He will give his angels charge of you,
To guard you in all your ways.
понеделник, 26 ноември 2012 г.
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery
One of the Chicago area’s
most haunted sites, with a long history of more than
100 reports of paranormal phenomena occurring there.
It is often called one of the most haunted cemeteries in
the world, fascinating ghost investigators and ghost thrillseekers
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery is a small, one-acre plot
near the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve near the southwestern
suburb of Midlothian. The cemetery is fenced
in, with a single gate on the south side and a single path
winding through the plot. A stagnant pond lies just outside
the northwestern corner.
The cemetery is overgrown and unkempt and is subject
to frequent vandalism, perhaps because of the popularity
of the haunting legends. Graves and markers have
been defaced and mutilated, and coffi ns have been disinterred
and opened. Evidence of animal sacrifi ces near a lagoon at one corner of the cemetery has pointed to possible
occult rites practiced there.
The area around the cemetery was settled in the 1820s
and 1830s primarily by German immigrants, many of
whom worked on the Illinois-Michigan Canal. The cemetery
was fi rst known as Everdon’s Cemetery, and the fi rst
burial was in 1844.
It is not certain why the cemetery became known as
Bachelor’s Grove in 1864. According to one popular story,
the name came from unmarried men who were among the
fi rst settlers. Perhaps more likely, it was derived from a
German family name such as Batchelder.
During the gangster era of the 1920s and 1930s, bodies
of the victims of gang warfare allegedly were dumped
in the lagoon.
Stories of haunting phenomena began to proliferate
in the 1960s. Burials decreased after 1965, and the area
became popular as a lover’s lane and gathering spot for
youths—many of whom were eager to be spooked. Youthful
vandals also began visiting the cemetery, overturning
tombstones, desecrating and opening graves and strewing
bones about. Haunting reports reached a peak in the
1970s and 1980s. The last recorded burial was in 1989.
Little of the strange phenomena has been connected
to known historical fact or to specifi c individuals buried
there. Rather, most of the stories are more like urban legends
circulating elsewhere in the United States, especially
in the Midwest. Some historians believe that some stories
have been fabricated by ghost hunters in order to draw
customers for ghost tours.
The most-often reported apparition at Bachelor’s
Grove is a vanishing house or fl oating house. It is a twostoried
Victorian farmhouse with a white picket fence, a
colonnaded porch with a swing and a warm light shining
within it. The house is always seen at a distance and looks
convincingly real. But those who approach it fi nd that it
shrinks in size the closer they get, or abruptly disappears
altogether. According to legend, anyone who succeeds in
reaching it and entering will never return. The vanishing
house has been widely reported since the 1960s and
drawn by numerous witnesses; however, there is no historical
record of such a house existing in the vicinity.
A number of ghosts of human beings have been
reported, including repeated sightings of hooded PHANTOM
MONKS, and a woman, called either the “White Lady”
or the “Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove.” The presence of
phantom monks is puzzling as no monastery was ever in
the area. The White Lady carries a baby in her arms and
wanders aimlessly through the cemetery on nights of the
full MOON. Popular myth says she is the ghost of a woman
who is buried there next to the grave of her baby. No historical
records document the story.
Other apparitions are a two-headed man, a child, a black
carriage and a glowing man in yellow. Many reports have
been made of sightings of a ghostly farmer and his horse
and plow. The story goes that in the 1870s, a farmer was
plowing land near the pond when his horse inexplicably
bolted into the water; both man and animal were drowned.
PHANTOM VEHICLES also have been reported on the cemetery’s
path and on the Midlothian Turnpike just outside the
plot. The vehicles vanish as people approach them. Some
people have reported seeing or being in phantom accidents.
Flashing and dancing lights have been reported in the
cemetery, especially a blue light that resembles that of
a police car. Flashing white lights also have been seen
in both daytime and at night, as well as a red light that
streaks across the sky over the path in the cemetery. (The
Midlothian Turnpike can be seen through the trees on
the northwestern side of the cemetery.) The lights do not
exhibit quite the same behavior as GHOST LIGHTS. Sightings
of these lights were especially frequent during the
1970s. In December 1971, a young woman said she succeeded
in putting her hand through one of the fl ashing
lights but felt nothing.
Other phenomena include sensations of unusual cold,
the awareness of an invisible presence that causes discomfort
and the tactile sensation of sweaty but invisible
hands upon the skin.One of the cemetery’s best-known legends is “The
Hooked Spirit” or “The Hook,” an URBAN LEGEND. According
to the story, a young man takes his date to the cemetery
and tells her about the Hooked Spirit, hoping she
will be frightened into his arms. Instead, she asks to be
taken home. The young man obliges her. When he reaches
her home and gets out to open her door, he fi nds a hook
swinging on the door handle—supposedly the spirit had
been attempting to open the door just as they drove away.
Another urban legend linked to Bachelor’s Grove is
“The Boyfriend’s Death.” A young couple park at the cemetery
one night for necking or lovemaking. They are interrupted
by a radio report that a mass murderer has escaped
from a psychiatric hospital nearby and may be headed in
their direction. They decide to leave, but naturally, the car
won’t start. The young man gets out to go for help and
instructs the girl to remain in the car. Presently she hears
a strange scratching on the roof but thinks it’s only tree
branches. Her date does not return, but soon a police car
comes. An offi cer tells her to get out, walk toward him
and not look back. She does. More police cars arrive. The
girl’s curiosity gets the better of her, and she looks behind
her. She is horrifi ed to see the body of her boyfriend
hanging head down from a tree, his throat slit ear to ear.
His fi ngernails are scratching the car roof.
Though the incidence of phenomena peaked in the
1970s and 1980s, hauntings continue to be reported. In the
1990s, reports began of a spectral BLACK DOG reminiscent
of BLACK SHUCK. The large dog is seen near the entrance to
the road and vanishes as people draw near. According to
lore, such “graveyard dogs” are either guides or are warnings
to visitors not to trespass on cemetery grounds.
Many paranormal investigators have attempted to
capture Bachelor Grove’s phenomena on fi lm. Numerous
photographs show strange light effects (see ORBS), wispy
shapes, ghostly faces, and blobs resembling ECTOPLASM.
Some photographs can be explained by light anomalies,
atmospheric effects, photographic effects or defects, or
simulacra (see SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY).
A controversial photo was taken at the cemetery by
Mari Huff, a member of the GHOST RESEARCH SOCIETY (GRS),
on August 10, 1991, during the daytime. Huff, part of a
group of GRS investigators, used infrared fi lm to shoot a
panorama of an area where unusual effects were detected
on the group’s equipment. The photo shows a semitransparent
young woman, dressed in old-fashioned clothing,
sitting on a broken tombstone. No such fi gure was visible
to Huff or the rest of the group.
Skeptics have called the photo a double exposure.
Among those who believe the photo shows a genuine
anomaly are DALE KACZMAREK, founder and president of
the GRS, and TROY TAYLOR, cofounder and president of
the AMERICAN GHOST SOCIETY. Taylor showed the photo to
several professional photographers, who ruled out double
Kaczmarek has taken photographs showing anomalies,
including a hooded fi gure holding a baby and fl oating
faces and forms.
Investigators also report capturing ELECTRONIC VOICE
PHENOMENA, such as names of the dead buried there being
called over and over again.