Any city with as rich of a history as Chicago is going to have equally interesting cemeteries. Pretty morbid, right? Then it's perfect for this week's 'Did you know, Chicago': Chicago's most famous/haunted cemeteries.
When I started researching for today's post, I had originally planned to cover Graceland Cemetery. But upon further digging I found a plethora of hauntings in cemeteries all over Chicago.
If you've ever been over by Clark and Irving Park, you've no doubt seen the enormous cemetery, surrounded by high brick walls with wrought iron spikes on top of them. This is Graceland Cemetery, the burying place for many of Chicago's most famous citizens and home to two very famous ghost stories:
In 1880, six-year-old Inez Clarke was struck and killed by a bolt of lighting. Her parents commissioned an artist to create a sculpture in her exact likeness and placed it over her grave, adding a transparent plexiglass box to protect it from the elements. It's an extremely life-like statues which in itself makes it a bit creepy. The scary part are the stories of the little girl disappearing from inside the box, most often during thunderstorms. There are other stories of children telling their parents about a little girl they met wearing old-fashioned clothing by Inez's statue.
The Monument of Dexter Graves
Marking hotelier Dexter Graves' tomb is a statue called 'Eternal Silence.' Although, I tend to agree with its other name: 'Statues of Death.' This is by far the spookiest statues in Graceland Cemetary. Created by Lorado Taft in 1909, this sculpture was at one point entirely black. Chicago smog seems to have taken care of that, but its face is still dark. Legend has it that if you look into the statues face, you'll see your own death. Obviously, this is not true, but the statues still gives me the creeps.
Bachelor's Grove Cemetery
Not only is this the most haunted cemetery in Illinois, but it's also one of the most haunted cemeteries in the country. Just reading about it gave me chills. Located in Midlothian, Bachelor's Grove Cemetery was founded in the 1820s. The cemetery eventually fell in to disuse, and after the roads around the cemetery were closed many of the tombstones were vandalized and the grave desecrated. What makes it even worse is that Bachelor's Grove became a popular dumping ground for murdered bodies.
Since the 1970s there have been hundreds of reports of weird sights and sounds in and around the cemetery; floating orbs, a phantom house, a ghost car, a man driving an old fashioned horse-drawn plow, a woman in white wandering around with a baby in her arms. Paranormal experts and ghost hunters have taken some pretty convincing photos. If you want to find a ghost, this is where you go.
This photo was taken by the Ghost Research Society. What's so cool about a woman sitting on a stone? They claim she wasn't there when they took the photo.
Resurrection Cemetery has earned its haunted reputation thanks to our girl Resurrection Mary. But just be careful not to pick up any hitchhikers on the way there...
Chicago's oldest and biggest cemetery is also filled with many famous Chicagoans. (Including Charles Hull, the original owner of the haunted Hull House.) It's a gorgeous cemetery with, of course, its own famous ghost story.
Originally buried in the Chicago City Cemetery in what is now Lincoln Park (I did NOT know that), Frances Pearce died only a few months before her baby daughter. The distraught husband had a statue made of both of them and placed over their tomb in a plexiglass box. It's said that on the anniversary of their deaths the statue case fills up with a white mist.
These cemeteries are open to the public, but you can also take guided tours. The Chicago Architectural Foundation runs the Graceland Cemetery tour and a Rosehill Cemetery tour. There are also many different haunted Chicago tours to explore.
I'm actually looking for a good Chicago ghost tour, so if you know of a good one leave me a comment!
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