Rule #1: Never Go Alone

History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern IllinoisFrom History, Mystery, and Hauntings of Southern Illinois by Bruce Cline.

Once a month I travel to the Chicago area for the Army Reserve. I was looking for something interesting to do on my off duty hours and decided to check out Bachelor Grove Cemetery. Bachelor Grove Cemetery is a small abandoned cemetery in the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve near Midlothian, Illinois. To get to the cemetery you have to walk down a closed off section of road that used to be the Midlothian Turnpike. Today, this roadway is nothing more than a narrow pathway that is overgrown on both side with trees and shrubs. The cemetery itself is surrounded by a chain link fence that has numerous holes cut into it to gain access. Starting in the 1960’s this area became a notorious place for teenagers to hang out and sometimes vandalize. Numerous gravestones have been moved and destroyed leaving multiple unmarked graves. Occultist used this area for their rituals, exhuming graves and strewing the bones around the cemetery and surrounding area. They would make animal sacrifices here, and this practice continues to this day.

There have been many paranormal sightings in and around this area. A scum-covered pond lies adjacent to the cemetery just outside the fence. In the late 1800’s, a farmer was plowing nearby when the horse became spooked and drug the plow and the farmer into the pond drowning both of them. A two headed creature has been reported to emerge from the pond and creep towards the cemetery. One of the more well known stories is that of the phantom farm house. This house has been spotted in both day and night time and in all weather conditions. Every person that has claimed to see this phantom farm house has given the same description of a two story white farm house with picket fence and porch swing. Upon approaching the house it appears to become smaller and smaller until it fades from sight.

Another common sighting is that of the “ghost lights.” These lights rapidly move from grave stone to grave stone and leave a red streak of light in its wake. Another sighting is that of a mother holding an infant walking aimlessly around. Legend claims that a mother was buried next to her infant and now roams the cemetery on nights with a full moon. Many people that visit the cemetery will visit this mother and child’s grave site and leave small trinkets, toys and photographs at this makeshift shrine. Along with the many apparitions that have been seen, numerous voices, screams and unexplained sounds have been heard.

After hearing the strange history and unexplained happenings that surround this cemetery, I decided to check it out for myself. It was a cold, moon lit January evening. I parked my car near the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve and located the pathway that leads to Bachelor Grove Cemetery. I violated the number one rule of ghost hunting… NEVER GO ALONE. I am a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. I have served in “hostile fire zones” in three Middle Eastern countries. Not much scares me. I walked down the snow covered pathway noticing there were no other tracks in the snow but the ones I was leaving behind me. The moonlight cast long shadows down the pathway and it seemed to take an eternity to walk to the entrance of the cemetery.

As I approached the fence that surrounded the cemetery, I easily found a hole that had been cut in the fence that I could pass through. I was immediately struck by the disarray and overall eerie appearance of the area. Tombstones were turned over haphazardly, tree limb had fallen in the snow and were sticking out like skeletal hand reaching for me. I could tell from the freshly fallen snow that I had been the only person to visit the place recently. As I stepped further into the cemetery I could detect the distinct odor of rotting flesh and quickly located the source. My eyes easily located a blood splattered gravestone as it glistened in the moonlight and snow. On top of this gravestone were two dead chickens that appeared to have been ritualistically sacrificed.

At the moment I spotted the two dead animals I also heard voices behind me that seemed to be getting closer. Just as the voices seemed to be right behind me, I turned around and the voices faded away. At this point, I decided that this foreboding cemetery is not the place to be alone at night! I had seen and heard enough and made began to make a hasty retreat back to my car. I looked down at the pathway and noticed that the only tracks in the snow were the ones I had made upon walking in. No one else had been on the path. There is only one way in and one way out of the cemetery. Never again will I go to a haunted location alone.

Copyright Bruce L. Cline, 2014. You do not have permission to copy this post.




  1. If this is fiction, it’s an OK read. If this is supposed to be real, let me point out some glaring problems I have with this story.

    1) ANYONE who is familiar with the place knows you will get arrested at night.
    2) As the land is PD property, it closes at dusk. Parking in the lot will get you towed. As the neighbors are VERY cautious, parking on the side streets will get you towed.
    3) Being there in the winter with no foliage, you will stick out like a sore thumb through the trees.
    4) What hole in the fence? You mean the big giant entrance? That is unless you walked around to the pond side which is completely off the trail.
    5) Rotting flesh-fallen snow. Hmmmm.

    Again, not trying to offend, but stories like this encourage people to tresspass at BGC. This in turn gives us all a bad name.


  2. Bruce Cline says:

    My problems with these comments are:

    1. I was parked in the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve parking lot which as still opens at the hour that I was there.

    2. There are no side streets or “neighbors” in this area of the Forest Preserve.

    3. There are several large holes in the fence that surrounds the cemetery. You don’t have to be off the trail to see them.

    4. Being winter, the are is still heavily wooded and it is still somewhat difficult to see someone at a distance. However, I was not making any effort to conceal my presence.

    5. Yes there was the smell of rotting flesh, probably from a dead animal and yes, there was fresh fallen snow.

    6. Unlike some people, I was not there to vandalize or desecrate the graves.

    7. Hve you ever actually been there. If so, why?


  3. Bruce

    1) “It was a cold, moon lit January evening. I parked my car near the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve” Your words. Which was it? Near or in? If it was in the lot, I hope you noticed the big sign that said the preserve closes at sunset. Check any historical BGC site (the .net or .com) and you will find articles detailing the vigilance of the local police.

    2) Um, try google or mapquest Bruce. The first neighborhood is less than a 1/4 mile east of the entrance. That street is Menard. Or Major or 143rd. Pick one. Unless you came in off of Ridgeland, which would amaze me.

    3) You are correct, there are holes in the fence. But most people use the big open entrance.

    4) Never assumed you were there to conceal your presence. Only pointed out that as the cemetery is less than 100 yards from the road. In the winter you can clearly see into it from 143rd/Midlothian Turnpike.

    5) Um, ok.

    6) Never said you were there to vandalize or desecrate.

    7) I grew up in the area and have been there more times than I can count. I have also been part of several clean up and restoration events, as well as countless meet and greets.

    My point Bruce, is your story (if it’s true, very well could be. I’ve seen a lot of bizarre stuff there) only perpetuates the urban legend of witchcraft and sacrifices there. I won’t lie to you and say i have not been there at night. But that was long ago, and as so much has been done to get the place back in shape, most people respect the hours so that the FPDCC will keep it open. If people choose to risk it, we can only warn them of the possible consequences. Some people have been let off with a warning, some have received tickets and have had their cars towed.

    Take care.


  4. Bruce says:

    I have no desire to ever return to Bachelor Grove Cemetery. To me, Bachelor Grove Cemetery has a very evil and foreboding feel to it. I will leave this place to whatever is there and its self appointed guardians.


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