Bachelor’s Grove

Bachelor's Grove is located near Central Avenue (west of Cicero) and Midlothian Turnpike, at the point where it joinss 143rd Street. Named for either single men living and buried in the area or for thesecond influx of German settlers traveled to the Bachelors Grove area during the 1840s. Though local popular history traces the site's name to four single men who migrated to these woods during the first phase of settlement, resulting in the designation as "Bachelors" Grove, local researchers now believe that the true spelling of the place name was Batchelder, and that the Grove was named for the family that had settled in the area in 1845. Still, the popular name of Bachelors Grove persists, despite the more common historical use of the hybrid "Batchelor" Grove name, among others. About 100 to 200 hundred people have been buried there, but there are less than 20 tombstones that remain, some are in disrepair as vandals have come to destroy this once lovely gravesite. Having a pond that sits on one side, it was used as a dumping ground for gangsters. Some say it is haunted because there have been so many disturbances here. Ghosts of a farmer and his horse haunt the area by the pond. It is said that, while plowing nearby, the horse panicked and bolted for no apparent reason, plunging into the pond and dragging the farmer with him. Weighted down by the plow, both drowned. The pair of ghosts have even been seen by forest rangers.

One of the ghost stories is the mysterious blue lights or orb lights. The light will move an erratic course with the ability to keep just out of reach of anyone near it. Other stories include a mist that surrounds the cemetery unlike a normal fog. Also blue and red streaks of light flash by during the day and night to visitors, various witnesses have reported encounters with phantom cars while driving past the cemetery.The witness driving at night - possibly unaware that they are about to pass the cemetery - when they see a dark car either moving or parked alongside the road. As the car is approached, it suddenly vanishes without a trace, leaving the spectator mystified.

Another ghost story of the cemetery is the disappearing house. There is no house near the cemetery. The house is described as an old two-story wooden farmhouse, painted white, with a porch, a porch swing, and a light - either a lantern in the window or a light of unknown origin from within. It looks completely real and solid; but those who have tried to approach it report that it seemed to move away as they approached, until it vanished in the distance.

Another popular story is the Madonna of the cemetery, a lady in white who is perhaps looking for her lost child.

The Rubio Woods Forest Preserve parking lot is located on the north side of Midlothian Turnpike, and is the only place to legally park in the immediate area. The Forest Preserve closes at dusk. Across from its entrance, on the south side of the street is a radio tower; a few feet west of this, approximately where the road curves to the west, are the posts marking the entrance to Bachelor's Grove.

The road here was closed in 1977, and the posts prevent automobile traffic. However, it is still easily accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians. Beyond the posts is a path through the woods - the remnant of the Midlothian Turnpike, the surface of which was ripped out in 1994. If you follow the path for about a quarter mile, the cemetery will come into view on the right. This cemetery is rich in history but has been vandalized in the past 10 years or so, there are groups restoring it to its natural beauty. It is believed to be one of the most haunted places in America.

Submitted by Evening

Our Staff

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