Bachelor's Grove Special Nighttime Investigation 2016

The area around Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery was probably first settled in the 1830s by mostly German and Irish immigrants and many of them were originally bachelors. The initial deed was from around 1864 by a gentleman called Everdeen. Parcels of land were purchased for $1.25 per acre and about an acre of this land was eventually set aside for a cemetery.  Today it is owned by a Land Management Group. The original Bachelor’s Grove Road went right past the cemetery and into the thick woods. When the Midlothian Turnpike was constructed, this road was closed off to vehicular traffic. Much to the surprise of many this cemetery is not located at Bachelor’s Grove Woods, which is a nearby forest preserve.

Throughout the years, much grave vandalism has occurred here and a number of stones were moved, discarded in the nearby lagoon or simply stolen. Many are not in their rightful place and some do not have names or dates inscribed on them.

In the late 1960s and through the mid-1970s there was evidence of satanic worship at this location. Occult symbols were scrolled on some tombstones and larger trees near the current lagoon. Decapitated remains of animals have also been recovered.

Some unsubstantiated reports of alleged mob victim bodies were discarded in the lagoon during the Capone era however, to date, no factual reports have surfaced.

The fence around the cemetery was put up in 1976 to keep unwanted people out, however the gates were breached and holes cut in the cemetery fence near the lagoon. The original Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery sign was probably first photographed by Dale Kaczmarek around 1980 or so. Many attempts were made to cut down the sign and even burn it. Today the whereabouts of this classic sign is unknown.

Unfortunately throughout the years this location became a hangout for teenagers, party goers and vandals in the dead of night. Today it is better maintained and a closer watch for trespassers exists, in thanks to local law enforcement and forest rangers.


Located at:  143rd Street just east of Ridgeland Avenue, Midlothian, Illinois across from Rubio Woods Forest Preserve

Hauntings: The amount of reported sightings would fill a library of books and range from a disappearing house that appears alongside the trail leading into the cemetery. It has always been reported as a white framed house, with a porch swing, white wooden pillars and even a light burning dimly in the windows. The unusual thing about this house is as you walk towards it, it appears to get smaller and smaller before finally disappearing into the woods. The house has been reported on either side of the trail and even within the cemetery boundaries.

Many different light formations have been reported starting back in 1970 by a Joliet man named Jack Hermanski who reported seeing a ball of light about the size of a soccer and blue in color bobbing around the graves in “an intelligent manner.” As he would reach out to touch the light it would suddenly disappear and then reappear behind him. About a year later a woman, Denise Travers, claimed to have put her hand through the light! She felt no heat and no sensation. It was light putting one’s hand through nothing at all. A red light, much like a Roman candle, has been reported zooming up and down the main trail at times.

A woman in white sometimes referred to as “Mrs. Rodgers” or “The Madonna” has been encountered on moonlit nights sometimes carrying an infant in her arms. Her attire is that of a white bridal, wedding or dance gown. Perhaps this is the same figure that was captured during a GRS investigation of this cemetery on August 10, 1991. Members were given maps of the location and told to walk through in teams of two documenting anything unusual. When the maps were collected and later compared several locations were marked by investigators. The group then revisited those locations for additional experiments and photography. Jude Huff (nor Jude Huff-Felz) took pictures using a 35mm SLR camera loaded with high-speed black and white infrared film. Later examination showed a woman in an old-fashioned full-length gown that appeared in one picture taken at a tombstone with a checkerboard pattern but had no name. Was this the famous “Lady in White?”

Disappearing cars and pick-up trucks have been reported along the Midlothian Turnpike. Sometimes passing cars catch a glimpse of what appears to be the silhouette of a car parked alongside the road. As they pass this image and look in their rearview mirror, they discover that it has completely vanished. Other times motorists report seeing a pick-up truck apparently backing into a forest preserve entrance (most often Rubio Woods). When they arrive at the site a few moments later, they are amazed to find no truck and the chain is still strung between the entrance of the forest preserve.

