Back to the Graveyard

bgc mendenhallLocated a half hour south of Chicago, Bachelors Grove Cemetery is rumored to be one of the most haunted places in the Midwest. I have visited it over the years, the last time being two weeks ago. This is when I took these photos. 

I have only visited during daylight hours and this is for only one reason. I’m a chicken. While I believe in spirits, ghosts, and other beings, I don’t mess with them. I respect their right to exist peacefully among us. 

bgc near gate

This abandoned cemetery is connected to many supposed ghostly sightings and occurrences. I have not experienced anything exceptional although for the first time during any visit, I suddenly became overcome with nausea and had to cut my last photo session short. I cannot explain what happened but it upset me more than I want to admit. I tried to ignore the feeling of my stomach churning and the need to leave that place now. It wasn’t until I was safely across the street- wouldn’t it have been a shame if I was so rattled that I got hit by a car??- that I felt myself breath easier. 

If you were to stumble upon this small graveyard, you would find it to be peaceful and serene. Although it is directly off a busy street, the moment you start walking down the closed road that leads to the entrance, all outside sounds fade away. There is little to no sign of wildlife, with the exception of a random chipmunk or a few brave birds. 

One of the biggest draws is the Fulton grave. While from the front it simply appears to be an ornate and well-made headstone, you will be surprised to find the smaller “Infant Daughter” marker decorated with offerings less than a foot behind it. Her gifts range from everything from stuffed animals and dolls, to trinkets to cars and gum. 

bgc fulton in background

The last known burial was possibly 30 years ago, although it is difficult to find a firm answer. Some of the deceased were moved to other cemeteries and it is unknown how many are still buried there. Headstones have gone missing, have moved and have turned up in different locations. Some of this is the result of the desecration that occurred over the years and some is believed to be the work of the spirits who have been disturbed by people. 

Among the stories circulating, the most popular are the sightings of a lady who is sometimes seen carrying an infant, a horse and cart with driver who go straight into the pond, growling dogs, floating orbs, and a house that appears and disappears. These claims are made by multiple unrelated sources spanning many years. 

Another unproven theory for the presence of so much paranormal activity is that the pond, located directly outside the cemetery, was the dumping ground of bodies for Al Capone, Chicagoland mob boss. The pond has never been searched to confirm the presence of bodies or missing headstones. 

bgc pond:creek
Ducks seem to be fond of this pond and are often seen swimming around happily, oblivious or unbothered by what might be laying beneath the calm but murky surface.

Seven years ago, this cemetery played a major role in my NaNoWriMo novel, and after my recent visit it looks like it’s back with a new cast of characters. I find it ironic that being who I am, the person who does not like being scared, is not fond of Halloween, refuses to enter haunted houses or watch horror movies, that I am drawn to this creepy place and inspired to include it in another novel. This will require a bit of bravery on my part because I’m worried about that nausea incident last time. But to keep the feel of the cemetery in my head, especially when I get to the more emotional scenes that take place there, it will require periodic visits. (During daytime, of course! It’s actually against the law to enter the cemetery after dark, the property being part of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.) 

Ragtag Daily Prompt- Dead

Do you have any favorite haunts?

-Kat

 

 

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