Oakwood Cemetery Investigation

The Ghost Research Society was one of the first paranormal teams to investigate this location legally at night!

The cemetery was consecrated in 1855 and has many interesting graves of notable people from the area. Also interred there are two individuals from the Revolutionary War, one from the Mexican War and fifty-four Civil War soldiers.

Due to many years of abandonment, vandalism has occurred there in the past and many headstones have been decimated, moved and spray painted.  After the current owners bought the cemetery they tried to realign the headstones to their proper locations. The old cemetery office and records were destroyed in a fire decades ago.

It took the current owners weeks to mow the grass due to the grounds being overgrown and neglected for quite some time.

Within the cemetery is the Oakwood Mound which is a conical-shaped mound approximately four feet high (even though earlier records indicated it was almost eight feet high) extending over an area sixty-four by sixty-seven feet. Excavations conducted by the University of Chicago in 1928, yielded one hundred skeletons, in addition to weapons, ornaments and implements.

Quite a number of woman and children were buried there. Observations indicate that in at least five instances the bodies of mothers and children were clasped together or embracing one another. The Oakwood Mound dates back over 1,000 years back to the Woodland Period. Burials suggest a hurried disposal of the bodies for some unknown reason.

To date Oakwood Cemetery and Afterlife Tours entered into a contractual arrangement that would allow, founder Mike Smith, to conduct tours and investigations at the cemetery even during the nighttime hours with part of the proceeds collected to benefit the beautification of the cemetery.

Located at:  1137 Cass St., Joliet, Illinois 60432

Telephone: 815-722-8803

Hauntings: No specific hauntings have been reported. Psychics and intuitives that have visited the cemetery in the past have seen, talked or interacted with some that still linger. Perhaps that is due to the vandalism and misplaced headstones.






The GRS investigated Oakwood Cemetery on April 23, 2016 and the team included: Dale Kaczmarek with help from Mike Smith and Afterlife Tours. This was the first nighttime public event ever held at this location.










Equipment setup:  No equipment was setup and only handheld devices were used. I used the X-Cam SLS camera system there for the first time, a Sony Nightshot IR camera, Ovilus X, SB-11, Melmeter and digital camera and recorder. Others attending the event tried to communicate using Dowsing Rods.

Personal experiences: I personally had to personal or paranormal experiences during this mini-investigation however it was quite cold that evening and I eventually called it night a little before the rest of the group broke up.

Evidence collected: Nothing specific was picked up on the SLS or other audio or video devices used by Kaczmarek that evening.

Conclusions: It was an interesting location and I wish to thank members of Afterlife Tours, Mike Smith and Oakwood Cemetery for allowing I and others to be a part of this truly unique nighttime investigation!

While there could have been some spirits lingering around, it’s always comes down to my old adage, “If you die and come back as a ghost, where would you like to hang out?” In my personal opinion, there’s really nothing to draw a spirit back to a cemetery where its earthly remains are buried unless there’s been some kind of desecration or other disrespect done to a grave by others.

Perhaps future investigations could yield more with a smaller group and less of a circus atmosphere. No disrespect to those who were there with I, Mike Smith and Afterlife Tours however I have always said ghosts aren’t there to perform for the living however if you treat them as living individuals and great respect, anything is possible.

Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
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