Many visitors to this location have come away with strange photographs on everything from 110 Instamatic, SX-70, 35mm and even today’s modern digital cameras. This includes strange fogs and mists, shadow figures, semi-transparent people, strange lights etc. Numerous EVPs and disembodied voices and sounds have been both heard and recorded. Electronic devices often have their batteries drained very quickly and sometimes don’t work properly.

An apparition of a farmer and his horse was reported by two Cook County Forest Rangers in the late 1970s. Traveling west on the Midlothian Turnpike, they both saw this visage exit the lagoon and cross the road before disappearing into Rubio Woods. No official documentation of a death of a farmer and horse can be documented but it does seem to be a real possibility as a lot of the land was farmed.

A phantom dog has been reported near the beginning of the trail leading into the woods. Jim Graczyk and a friend were visiting the location when they came across a menacing Rottweiler. The animal never made a sound nor even paid much attention to the late night visitors. As they left the location, the animal just vanished.

There are also many local urban legends often associated with this location including the “Hooked Spirit” and the “Escaped Mental Patient”. A more recent story involves seeing what has been described as a two-headed monster that crawls out of the lagoon before disappearing.

Some visitors often become ill when visiting while others simply get a deep feeling of dread and never enter the cemetery proper. Back in the day when one was able to drive up to the cemetery’s gates, their car would often stall and would not start up again until it was pushed more than halfway down the trail.

The GRS's first nighttime investigation of  Bachelor's Grove Cemetery was on July 2, 2016 and the team included: Stan Suho, Marge Sucha, Michael Wright, Katherine Meagher, Jim Piscopo, Sandy Weber, Chuck Williams, Greg Kos, Damaris Miles and Dale Kaczmarek with help from JC Rositas, Tony Morales, Raylene Swinock, Michele Reynolds, Jim Hartmann, Rob Schultz, Ashley Brown and Rev. Kristina Rake.










Equipment setup: No formal Command Center was deployed and mostly hand-held equipment was used such as EMF meters, digital recorders, dowsing rods, IR and visible light cameras, full spectrum camcorders and REM Epods.

Experiments performed: An exact duplication of the experiment conducted back in 1991 was performed which included giving participants a map of the location. They were to mark on the map anything unusual that they experienced. Later EVP, Ovilus X and Ghost Box sessions were conducted near the checkerboard tombstone, the lagoon, Fulton and Rippet tombstones.

Personal experiences:

Greg Kos: Did the walk through and then the investigation. We were a group of two; Jim Kat and I. Kat had the dowsing rods Jim used a digital pyrometer and I had the K-II. Jim picked up a two degree swing at one tomb and I marked it on map. Kat had two separate instances with the rods and they were recorded on the map.

After that nothing for us except for the guy that contaminated our EVP session. Kat and Mike left early and I continued to observe and help until time to pack up and go. I had nothing on the K-II all night.  

Katherine Meagher: Bachelor’s Grove is one of the most popular haunted areas near Chicago. We were privileged to be there at night. I have to say it is a shame that people go in and vandalize a cemetery. I think cemeteries are the most peaceful and though provoking places for contemplation. On the walk through I was using dowsing rods to find activity that could possibly be spirits. I did get some movement but nothing substantiating. I am hoping that others in the group get evidence.

Jim Piscopo: We arrived about 6:00 pm and checked in with Chuck. After the filming crew was set up and interviews completed we went into the cemetery. We started with a prayer and then pared off in groups of three. I was with Kat and Greg. I was using my instant read pyrometer to monitor temperatures. We walked through the cemetery and at a few points recorded some cold spots. We recorded these spots on a map of the cemetery. After this was done we compared notes. We then did EVP sessions at these spots. I set up my Sony night shot camera just to the right of the path coming into the cemetery. We got a few things during the EVPs but the cemetery didn't seem to be too active this night. Throughout the night there were a lot of fireworks going off all around the cemetery. I don't know if this had any effect on the lack of activity. Hopefully we will have more when we review the evidence.

