White Cemetery Investigation

Date: December 11, 1993

Location: Cuba Road west of Rt. 59, Barrington, Illinois 60010

History: White Cemetery which dates back to 1820 making it one of the oldest pioneer cemeteries in Illinois is the north side equivalent of Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery . 











Hauntings: There are many folk legends associated with White Cemetery including the famed one-armed man with a hook for an arm and the consistent stories that the gravestones moves by themselves.  They don’t actually teleport around but move with the help of unwelcome vandals and drunken teenagers that have plagued the cemetery for many years.  The worst case of vandalism occurred in 1968, when swastikas were painted on 31 headstones and another 49 were knocked over.

A Palatine schoolteacher started the story about the one-armed man back in the early 1960's and in 1971 some grade school kids knocked over a stone near the main gate.  The ground was soft so the caretaker stood it up again.  A few days later the kids returned and knocked it over again.  This went on for several days and soon the story started to circulate about the headstone that stood up by itself.

Another local legend is that Mary Worth was supposedly buried here.  The Mary Worth phenomena is a legend native to the Chicagoland area and Northwest Indiana only.  It is said that if a mirror is taken into a darkened room and the phrase, “I believe in Mary Worth” is repeated a number of times, (actual number of times varies from story to story), she will suddenly appear in the mirror even though the room is completely dark.  Well, she is allegedly buried here but it isn’t true.  She’s only a myth.

Interviews from the Barrington Area Library staff indicate other possible hauntings occurring here.  “There is a foundation of a house on Cuba Road between Route 59 and Rainbow Road set back the equivalent, maybe, of one city block.  Bridge and slough nearby.  On foggy nights the near curve in road a man’s figure will step out suddenly in front of a car.  Driver feels contact of something with the car but when he gets out to check, there is nothing on the road and nothing on the car,” relates Sharon. Others believe that they have actually seen the house, in flames, and sometimes with "waves of heat" distorting the image. Once they begin to approach the house, it vanishes.

“The house was still standing there up a hill about ten years ago.  It was a beautiful house but it was finally torn down.  Kids used to drive up there before the road was closed and neck and drink beer.  It’s no wonder drivers thought they saw people run in front of them on the road with all those kids fooling around there,” said Dorothy.

There have been multiple witnesses to strange ghost lights often described as red to white in color hovering or drifting into and out of the cemetery after dusk.  Legend says that a woman was also killed on horseback and that her ghost can be seen, horse and all.  Animals in the form of ghostly cows have been reported along Cuba Road fronting the cemetery.

The house that most people remember in the area burnt to the ground many years ago however residents and passing motorists have reportedly seen a phantom house sometimes engulfed in flames, other times simply sending off waves and waves of heat indicating some extreme temperature difference.

Around Halloween amateur ghost hunters and vandals overrun the cemetery.  According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, “It’s a standard thing every year about this time,” says a former Captain.  The police get calls from adults who see “things” going over the fence into the cemetery and cars that appear and then disappear beside the cemetery.  The police figure that its prankish teenagers, but they haven’t caught any yet.

A fascinating account describes two apparitions seen walking hand in hand along Cuba Road across from the cemetery.  Every November the shadows of these two are seen walking along the roadside until they turn into another street and vanish from site.  The apparitions aren’t actually seen but only the shadows they cast on the road.  This is a rare daytime sighting here at White Cemetery .

Further down Cuba Road at the intersection of the Northwest Highway is a set of railroad tracks that apparently has been the scene of a phantom train.  Motorists at night will see an approaching train light in the distance and wonder why the crossing gates aren’t coming down.  They sometimes stop their vehicles, get out and look up the tracks only to see nothing there!



The Ghost Research Society investigated White Cemetery on December 11, 1993. Team members included: Tom Baker, Stan Suho, Lucy Solis, Greg and Illona Nykaza, Dan Susnara and Dale Kaczmarek









Equipment setup: No actual equipment was set up. The group took pictures, videos and tried recorded sessions on cassette tape recorders. It was a cold but sunny day in December and we didn't stay for very long.

Evidence collected: No evidence was collected during our investigation of White Cemetery.

To watch a video on Cuba Road and White Cemetery shot by the Barrington Patch on October 2011, Click here!

To watch a video on the legend of Rainbow Road shot by the Barrington Patch on October 2011, Click here!

Conclusions: Since our group did not have the sophisticated equipment that we have today, we used what was available at the time, which was minimal. Besides all the spooky tales that have been told in the past, White Cemetery was a calm and peaceful place the day we visited it. I often wonder just how many of the old tales are actually true or have been fabricated by people in the past to simply enhance the aura of this place when visiting it in the evening hours. 

Ghost Research Society (www.ghostresearch.org)
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