and Welcome Sign to the site!
Always remember.........Just because you have never seen something, does not mean that something does not exist.