Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery (Midlothian, Illinois) is one of America’s most haunted places. It has many ghosts, but they can be coy when ghost hunters show up. Get the scoop on how to get the most of your ghost hunt.
Ghost Hunting Tips Video
Ghosts At Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery
The cemetery hosts at least 8 spirits. Not all of them are likely to manifest, and the cemetery seems most active at night. The cemetery tends to have more residual haunting activity, but intelligent haunting activity occasionally happens.
Common Residual Hauntings
Bachelor’s Grove is known for its residual haunting activity. These are the ghosts you may experience:
Ghost dog: It usually sticks to the path from 143rd St to cemetery entrance. It will follow you along the tree line and growl. Most people have never seen it; they’ve only heard it. When spotted, it could be a Rottweiler, Doberman or other large black dog.
Ghost house: Reports vary, but it seems to be a white, prairie style house from the early 1900s. This would be a common style to the area when Midlothian was mainly a farm town.
Female apparitions: There are reports of multiple ladies appearing in or near the cemetery. The most famous is the Madonna captured in the early 90s. But, there are a few more. One includes a crying lady standing next to the Fulton headstone and asking for her baby. The other two are women who walk along the cemetery fence, then vanish into thin air.
Ghost cars: These cars manifest often. Along the path, phantom cars manifest. They don’t come after you. Witnesses have reported police cars and other autos from the 1920s-1950s appear. These vehicles also manifest on 143rd St.
Farmer: This one sounds like an urban legend, but the ghost of a farmer with his plow horse have walked across 143rd St into Rubio Woods, just to north of the cemetery. I’ve only found 2 reports of this manifestation, so don’t get your hopes up, eh?
Cloaked figures: I’m going to debunk these now. See the Ghost Hunting Tips section for these apparitions.
Male apparitions: Four full-bodied apparitions have manifested at different times of day (or night). These ghosts include a tall man, yellow man, hat man, and suit man. All appear well dressed, but not all of them are found in the cemetery. Their clothes style seems to be common suits from the 1900s-1930s.
Common Intelligent Hauntings
A couple of intelligent hauntings manifest, such as:
Ghost lights: This is one of the more common phenomena. Orbs float, bob and weave around the headstones, but they also respond to your questions. They may even follow you down the path to 143rd St.
Caretaker: I’m not sure if this an intelligent or residual haunting because the reports vary: An elderly man, carrying a lantern, manifests along the path and chases you. It doesn’t seem like it interacts with you, but it follows you until you get to the cemetery or return to 143rd St.
Two-headed Spirit: Something crawls out of the pond by 143rd St. It’s described as a hunched-over male with 2 heads. It only has a few recorded appearances, and it doesn’t manifest for long. I believe it’s an urban legend that combines the farmer ghost with rumors about mob hits dumped into the pond.
Little people: This is a newer phenomena. As reported by Ursula Bielski (2016), fairies may explain the ghost lights and other activity in the cemetery. You can read more in her book listed under Resources. See pages 140-142. For now, I’ll call this an urban legend until there’s more documentation.
Previous Ghost Hunts At Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery
We’ve been to Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery a few times over the last 5 years. The conditions aren’t the best for ghost hunting. As an open area, you get a lot of contamination in your evidence. You can expect noise from cars, planes, visitors, dogs barking and more. On weekends, the cemetery gets many curiosity seekers and other ghost hunters. Saleen and I have gone during weekdays in the winter because there’s fewer people around, but you still have to deal with traffic noise and critter noise.
Evidence collection has always been difficult, too. Much of the activity happens at night, and you’re not allowed in the cemetery after dark. That’s a big limiting factor to deal with. You should still go and run some experiments, but expect interruptions.
Don’t give up hope: The Lady of Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery was captured during the day. That may have happened in the early 90s, but you never know when she’ll manifest again.
Ghost Hunting Equipment To Use
I’ll cut to the chase: Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery is known for its apparitions, not EVP. You can find both full-bodied and partial apparitions in the cemetery’s surrounding area. That means use a lot of cameras and camcorders on your ghost hunt. On an odd day with little traffic, we’ve had some success with regular digital and infrared cameras.
Here’s what we’d use if we went on a ghost hunt today:
- Full-spectrum digital camcorder
- Infrared digital camera
- Hi-resolution digital camera (like a Nikon Coolpix, Canon T7i, SL2 or Mark 70D) – more on this under Tips
- Zoom H1n or H4n audio recorders (Your sound will have ‘noise’ in it. There’s not getting around it, but you still need to cover off on this. You can also use this to synch with your video evidence. Camcorders and cameras have poor microphones.)
- EMF meter (No real reports of EMF changes when a ghost manifests, but cover your bases.)
- Thermal imaging camera (To help capture apparitions and document the ‘cold spots’ below.)
- Boo Buddy (This is optional, if you want to run experiment at the Fulton grave. There might be a child spirit at the cemetery.)
- EDI meter (To capture as many environmental changes as possible.)
Ghost Hunting Tips
During day, most of the apparitions will appear along the path to the cemetery and along the perimeter. At night, you’ll have more apparitions inside the cemetery. Set up your cameras in the 4 corners of the cemetery. Then, place cameras at the pond (where the farmer and two-headed . spirit manifest) and pointed from the cemetery back to 143rd St. That’s not always practical, so pick locations to focus on for an hour at a time. Bachelor’s Grove requires a lot of patience. You may capture nothing, but, luckily, this is a public area. You can come back as often as you need to run more investigations.
There are also a few ‘gotchas’ to deal with:
Many people have captured a shimmering, cloaked figure at the cemetery. It’s really a matrix of all the tree limbs and fence. The ghosts at Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery look solid.
Investigators have reported cold spots in the cemetery and along the path from 143rd St. They don’t register on thermometers. If you have a thermal imaging camera with you, start snapping pics. If you can’t record it, don’t bother bringing it up.
This phenomena tends to happen at night. Remember, you’re outside in the woods by a busy road and houses. Any lights you get are likely to be a bug, car, bike lamp or flashlight. If you see the lights, start an experiment and see if you get an intelligent response. Use that for your report. Otherwise, debunk it.
Rapid Mood Changes
People act funny at the cemetery. These experiences, while valid, are hard to prove objectively. In these cases, don’t talk about them with your team while it happens. Go back, have everyone write an individual report, then compare notes. If everyone had the same experience, then put it in the final report. Saleen and I have felt dread, sadness and a compulsion to visit the same grave before. That’s something you want to mention. If less than half your team had an experience, leave it out. It would get debunked by skeptics and may invalidate the entire report.
Resources for Ghost Hunters
Bielski, Ursula. Haunted Bachelor’s Grove. Charleston, SC:Haunted America, 2016. Print.
Wikipedia contributors. “Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery.” Wikipedia, N.p. Web. 4 Aug 2018.
Contributors. “Bachelor’s Grove.” Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery & Settlement Research Center, N.p. Web. 04 Aug 2018.
Jacob ‘Jake’ Rice has always loved ghosts and scary stories. When he’s not being a tech nerd for work, he’s the gadget guy on the team. He hunts ghosts, spirits and other paranormal entities in Seattle and the Puget Sound area.