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Haunted Cemeteries In Illinois

Anna is a writer, mom, crafter, and movie buff. Her favorites are horror movies and horror stories, thanks to some inspiring parents.

A State Rich in Tradition

My home state of Illinois (pronounced without the 'S', thank you very much!), is a state that is rich in history and tradition. I could write dozens, if not hundreds of hubs about everything I have learned about Illinois over the years. My family was big on historical trips around the state. You ever see those 'historical marker' signs? Yeah, we stopped at every single one my step-father saw. Maybe I will delve into some of my knowledge in future hubs.

For now, I will take you on a trip through some of the many, many supposedly haunted cemeteries in Illinois. During my research, I found more than I had bargained for. This was originally supposed to be a hub on a variety of haunted places in Illinois, but the vast amount of information was a bit overwhelming. I decided to break it down into parts. The first part, obviously, covering the haunted cemeteries. There are many! So many, that I will not be covering them all in detail, but I will highlight some, and list some of the others.

So, put on your hiking boots, grab your flashlights, and let's go! Don't forget the bug spray! The mosquitoes in Illinois are very annoying. It's going to be a long night.


Resurrection Cemetery

The gates of Resurrection Cemetery

The gates of Resurrection Cemetery

Scene from Resurrection Mary.  Eva Bloomfield as Mary and Jason Ryan Lovett as Shawn

Scene from Resurrection Mary. Eva Bloomfield as Mary and Jason Ryan Lovett as Shawn

Resurrection Cemetery

Probably the most famous haunted cemetery in Illinois is Resurrection Cemetery in Justice, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The legend of Resurrection Mary is one that is quite familiar with many people, even those not familiar with Chicago ghost lore. Just ask anyone from that area, and they will tell you the legend of Resurrection Mary. Or, you could just keep reading!

Resurrection Mary, so named for the cemetery where she is rumored to be buried, and where she tends to haunt. Resurrection Cemetery is located on Archer Avenue in Justice. Her real identity is unclear, but old cemetery records do have details of a Polish girl buried there that fits Mary's description.

Mary is said to be a beautiful, blond-haired, blue-eyed girl in her late teens, to early twenties. She is said to have died in an automobile accident in 1934 on her way home from a night of dancing at the O. Henry Ballroom. The ballroom has since been renamed as the Willowbrook.

Sightings of Mary started about five years after her alleged death. People driving down the road had complained that they saw a young woman in a dress trying to jump on their car's running boards as they passed by. Sometimes, she hitches rides to the ballroom. She can be seen dancing the night away. She is quiet and rather vague when answering questions. At the end of the night, Mary asks for a ride home, asking that the driver head north on Archer Ave. She will usually vanish from the car as it passes by the cemetery. Other times, she asks that the driver stop short of the cemetery, she gets out of the car and vanishes as she heads through the gates.

She has occasionally been seen inside the cemetery, as well. One such account is from a man who had been passing by the cemetery late one night, when he happened to see a woman who appeared to be trapped inside the cemetery. She was holding onto the bars of the gate, as if trying to get out. He went to get help, but when he returned, the woman was gone. In the spot where she had been standing, the bars were visibly bent, and at the curves where the bars were bent, were the smallish hand prints of a young woman pressed into the metal. The bars were replaced, so no evidence of this still exists today.

Many other accounts of encounters with Resurrection Mary exist. I could probably devote an entire hub to the legend of Resurrection Mary. A song called, "The Ballad of Resurrection Mary", was written about her, and a few movies based on the legend have been made. One such movie, made by an small independent film company, even won an award at a Chicago film festival.

The story of Resurrection Mary, and Resurrection Cemetery, was recently featured on the Travel Channel's program, Most Terrifying Places in America. Stop by one of these days, and find out for yourself.

Resurrection Mary movie trailer

Resurrection Cemetery

Bloods Point Cemetery

The gates of Bloods Point Cemetery.  Photo by David Wrzesinski-Smith

The gates of Bloods Point Cemetery. Photo by David Wrzesinski-Smith

Bloods Point Cemetery

The name alone is enough to give you a chill, though the origins of the name are far more mundane than one would think. Bloods Point Cemetery and Bloods Point Road are named for Arthur Blood, who settled the area in the 1830's. Though, a name like Bloods Point is still a little creepy, no matter the source.

