I don’t get here often, but when I do, I never know what to expect. Gifts and offerings are always left at this marker, no matter what time of year it is. This photo shows a small portion of the gifts left for the Infant Daughter.
Over the years this abandoned cemetery has been subject to vandals, satan worshippers, ghost hunters and spirit lovers. Despite various attempts by troublemakers to move headstones or cover them with graffiti, the Infant Daughter marker seems to remain untouched from harm. It’s reassuring to know that maybe some things are sacred.
Located 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.
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.
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.
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.)
For this challenge, I decided to take a trip to my favorite graveyard. I was pleasantly surprised to find it almost completely abandoned, except for a few people wandering in and out. Considering it is the week before Halloween and the reputation of the cemetery I found myself in luck.
The Fulton family gravestone is probably the most well-known. It is definitely the largest and most interesting that remains in the cemetery. I’ve always found it interesting that the “Father” headstone held a place of honor to the right of the main family marker but bore no name. (There were A LOT of Fultons but I’m guessing that everyone knew which one this was?)
The creep factor, if you want to look at it that way, is when you walk around to the back.
This is where you find the “Infant Daughter” marker, once again with no name or dates. It’s curious that it is hidden behind the main gravestone. As long as I can remember, people have left offerings for the unknown Infant Daughter. Today’s haul was nothing to sneeze at- many stuffed toys, coins, sports team game schedules, gum, candy and a black candle. And it was only as I moved in to get a closer look at the key and horse charm laying on top of the marker that I saw the bear nestled behind the infant marker and leaning against the large family marker, staring up at me.
For Cee’s Black & White Challenge, the theme is Abandoned or Alone. Specific photos from my visits to an abandoned cemetery that I visit from time to time came to mind. This is Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, which is located in the suburbs south of Chicago. Whenever I feel like taking the ride, I visit there to see what has changed since my last visit.
The reason I thought of these photos was because usually someone leaves something behind. One grave stone bears the name “Infant Daughter” and there is usually an odd assortment of offerings. Because they are toys, it gives a feeling of sadness just to look at it. There might be flowers left on graves, and I always wonder if it is a random act of caring or if the person is a long ago relative.
Regardless, this cemetery gives off a strong feeling of being abandoned quite simply because it is. No one is really taking care of it so it has fallen to strangers to form groups and clean it up themselves. And if it feels abandoned in color, in black and white it is even more so.
Thanks to Cee for hosting Cee’s Black & White Challenge! Be sure to visit here to see all the latest entries. And thank you for dropping in!