Location: Sacred Heart Cemetery is located off South Kean Avenue, north of 103rd Street, in Palos, Illinois.
[MysteriousHeartland.com] Sacred Heart is a small graveyard dating back to the time when this area was still dotted by farms. It is located along Kean Avenue in Crooked Creek Woods south of the haunted intersection. 103rd Street dead-ends in front of the cemetery. Out of all the stories in the Archer Avenue “triangle,” Sacred Heart might be home to the most incredible: the strange tale of the “gray haired baby” of Sacred Heart Cemetery.
It is the story of the “gray-haired baby,” a feral man (some say a werewolf) who stalks the woods and horse trails nearby. According to Richard Crowe, the legend began in the 1950s when, allegedly, a man and his wife were killed in a car accident near Sacred Heart Cemetery. Their baby was thrown from the vehicle and somehow survived in the forest preserve, feeding off the local wildlife. On moonlit nights, passing motorists occasionally caught a glimpse of a hairy creature in their headlights, and equestrians riding on the nearby trail reported that their horses would be spooked by something unseen.
Another version of the legend takes a more supernatural turn. A woman named Terrie told Richard Crowe that in the 1970s locals believed that a werewolf was buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery. The belief stemmed from a small, nondescript stone in the corner of the graveyard that appeared to be set apart from the others. Moreover, the fence near this grave had been dramatically bent downward. “Rumor was this was so the werewolf could get in and out,” she said. Was it a zombie werewolf desperate to return to his grave?
This version of the tale almost makes the story of the feral child seem plausible. After all, there have been documented cases of children raised by animals, but how long could such a person stay hidden at the outskirts of a metropolis like Chicago? Probably not for over five decades. Never the less, there are many who would swear that they encountered something strange and mysterious lurking in the woods around Sacred Heart.
Richard T. Crowe, Chicago’s Street Guide to the Supernatural (Oak Park: Carolando Press, 2000, 2001), 225, 227.
Michael Newton, Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children (New York: Picador, 2004).
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