Locals claim that the cemetery is not haunted, but that doesn't put an end to the rumors, and does nothing to thwart would-be ghost hunters from visiting the area late at night. A small warning, should you decide to seek out the supposed haunts of Bloods Point Cemetery; the cemetery closes at dusk, and trespassing is prohibited. Police frequently patrol the area due to the attention the area gets.

Still, despite the police presence, and despite the claims of the locals that the area is not haunted, people still claim to have seen and heard things. Sightings of white, glowing orbs and mysterious mists have been reported. Electrical problems, such as flashlights turning off, and cameras malfunctioning inside the cemetery have also been reported. Once outside, everything returns to normal, and the devices that didn't work, start working again. This is a common claim in regards to paranormal activity.

Strange noises have also been heard, from cries, whistling, whispering and growling, as if from an angry dog, can be heard from the shed located on the property.

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Bloods Point Cemetery

Archer Woods Cemetery

The gates of Archer Woods Cemetery

The gates of Archer Woods Cemetery

Archer Woods Cemetery

The gates to Archer Woods Cemetery are located along Kean Road, kind of tucked away off the more traveled thoroughfares in Chicago. The gates are often found unlocked, so entry to the cemetery is possible, even after dark, but again, be cautious if visiting a cemetery after dark. Upon entering the gates, visitors are greeted by stacked up burial vaults awaiting their deceased residents. Albeit, and ominous first look at the cemetery, to be sure. Archer Woods Cemetery is often forgotten about in Chicago ghost lore due to the popularity of Chicago's most famous ghost, Resurrection Mary.

The ghost said to haunt this cemetery is called "The Sobbing Woman." It is said, that as you walk around the cemetery, eerie cries can be heard, compared to the sounds of the sobbing of a woman. A white, filmy form of a woman is often seen floating near the gates to the cemetery. She is called "The Sobbing Woman", and you can often hear her cries. Why does she cry? It is rumored that she is searching for her lost love, or for a child that she lost before her death. Her forlorn spirit wanders the cemetery, sobbing and searching for her long lost loved one. It is a sad, and heart-wrenching story.

Archer Woods Cemetery

Graceland Cemetery


Graceland Cemetery

Despite the name of the cemetery, this cemetery has nothing to do with the home of Elvis, nor is Elvis buried here. Graceland Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Chicago. It was established in 1860 as a private cemetery, by Thomas Bryan, a lawyer, and was designed by a landscape architect named H.W.S. Cleveland. It is a beautiful cemetery with gorgeous landscaping, and a classic feel. It is worth a visit just for the picturesque park-like beauty.

Several ghosts are said to haunt the beautiful, old cemetery. The most famous of the ghosts here is that of Inez Clark, a young girl of six years old who was struck by lightening at a family picnic. There is a life-sized statue of the child, put up by her heart-broken parents, at her grave site. The statue of Inez is encased in glass, to protect it from not only the elements, but also to protect it from vandals. It is said that on stormy nights, the statue will disappear from the glass case. The spirit of the young girl can then be seen wandering around the cemetery, dancing in the rain, and playing among the headstones.

statue of Inez Clark

statue of Inez Clark

Graceland Cemetery

Old picture of the gates. Even the gates at the cemetery look creepy

Old picture of the gates. Even the gates at the cemetery look creepy

Even the gates show the ravages of time and the effects of neglect

Even the gates show the ravages of time and the effects of neglect

Bachelor's Grove Cemetery

Bachelor's Grove is a strange cemetery. It is located in what is now Rubio Woods Forest Preserve in Midlothian, a suburb of Chicago. It was founded in the mid-19th Century as Everdon's Cemetery. The area was once a popular site for picnics, as well as a great fishing spot at the quarry pond nearby. The cemetery took a drastic decline, due to vandals and lack of upkeep in the 1950s and 1960s. It is all but forgotten, now, and is a sad sight to see.

Various urban legends are said to have originated in the cemetery and the area around it. Including the ever popular story of the "hooked maniac", who preys on unsuspecting lovers after escaping from a mental hospital. The hooked maniac attacks the male companion after he goes out, looking to see where the 'strange noises' they hear are coming from. This is, of course, a classic urban legend that has been told, and re-told in various forms, in many different places.

