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Head 2 Head: Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery vs. McPike Mansion

Bachelor's Grove Cemetery vs. McPike MansionLocations: Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Midlothian versus McPike Mansion in Alton.

Histories: Bachelor’s Grove has been a south side enigma for over three decades and is one of the most famous haunted cemeteries in America. Some say it was named after a group of single men who settled in the area around the 1830s, but a family named Batchelder already owned the land. In the early half of the twentieth century, the Midlothian Turnpike ran past the cemetery, over the stream, and beyond.  Today, the broken road appears to end at the cemetery gates. The road was closed in the 1960s. The body of a teenage girl was found in the woods in 1966, and in 1988 a man, who had been murdered by a former girlfriend, was found in the cemetery.

Built in 1869 by Henry Guest McPike and designed in the Italianate-Victorian style, the McPike Mansion has long captured the imaginations of Alton residents. Although it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, it has sat abandoned for decades — attracting vandals and the curious alike. Today, the mansion is a favorite stop on local tours.

Hauntings: One of the most controversial sightings around Bachelor’s Grove involves a phantom house. In the 1970s, Richard T. Crowe collected stories from dozens of eyewitnesses who claimed to have seen a white farmhouse at various places in the woods alongside the trail, complete with a glowing light in the window. Another popular ghost is the White Lady, or Madonna, of Bachelor’s Grove, who is said to be searching for her lost infant. The pond adjacent to the cemetery has its own share of legends. Stories say it was one of the hundreds of places scattered around Illinois where mobsters dumped their victims during the roaring ‘20s. A policeman reportedly saw the apparition of a horse, followed by a man and a plow, walk out of the pond and cross 143rd Street.

Ghost stories have been told about the McPike Mansion even when it was occupied. In the 1940s, boarders often heard children running up and down the stairs, but could find no one when they investigated the noise. After the mansion became derelict, passersby reported seeing faces in the windows. There are two known entities here. The mansion’s new owners named one of them Sarah. She is thought to have been a hired hand in life, and teases visitors with a spectral touch or hug. The other ghost belongs to a former owner, Paul Laichinger. He has been spotted wandering the grounds.

Which of these two locations do you think is the scariest? Leave your comments below!

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Comments

  1. Barbara Liepold says:

    I love Bachelors Grove..!

  2. BACHELORS GROVE, GREW UP THERE, AND MANY YEARS…ABOUT 80 yrs., OF FAMILY HISTORY…that i really KNOW. FACT NOT FICTION. PLUS I FEEL ALL THE SPIRITS THAT FIRST SETTLED THE AREA.

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