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Bachelor's Grove Cemetery


Bachelor's Grove Cemetery is a small, abandoned cemetery in the Chicago metropolitan areamarker. It is located near Midlothianmarker and Oak Forest, Illinoismarker in 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, apparitions, squeaks, moans, groans and unexplained noises. Its adjacent pond is also known for rumored mafia affiliation with Al Capone.

History

Bachelor's Grove Cemetery was chosen to be a burial ground in 1844, settled by "yankee farmers" such 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 1965. 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 "racer's lane" era of Bachelor's Grove, making it the perfect spot for teenagers looking for a clandestine spot to drag race and become amorous with their cars. 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 hauntings 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 hauntings [113859]. 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.

The small, stagnant pond adjacent to the cemetery is also reportedly haunted, as it is rumored that Chicago mobster, Al Capone, used it as a dumping ground to dispose of bodies during the 1920's prohibition era, though these claims are unsubstantiated. Another legend about the pond exists involving the ghosts of a farmer and his plow horse who drowned in the pond in the 1870's. It is said that the horse went crazy for an unknown reason upon passing the pond and ran into it, taking with it the farmer.

Bachelor's Grove Today

Today, a section of the Cook County Forest Preserve (at 143rd Street and Justamere Road) bears the name Bachelors Grove in recognition of the early history of the area. The last remaining section of roadway known as Bachelors Grove Road, which ran between 135th Street and 143rd Street, was closed in December 1994. Cook County and the Forest Preserve District have followed through with their intended removal of the road, and another reminder of this piece of local history will completely disappear in time.

It is rumored that the reason for naming the section of the Cook County Forest Preserve (at 143rd Street and Justamere Road) was to lead teenagers away from the actual cemetery.

Image:Bgentrance.JPG|Pathway entranceImage:bg1.JPG|Fallen treeImage:Bagr2.JPG|Fallen treeImage:Bgpond.JPG|Cemetery pond

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