Bachelor’s Grove ~ The Adventure

I’ve added a recent article from FOX 32 NEWS here, and recommend reading that, or just follow this link if it works….

Now, for my story…

Having grown up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, I was familiar with many of the stories and legends about local hauntings and scary places. Resurrection Mary, Monk’s Castle, and a few others as well. This was the very early 70’s, and any pursuit of anything paranormal was not as popular, nor as main stream, in those days. Not sure why I had always been son interested in such things? Maybe I had just watched too many episodes of The Twilight Zone, One Step Beyond, The Outer Limits, and Karl Kolchak: The Night Stalker, back in those days? Then again, maybe the experiences I had also had something to do with it? Another “mystery” for another day, another time…

We, being myself, my girl fiend, and my best friend, found ourselves together and on the road to quite an adventure one night. It was very late. So foggy that visibility was down to just a few feet in most spots. And it was the night before Halloween, making it Halloween Eve. Perfect…

I had a 70 something Toyota LandCruiser, jeep type vehicle, and it was set up for plowing snow. It had extra lights on the front, so I had everything turned on because of the thick fog. The three of us didn’t plan on going to Bachelors Grove that night, but it was along some of the roads we often cruised anyhow. Away from the main roads mostly, and normally not much traffic in those days and at the late hour. Being a foggy and spooky feeling Halloween Eve to begin with, we were talking about many of the local stories and legends we were familiar with. And then some genius in the jeep says, “Hey! Tonight would be perfect to drive back in to Bachelors Grove and look around, eh?” Off we went.

In those days, the cemetery looked “abandoned”, as it had been vandalized, graffitied, and neglected up to that point. We had explored it during the day, driven past it may times, and somehow I knew we’d end up in there on just a night like this. We were just kids, but we had respect for places like this, and the souls that called it home.

The small unpaved road that lead back to the cemetery wasn’t maintained then, and there was no gate or signage that we’d ever seen. If you didn’t know it was there, you’d pass right by it. The trees in there were thick, and had many low hanging branches. The branches clunked against the roof of the jeep and dragged along the top and sides as we made our way down that old road. Once we got far enough back, adjacent to the graves, there was an area large enough to turn around, which I did. I wanted the jeep already pointing the right way, for a quick exit if need be. I always try to be setup when possible to get out of trouble even faster than I got in to it, if you get my drift.

In the cemetery itself, the fog was still very thick. You could only see about 10 feet at most with the flashlights we had. We started walking around, to see what we could see… Very old grave stones, 1800’s and early 1900’s -ish. Many were knocked over,  had been vandalized in some way. The weathering had taken most of the dates, making them difficult to read. Many names were also somewhat worn away.

As we walked amongst the graves, I spotted a small round hole in the ground. It was maybe 5 or 6 inches across, and I could see something “white” inside of it from where I was. My girl and best friend came over quickly to see what I’d found. Looking in to that hole, several inches across and deep, we saw a few “white bones that looked like fingers. finger bones…!” Yikes! While hearing suggestions about getting the @!*&%! out of there, I inspected “the bones” more closely… Those finger bones were in fact onions. The way that they’d grown, having a small bulb in just the right spot, which appeared to be human knuckle at first sight. Wild onions, which that area of Illinois is well known for. Being past that discovery, we continued our exploration.

That cemetery has quite a history, as well as the surrounding area. This was an experience we weren’t going to be easily spooked away from, so to speak. We were in there a long time, and walked around as much as we could find to see. The three of us had flashlights of course, and we weren’t trying to be sneaky of hide because we honestly didn’t think we were doing anything wrong. Like I said, we were just kids. More on that later…

We had seen just about everything there was to see in there. We had walked back up near the road that led back out, and were just about ready to go over to my jeep and leave. That’s when we heard “it” rustling through the brush and trees just feet away from us, unseen. At first, we thought it best to just walk slowly to the jeep and leave, so we did. As we did, what ever it was, walked along with us. Very close, clearly heard but unseen. We stopped, and walked back the other way a short distance. It followed. Stopped when we did, walked when we did. Something was definitely there, watching us, and very close. The most unsettling part was that it was clearly something that was “two legged”, so not a deer, a dog, or anything like that. I had an idea, and had us huddle and whispered explaining my plan.

“All three of us shut our lights off… you two count slowly to five, then turn them back on… Just stand here for about a minute, or unless you feel the need to run. Otherwise, just start walking back to the jeep, and get in to it when you get there… I’m going dark and am going to get in to the woods and get in behind this thing… OK?”