Many strange things have been seen in Bachelor's Grove Cemetery, including glowing orbs of light, phantom cars that disappear into the night, and somewhere around 100 ghosts. Some of these are a more common sight than others. Then, there is the legend of the "Wandering Farmer". See the video for more detailed information on this story.

One such ghost is called the "Madonna of Bachelor's Grove." A young woman dressed all in white. She may be the very same woman seen by a paranormal investigation group in the early 1990s. They claim they saw a woman dressed in old-fashioned clothes, sitting atop of a tombstone. A picture of the supposed ghost, taken with infrared film, was captured by the group. If she is indeed a ghost, and not a hoax, it is the most startling, and amazing, proof that ghosts do exist.

A 'phantom house' is also supposed to appear out of the shrouding mist on the trail leading to the cemetery. The house is rarely seen, but those who claim to have seen it describe a startlingly similar picture. The house is a two-story Victorian, with a colonnaded front porch. A faint glow can bee seen coming through the windows. No records show that any house was ever built in that area, and no one has ever claimed to have entered the home. If anyone ever has gone into the home, they have never left to tell the tale.

Claims have been made that witchcraft and satanic activities have, and still do, take place at the cemetery. The secluded location makes it an ideal location for such activities. Some evidence of such practices were found in the 1970s. Graves were dug up, tombstones rearranged, and animal remains were found on the cemetery grounds. Whether the vandalism is the result of trouble-making vandals or a coven of witches, is unknown. It does seem that all the disruption to the cemetery has stirred up the spirits that reside there.

Bachelor's Grove Cemetery was also recently featured in the Travel Channel's program, Most Terrifying Places in America. If the stories are true, I can see why.

Image of the supposed ghost

Image of the supposed ghost

Headstone sans ghost

Headstone sans ghost

Bachelor's Grove Cemetery

Bachelor's Grove Cemetery Travel Channel

Other Haunted Cemeteries In Illinois

The list was far too long to cover them all in depth. I even had to leave some out all together, maybe to be added at a later date. Some stories were vague, or hard to believe, so I left them out. Here are a few more cemeteries in Illinois that are said to be haunted.

Campground Cemetery (Mattoon, IL): Campground Cemetery is a small cemetery near Lake Paradise Road, just outside of Mattoon. People have claimed to see phantom picnickers at the cemetery, dressed in turn of the century clothing. Strange lights have also been seen in the area of the graveyard.

Aux Sable Cemetery (Minooka/Morris, IL): It is said that there is a little girl in the cemetery. You can see her if you get out of your car, and when you see her, a paralyzing force takes you over, and you feel as if you can't move. Car doors are said to lock themselves, windows fog up when no one is in the car, and when you try to leave, the exit has been mysteriously blocked, only to be clear when you look again. It is said that there are tunnels that run under the cemetery. No trespassing here, so be warned if you decide to venture out here, you may be arrested.

Evangelical Church Cemetery (Oakbrook, IL): Near the Graue Mill underground railroad station is a church, and behind the church is a small cemetery. It is said that this is a very haunted place. The bodies of slaves that were attempting to escape to Canada, that never made it, are buried here. It is said that the spirits of these slaves haunt the cemetery, and that you can often see their restless spirits.

Mt. Pleasant Cemetery (Olney, IL): Claims have been made that the little old church that stands at the front of the cemetery is haunted. Legend has it that if you knock on the front door, you can hear sounds coming from inside the church. Sounds like singing, music and footsteps. Claims of phantom funerals being seen have been made, though they stopped doing funerals there in the 1950s.

Greenwood Cemetery (Quincy, IL): There is a mausoleum in the cemetery, and it is said that you can see children playing around the area. Strange lights have been seen near the back part of the graveyard, as well.

Mt. Hope Cemetery (Tremont, IL): There is a large, stone covered grave there that is said to be the final resting place of a church organist who was buried with her organ. The legend is that if you put your ear to the ground or the stone, you can hear her playing her organ from the grave.

Please, Do Come Back

I have decided to continue this in another hub. Maybe even a series of hubs on the subject. I have enough on cemeteries to do at least one more. So, please, come back and check out the next installment on the Haunted Places of Illinois; Haunted Cemeteries of Illinois Part II.

