Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
Bachelor's Grove Cemetery is a largely abandoned cemetery located in unincorporated Bremen Twp. of Cook County. Believers in ghosts and ghost stories typically flock to the area in search of the paranormal, and numerous apparitions and ghosts sightings have apparently occurred in the cemetery.
It dates back to when the area was first settled, in the 1820's to 1840's, which is a similar timeline as many areas in Chicago's suburbs, which were opened to white settlers in 1804, which was the main conflict of the Black Hawk War.
|The cemetery is in very poor condition. Many of the graves are either weathered or vandalized beyond recognition.|
I think the reports of paranormal activity at the site largely derives from its condition. In addition its location, which is located on an old alignment of Midlothian Turnpike, makes it impossible to access via car, however, it is quite easily accessible via a short walk through the forest. This has made it a popular spot for vandals and teenagers, and contributed to its reputation as a scary place.
|Located at the bottom of this topo map from 1928 (immediately left of Midlothian)|
|Here's a better view of where the cemetery is located; Midlothian Road is now aligned onto 143rd St, which didn't exist in 1928. Thus the entrance to the cemetery is only accessible via the Forest Preserve trail, which uses the old road as a trail.|
|The best (and only, really) place to park near the cemetery is in the adjacent Rubio Woods, which is on the north side of Midlothian Tpke.|
Visiting the cemetery on a chilly day, I experienced nothing out of the ordinary, other than the blighted state that much of the cemetery exists in today. With that said, there is so much growth in the adjacent forest that only a few feet into the trail, one gets a sense of otherworldliness that is somewhat tempered by the fact that you can plainly hear traffic on 143rd St/Midlothian, as you never delve too far away from the traffic.
|I probably wouldn't do this at night, more for my fear of others as opposed to a fear of ghosts.|
|There are at least two "Moss" graves in Bachelor's Grove.|
|One of a minority of graves that appear to be in good condition in the cemetery.|
|A base of a monument that has been knocked down.|
The burials in the cemetery also reflect the nature of the citizens at the time, many of whom had moved westward from New England, particularly from upstate New York and Vermont.
The cemetery has been known, and been recorded as, many different names throughout its life, but by and large has been known as Bachelor's Grove through the vast majority of it. There are two main theories as to the etymology of this name: it derives from the Batchelder family, who were among the original settlers of the area, or that it simply came from the large number of single, mostly male, immigrants to the area, who would work on the railroads, canals, and other infrastructure projects in the early to mid-19th century.
|There are plenty of vandalized or otherwise broken graves in the cemetery, and many of the monuments are completely illegible.|
|The red line is the former Midlothian Turnpike as I can best trace it. You can see the cemetery, and the Goeselville area in this satellite image.|
|This is ultimately the scariest part of the walk; as you have to cross Midlothian Turnpike. It's not a pedestrian friendly area, to put it mildly.|