Bachelor's Grove

I'm not psychic.

There's been the occasional dejavu and feeling of foreboding. Had a dream one time that the water main broke near school. Woke up and it was on the radio. School didn't close that day, so if there is some psychic connection there, it wasn't very practical.

So when I go into a place like Bachelor's Grove, I'm feeling what just about any dufus with enough gumption to walk into a secluded wood alone in the middle of a thunder storm would feel. A little bit scared and a little bit stupid. So walking on in past the feebly hanging "Closed" sign and on in as the trees wrapped leafy fingers behind muffling if not muting the many leveled hum of the Midlothian Turnpike, I kept a steady eye out over my shoulder.

For that guy who sat staring into the woods where we had parked our cars directly across from the main entrance.

For the other guy who pulled in front of me with his semi and stared at me till I started to pull out from where I had been looking for an alternative entrance finding nothing but nettles and thorn bushes.

I put on my right turn signal. So did he. He turned right. I didn't, and quickly.

Concerned neighbors? Most likely. Whatever.

There it is.

I didn't even notice, then it was there.

The gates have given up the ghost by the force of several generations of persistent trespassers. Only a couple of fallen branches across the path give pretence of a warning to danger. It's a calm stillness, like the insides of a glass snow globe. The turnpike's still audible, cracked only by the occasional thunder. The rain's let up considerably, so out comes the cameras. I left the videocam back in the car bringing in the 35mm (my personal) and the Olympus digital (beg, borrowed, etc.). After wandering around a bit in the overgrowth it becomes clear that two kinds of people visit Bachelor's Grove.

Those who care...

...and those who don't.

so I took the traditional tour...

the most recent resident already a victim of neglect

the old swimming hole...

It's definitely not your father's cemetery. Everything's just a bit out of place even though I seemed to hit it on a relatively calm day. A trusted friend of mine has stumbled across hooded figures, culverts filled with animal bones and, on one visit, half a deer, fairly fresh. What I found was the left overs of what was given up to the ravages of that place just between life and death. A plastic rosary rested on an infants grave with a plastic rose at the base. Whoever was meant to care gave up some time ago, and whoever did was by the kindness of a stranger.

So much for lightning never hitting the same place twice. I counted three distinct areas in the same corner of the cemetery where lightning had struck. This one messed this tree up something fierce.

I kept hearing voices which for me isn't all that uncommon. But these weren't telling me sacrifice the neighbor's Chihuahua to some long forgotten god. Those I usually ignore. This one I went after. Nothing discernible, just like portions of a conversation taking place in a room just adjacent. Being a writer, I always carry a microrecorder. I set it recording on the Fulton grave and went wandering about. I felt drawn to one corner in particular. A branch snapped and crashed just the other side of the fence. A good adrenaline rush, but it turned me towards a tombstone labeled Newman. I felt something strong and vital. Picking up the digital camera I positioned it rectangularly with the stone at the base of the picture. The back of the camera has a liquid crystal display of what's there. It looked clear, until I took the shot and the orbs appeared.

I thanked him kindly for the photo opportunity and after a few more rounds headed back out the way I came.

After getting home, the picture really bothered me. It would be great if it were real, but I was plagued with wondering what could "rationally" cause this effect. The only thing I could think of was the flash of the camera on raindrops. I blew up the individual spots as much as possible to try and figure out what I was looking at. My girlfriend laughed as I stood in the shower snapping pictures of the falling drops. I tried the sink. I tried a spray bottle. Nothing reproduced it. Then the next day at work, the weather was much as it was the day before. I decided to test the theory. This time, it worked, hence the "Fake" on the above. Don't want this toting through cyberspace as evidence of the beyond.

So either it was rain drops, or Dominican University where I work is haunted too. But then that's another story. Well, at least it was a day off. Got to a few more sites in the area that you're more than welcome to retrace with me in Chicago Haunted Sites. The tape recording? Nothing I could tell beyond rushing trucks and a plane overhead. Wish I had something better for ya, but it's like I said,

I'm not psychic.

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