Originally part of a small settlement that was established by four single men, the Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery was abandoned near the turn of the century and has since been robbed, broken, and made out in despite an ever growing portfolio of ghost stories and myths.
The tiny, 82 plot graveyard was established around 1840 as part of a small and quickly defunct Illinois settlement. Settlers and Russian rail workers filled most of the plots, although by the 1920s rumors of gangland bodies being dumped on the grounds began to circulate. By the 1950s burials were no longer taking place on the grounds, but a whole lot of making out was as local teenagers used the overgrown cemetery as a party spot. The youth would break the headstones or steal them so regularly that most of the surrounding police stations eventually ended up with some piece of the cemetery.
Along with the teenagers came the ghost stories and soon the Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery was host to sightings of many of the usual suspects. A white lady, a black dog, and floating orbs were all reported and a semi-respectable study of the site was even conducted.
Starting in 2014 the Forest Preserve cleaned up the site. This included installing new portions of the fence and repairing the rest. It is now maintained. A landscaping service regularly mows the cemetery grounds, cleans up branches and removes garbage.
Update as of November 2020: Many of the headstones have been damaged or removed.
Know Before You Go
Rubio Woods Forest Preserve entrance on 143rd Street, just east of Ridgeland Avenue. You can find the entrance to the main path leading to the cemetery across the street from this preserve. Path entrance is about 100 feet West of the two cell phone towers. There are two wooden posts at the start of the trail that are visible from the road. Park at the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve across the street.