Marge Sucha: This investigation was the first night time investigation performed at this location.  I arrived at the location around 6:00PM.  There was a camera crew there to document this investigation.  We had to wait a little ways down the road from the location for the crew to finish interviewing some of the investigators that were previously from the 1991 investigation.  

Once we were in the cemetery Reverend Kristina Rake performed a protection prayer.  We were partnered up and handed a map of the locations of the graves / gravestones.    Each pair had to walk around the cemetery and if anything seemed to call out to us or seemed unusual we mark that location. We also wrote notes on how we felt & if anything unusual happened.

I was partnered with Mike Wright.  Mike used his dowsing rods & K-II meter.  I had a Mel Meter, K-II, & my FLIR and digital cameras.   At our second stop we noticed the temperature on the Mel meter started to gradually go up and stopped at 89 degrees.  The sun was starting to go down and the outside temperature at that time was low to mid 70's. 

Earlier an investigator had mentioned an area in the cemetery where satanic worshipping had been done.  I didn't really feel anything in that area but because I had heard this we decided to stop at this location.  I put the Melmeter down on the ground the temperature immediately jumped to 66.6. 

We stopped again by the Infant headstone.  I put the Melmeter down and the temperature started to rise.  This time it went up to 102 degrees.  Mike using the dowsing rods asked if anyone wanted to communicate. The rods moved to a No position.  We moved behind the grave marker on the other side and the temperature went from 75 degrees to 120 then 240 degrees.    I also got a 2.3 on the meter.   I tried to tap the thermometer down but it would not move.   As we and started walking again the thermometer went down to 70.  I turned around and walked back to the same location and the thermometer jumped up to 240 again and the meter jumped to 2.2. 

Once we were done we handed our maps and notes in to Chuck.  They were compared to the other groups and the three top locations were mapped out.  This was done to determine where our group EVP sessions would be done.  Our top three locations were by Fullerton Tombstone, Corner in the cemetery where satanic worshipping has been performed in the past and the area by the Infant tombstone.   We also did a fourth EVP session in the area by the Rippet tombstone.   There was a lot of traffic noise.

Reverend Kristina Rake closed the night by performing a blessing of the cemetery.   

Stan Suho: This was a private event set up by our Indiana member Chuck. He brought in some professionals from the west coast to video the investigation, and our group as well as several of Chuck’s friends joined in. It began with an interview of Judy, the girl that took the most famous ghost picture of all time. At twilight we began our investigation/setup. I set up two IR video cameras and let them record. The first one was focused on “the tombstone “that was the stone that the girl was seated on in the famous photo. The second was focused on the Fulton stone. Not sure why, maybe because it was one of the biggest.

 As the cameras were rolling, and the interviews were being conducted, I made the rounds taking pictures. It was a pleasant evening, not many mosquitos, and the weather couldn’t be better. Chucks pros were busy recording everything with their top of the line video cameras. Several extensive EVP sessions were conducted near “the tomb stone” and on the far side of the cemetery down by the pond. The background noise was quite high due to the proximity of the Midlothian Turnpike nearby, but we could work around these distractions. The evening proceeded smoothly and by midnight we were packed up and moving down that long lost highway.

Conclusions: We will have to wait until the results are tabulated and videos are in but I think Chuck has a winner here. Good job Chuck.

Sandy Weber: Equipment:    Sony Nightshot video camera, Infrared camera (FLIR), dowsing rods, Melmeter

Phenomena witnessed by investigator  

At the beginning of the investigation we walked around the cemetery in groups of 2, using electromagnetic equipment to look for “hot” spots.  At one location my team got a reading that jumped from near 0 to 1.7.  Later when the group returned together to this location, I was unable to see or hear anything on my night shot camcorder, nor was I able to see or hear anything unusual at any of the other spots where the group stopped to do sessions looking for EVP’s or use the Ovilus and ghost box.  I tried using dousing rods at various locations throughout the cemetery with no results.  Another team member thought there was some unusual energy at the Newman graves but did not believe it was either Mr. or Mrs. Newman.   .        