They shut off their lights and gave me just enough time to get in to the brush and trees, back up the road a short way. When they turned their lights back on and started walking, I couldn’t see their lights, but I could hear them walking and talking softly. Then I heard “it” moving again, between myself and them. I tried to close in on it, and I swear I was less than 10 feet from it a few times. But, it seemed that it had detected that I was there, and that I was tracking it now. 10 minutes can be a very long time… They had gotten back to my jeep and were waiting near it for me. What ever I had been so close to seemed to have just disappeared, as I never heard it again. My eyes had adjusted to the dark, and I could see fairly well. I went to where I’d last heard “it”, scanned and listened for a bit. But, I just felt that what ever had been there was now gone.

I came out of the woods silently, just a few feet away from where my girl friend and best friend were standing, waiting for me. They were both facing away from me and I couldn’t resist being a smart-ass… I snuck up behind my buddy, and put a hand on his shoulder. As he whipped around, already shaking with terror, I put my flashlight up against the bottom of my chin, turned it on, and let out a bellowing, “BUHHWHAHAHAAHAAAA!” I had never seen anyone shake that hard before, unless they were getting electrocuted! After the cussing stopped, we all had a pretty good laugh. We got in to my jeep and started to slowly drive out on the old tree and brush covered road. We thought that our “adventure” was over, and were trying to decide whether we’d go to a McD’s or a B-king for food now…

Just short of the entrance, when the road started to widen out back in to civilization, the fog light up with many colors… Red, Yellow, Blue, and White… “MARS” lights and high beams on several Cook County police cars will do that. Ruh-roh…

There were at least 4 or 5 squad cars there, and as many police officers blocking the road! Of course, a very long talk and a search of us and my vehicle ensued… They found a regulation “night stick”, a police baton, that I kept tucked behind my seat, and they confiscated that. I gladly gave it up, as I was hoping for leniencey for us all. They had patted me down, and never said a word about the large Bowie type knife that I had on in an upside down, under arm, shoulder holster type sheath I had made. He hit it at least 3 times during my ‘pat down’, so I figured it didn’t matter to him. After all, they all had guns and we didn’t. Anyhow… When the same ‘pat down’ officer that had found my night stick, had found the stick, then proceeded to explain to me “how illegal” the possession of that stick was, and that he was going to confiscate it… It occurred to me that maybe he hadn’t noticed the large knife concealed under my outer shirt that he had hit 3 times during said ‘pat down’… I thought honesty would be the best policy, and I should gently point it out him now? You know, to put him at ease, and hope it wouldn’t confiscate it too…

He stood facing me, and explained about the night stick and that he was going to take it. When he was done talking, I said, “Officer? If that night stick is illegal, then I hope that this maybe illegal too?” Facing him, I raised my left arm slightly out to the side, slowly reached across my chest and took hold of my shirt with two fingers… Then raised my shirt off to the side so that my Bowie knife rig was clearly visible to him… He stood there watching me, and when he saw my knife, he just said, “A huh… Yep… That’s illegal too… Take it of slowly…”

I took of my outer shirt first, then carefully undid my shoulder holster knife rig, and handed it too him. As I was doing that, I explained to him that I didn’t care about the night stick, but that this knife was a ‘family heirloom”, belonging to my dad, and that I’d rather he just took me to jail if he was going to take it too, because I wouldn’t want to face my dad if it was gone. The officer gave me a real break, hopefully because I deserved it. He had me roll it up and put it in the only locking compartment on my jeep, which was a tool compartment under the drivers seat. He told me, “You go straight home and leave that knife there. Don’t let me catch you out here again, as it’s illegal to be in any cemetery after sundown, especially this one.” We told him we understood and would gladly comply, so we caught a break and they let us go. Whew…

Did I go straight home with that knife like he told me to do? Hell no… We were hungry teens, and we decided to go to a particular McD’s that was some distance away from here. Eat first, THEN go home… We passed by several other McD’s before getting to the one we had decided on, and we pulled in to the U-shaped parking lot which went around the building. As we got to the back of the lot driving through, there were the same cops making a bust! As we slowly drove through, that same cop and I even made eye contact! Pretty sure that I looked shocked and surprised when he saw us… I just kept going and didn’t look back. Rolled right out of that McD’s and went to another one several more miles away. Hey! We were hungry!

Eventually, we did go home and I put that knife away. Dropped off my best buddy at his house. And a little later on, I dropped off my girl at her house… What a night!

There are and have been several websites and articles About Bachelor’s Grove of course. It’s easy to look up because it’s so well known and documented now. But, you might just want to bring along a good flashlight and a Bowie knife, just in case…

About offworldengineer

Still alone. Still Alive. Still Unbroken.
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1 Response to Bachelor’s Grove ~ The Adventure

  1. craigeugene says:

    Rock on!!

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