The Lady in White of Bachelor’s Grove
In 1991, Ghost Research Society (GRS) investigator Jude Huff took many photos of the Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery located in the woods near Midlothian, Illinois. The GRS team had ventured out to the cemetery to explore the claims of paranormal happenings amongst the overgrown graves.
The team members walked through the cemetery in small groups, each holding a map and were told to record any changes in EMF and any psychic/anomalous experiences they may have had. The maps were compared, and several spots that overlapped showed in the comparisons.
The team members returned to those areas and did more in depth investigating, including taking many photographs.
It was upon development of these photos that the ‘Lady in White’ appeared, sitting on a headstone carved with a checker board pattern. No one was in the shot at the time the photos were taken, and no one in GRS was wearing the clothes seen on the figure in the photograph.
The woman can be seen sitting, legs to the front, with her hands in her lap. She has long hair (many believe this to be brown, although it is only a black and white image) and a full length dress. Many believe the dress to be a burial shroud, while others believe it is just an old fashioned light coloured dress.
The loose parts of her dress and areas around her head appear to be semi transparent. Everyone in the team was understandably stunned, as were the media, who soon snapped up the story and put it into print.
It is considered one of the top ten ghost photos of all time.
Who is this mysterious figure and why can she be seen staring off into the cemetery?
Bachelor’s Grove is no stranger to experiences of a potentially paranormal kind. These stories date as far back as the 1950’s, but with a location such as this, it would not be a surprise to find stories going back even further.
The tales take on many forms. The strangest concerns the road that leads to the cemetery itself. To access Bachelor’s Grove you must travel along a dark, long dirt track chocked by trees encroaching along the path, in many places blotting out the sun as the ancient boughs join overhead.
It is apparently quite freaky in the daytime, let alone terrifying at night. Back in the 50’s a story circulated that those who travelled the path would inexplicably see an old white farmhouse between the trunks and branches of the trees. Upon closer inspection, the house will have inexplicably disappeared. It is likely linked to the death of a farmer, who passed while ploughing the lands near the cemetery in 1870. He, his horse and the plough all fell into the nearby lagoon, drowning. Forest rangers have told tales how they have witnessed a farmer ploughing those fields, appearing and disappearing amongst the trees.
More modern stories concern strange lights in the cemetery. For the past forty-odd years it has been a place for adventurous (and no doubt horny) young people, wanting to hang out and ‘try their luck’. It was also no doubt a place to venture on a dare, or just for thrills.
It was these young people who started to report the lights. White flashes have been seen amongst the now overgrown stones, and paths between graves. Stories of robed monks were shared, though these seemed to die out in the mid-80’s.
In more recent times the stories evolved to include physical contact with unseen entities. The contact is always quite sudden and people claim the hands are clammy/sweaty, with the wetness lingering even as the shock of unexplainably being grabbed by an unseen force works its way throughout the body.
However, the most famous ghost is The White Lady. She has been seen amongst the graves of Bachelor’s Grove for decades. Many believe that her name is Mrs Rogers, a lady who buried in the cemetery next to her son. I can not find out why people believe the figure is Mrs Rogers, but the name seemed to have stuck.
The figure is also referred to as the ‘Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove’, no doubt owing to the light coloured nature of her flowing dress.
Since 2004, the woman has been referred to by another name. Mid West Haunts has spent many years investigating the old cemetery, and on one of these occasions they snapped a photo of the lady in white. She is seen standing amongst the trees in the area of a headstone for the grave of Dora Newman. Since that time MWH has been referring to the Lady in White as Dora Newman, hopefully she now has the correct name!
Ashley Hall 2013. All reference material can be made available on request.
Photo: The Lady in White, sometimes referred to as ‘The Madonna’ of Bachelor’s Grove.
Inset upper: The wooded path that leads to the cemetery.
Inset Middle: The headstone the apparition was seen sitting on.
Inset Lower: The gates of Bachelor’s Grove circa 1980
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Note: The Paranormal Guide makes no claims to the authenticity or integrity of this photo. It is simply presented here along with information for you to make up your own mind.