            I did not record or witness any clear evidence that Bachelor’s Grove is haunted.  However, there was considerable contamination of the investigation by frogs, fireworks, cars, and talking, including someone wandering in the woods outside the cemetery in the dark without a flashlight!  Although I reserve judgment on whether or not paranormal phenomena occur in the cemetery, visiting the sight leaves me with the impression that a photograph taken by a team member in the early 1990’s is more likely to be evidence of paranormal activity.  That photo is of a woman sitting on a gravestone.  It is unlikely that a woman who was not a member of the team could have entered this tiny cemetery in daylight and paused to sit on the gravestone without someone from the team becoming aware of her presence.    

Chuck Williams: GRS Members:  Dale Kaczmarek, Stan Suho, Marge Sucha, Jim Piscopo, Kat Meagher, Mike Wright, Sandy Weber, Damaris Miles (Not a member), Greg Kos and I.

Crew:  Myself, Jim Hartman, Ken Heinemann, Rob Shultz, JC Rositas, Michelle Reynolds, Raylene Swinock, Tony Morales, Ashley Brown, Reverend Mother Kristina Rake

History:  This investigation was for a documentary commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Judy Huff’s “Lady In White” photo.  Who else would you have but the group who was there at the time?  We started the day with a protection prayer from Reverend Mother Kristina Rake.  The investigation was held like it was in 1991; we followed a map noting experiences and after they were compared, 3 hot spots were chosen for further investigation. 

Equipment:  FLIR Camera for iPhone, Zoom recorder, Melmeter.  I kept it simple because of my dual role as investigator/ Crew.  Also the whole thing was filmed by multiple cameras for the production. 

Personal Experiences:  2 female voices were heard outside the gate, on the trail leading to the settlement area.  I went out to investigate, saw nothing, turned to come back, and the voices started again.  Nothing.  Voices heard outside the gate, near lagoon, turned out to be trespassers. 

Investigation:  Area 1 was by the checkerboard tombstone and Fullerton stone.  EVP, Ovilus were performed.  This is when a break occurred while we had to kick out the trespassers, and me chasing the female voices. 

Area 2 was near the new section of gate and lagoon.  Ovilus was performed.  Dale asked who was here in 91’ and it responded, “You”.

Area 3 was near the large Fulton Stone. Ovilus and Spirit Box performed.  One or two responses came through the spirit box. 

I had hoped we would have more time for individual investigation.  Some investigators/crew left at this time.  We were left with 10-20 minutes for this, near the Rippet stone.  Nothing remarkable here. 

Reverend Mother Kristina Rake came back and blessed the cemetery, as a way of giving back, and hoping the souls could finally find rest, and heal the desecration over the decades. 

Dale Kaczmarek: This was a rare opportunity of conducting a nighttime investigation of this infamously haunted cemetery. I had first visited this location back in 1975 and many times since then. I have had the opportunity of visiting this location at night for several productions including: Eye On Chicago 10-5-84; botched segment of Cringe in 2008; Ten Most Terrifying Places in America 10-27-10. My very first television segment filmed here was for WBBM-TV with Barry Bernson in 1981.

I have also investigated this location many times; 5-1-82, 8-10-91, 8-6-94, 9-25-99, 9-12-04, 6-21-11, 8-27-11, 9-21-13, 3-20-15 and most recently at night on 7-2-16.

This was a perfect night for an investigation. There was unfortunately major contamination from vehicles passing by on the turnpike and an unexpected interruption due to two trespassers who had to be chased out by our security police on duty.

We could have had more time to investigate however it did seem like a very quiet and peaceful evening even for a cemetery. My X-Cam SLS system did pick up a stick figure crawling up Michele’s leg!

I applaud Chuck Williams for setting this up! Great job there buddy!


Evidence collected:  

3 degree temperature drop bachelors.MPG – Piscopo’s digital pyrometer suddenly records a three degree temperature drop.  

Asshole bachelors.MPG – while conducting an EVP session by the checkerboard tombstone, a faint whisper was recorded in the background saying, “Asshole.”  

Body bachelors.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus session by the lagoon, a question was asked, “What happened in this lagoon over here?” The Ovilus responds with, “Body.”  

BG road bachelors.MPG – a unique dash-cam video of our departure down the original Bachelor’s Grove Road.  

Cat meow bachelors.MPG – while conducting the initial investigation with Weber and Miles near the Hageman tombstone, a question was asked, “What is my no?” A weird sounding and quite loud voice is heard in the background that says, “Cat meow.” I cannot be 100% sure that this wasn’t a real person that said this but there was no reason for such an outburst.  

Dipshit bachelors.MPG – while conducting the initial investigation near the Deck tombstone along with Kos, Meagher and Piscopo a fireworks goes off, followed by a whisper that says, “Dipshit.”  

FLIR hit bachelors.MPG – while using the FLIR near western fence area, Weber picks up a hotspot which later was found to be a trespasser hiding in the woods.  

Help me walking and fucking bachelors.MPG – B role of the entrance during daylight hours reveals a whisper that says, “Help me, walking and fucking.”  

I want a bachelors.MPG – while conducting an EVP session near the checkerboard tombstone a whisper was recorded that says, “I want a…”  

Koo koo kajoo bachelors.MPG – while conducting an EVP session near the lagoon, a voice is recorded that says, “Koo koo kajoo.” I cannot be 100% sure that this wasn’t created by a real person but there was no reason for anyone to utter such a phrase.  

No bachelors.MPG – while conducting the initial investigation near the Fulton tombstone with Meagher, Piscopo and Kos, a comment was made, “No EMFs.” A whispered response says, “No.”  

Noises from lagoon bachelors.MPG – while shooting for William’s documentary, suddenly noises were heard by many coming from the area near the lagoon.  

Now bachelors.MPG – while conducting an EVP session near the checkerboard tombstone, a question was asked, “Is there a male who wishes to talk with us?” A whispered response was recorded that says either, “Now” or “No.”  

Question picture fell bachelors.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session in dictionary mode near the checkerboard tombstone, the Ovilus says, “Question.” A question was asked, “Can you tell me what happened in the woods behind me about thirty years ago?” After a long pause, the Ovilus says, “Picture.” (Perhaps referring to the famous white lady picture taken in 1991.) Another follow-up question was asked, “Do you know the first name of the person who took that picture?” The Ovilus responds with, “Fell.” (This is very close to the last name of Judy Huff Felz who took that picture.)  

Take her bachelors.MPG – after the initial prayer by Rev. Rake, she began to pass out religious medals. A whisper was recorded that says, “Take her.”  

Uh huh bachelors.MPG – while conducting a Ghost Box session near the Fulton tombstone, a question was asked, “What’s the name of this large tombstone?” A response of some kind was recorded and it sounds like, “Uh huh.”  

Woo bachelors.MPG – while conducting an EVP session near the checkerboard tombstone a sound is recorded in the background that says, “Woo.”  

You bachelors.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session near the lagoon, a question was asked, “Can you tell me the kind of people that were involved?” (Regarding the famous white lady picture) The Ovilus responds with, “You.”

Conclusions: What a great time and unique experience! I’ve only been allowed to be in the cemetery legally a few times, this being one of them. I’ve always said however that if a location is said to be haunted, you don’t have to come out after dark to investigate. However this does always add to the excitement factor, especially at Bachelor’s Grove.

I know some people would literally kill for the opportunity to investigate here after dark. It isn’t easy to acquire the necessary forms and permission to be here after dark and it can be quite expensive as well. I do think that everyone would enjoy the chance to investigate here after the sun has set and perhaps we can do this again sometime in the future.

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