© 2010 Anna Marie Bowman


Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on May 02, 2013:

Kayleigh-- I will double check my research and correct any errors I find. Thank you for the info!

Kayleigh on April 26, 2013:

There is no "Greenwood" cemetery in Quincy. There is Greenmount, which is no more haunted than any other cemetery that I'm aware of, and does not contain any mausoleums, and there is Woodland which is on the bluffs near the Mississippi that DOES contain numerous mausoleums, many of which are not only decrepit, but are usually inaccessible, including the main mausoleum where the urns are housed. As the oldest still-existing cemetery in Quincy, it is said to be haunted on many levels and is the final resting place of several famous individuals.

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on March 05, 2013:

I am not sure. I have never heard anything about Garfield Cemetery, but that doesn't mean anything.

Courtney Panzer on March 03, 2013:

I was wondering if anyone has had experiences at Garfield Cemetery in Kane County, IL? The cemetery is across from the historic Garfield Farm.

I was exploring the grounds a couple years ago, and that day it seems "something" came home with me. My door opened and closed in a 2 minute time span around 3 am that night. The door handle was jiggled as well.

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on January 23, 2013:

carla-- Thank you for reading!! I will check out your hub!! I look forward to reading it.

Carla J Swick from NW PA on January 20, 2013:

Found your excellent hub after I wrote one today on a story my grandfather used to tell - check it out - it's my featured hub. Wow - there's alot of information here. Great job!

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on March 22, 2012:

Tiger5869--I have yet to travel to Bachelor's Grove, but it is on my list next time I am up that way.

Tiger5869 on March 22, 2012:

I've been to Bachelors Grove that place is freaky.. I ran and got in my car and locked it. I live in Olney i have to Check that one out..

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on March 06, 2012:

Matt-- Are you sure you grew up in Illinois? You type as if English isn't your first language. Maybe you are like me, and are just terrible at typing...anyway...The four-sided grave marker isn't as strange as it sounds. I have heard of it before. What you more than likely found was a family plot. They are all over Central and Southern Illinois. People would bury their family members on their own land in a family graveyard. They are hard to track and hard to document, but it happened a lot back then. Not so much now. Getting GPS coordinates is probably a good idea. You can even upload the photos and information to a website called Find-a-grave. They have all kinds of records regarding that sort of thing. on March 05, 2012:

My family owns farm and timberland in SW Illinois. Timber is in Illinois river bottom above bluffs. Have coordinates if you know someone interested. VERY strange originally owned by grandfather. Timber is still in family 240 acres next to limestone quarry rugged area. As a boy played often up in woods hard to access. There was an overgrown wagon trail up the hills. overgrown now. I would go up play in the hills and go to a long forgotten cemetery. Took my father and brother later (didn't believe me at first)years ago we explored it. markers modest, some nicer, most fallen or leaning some are slabs of limestone that are hand worked illegible. These are obviously pioneer. Many modest stones dated 1790 to 1840s. I was under impression area first settled 1820s. Not a paranormal believer but when we would see it now and then all of us, well got overwhelmed, my dad is very common sense guy. only went twice but shared feeling of dread. Near the center it runs along top of bluff N to S near the corner of jersey,greene county.Two things I found that didn't know of as a boy. The 3 of us found a stone very hard to read but said Marcel Lefe(a)rvre(name was ?)died 1818.born (no date said only"France" age 47 "burnt whilst he slept by drunken Inoca",(Inoca=indian tribe) SERIOUS!! this was not hand inscribed professional looking marker very old and green with moss, I would have thought that would have turned up searches and news that long ago but none. I do know on opposite bluff(calhoun county) there was small french communities ? de Gris?(trader,old trappers fur) also learned Inoca was blanket term for Illini indian confederacy Kickapoo peoria etc nothing specific turn up on internet search...if that isn't creepy enough... At center is large four sided nice but worn tombstone for Medford...this will sound ridiculous but had names on all sides One child Aug 4,1822. (4yo?), mother Aug 5, 1823 (38yo?) child Aug 6th, 1824 (8yo?), father Aug 8, 1826 (41yo) I know it sounds far fetched. Brother and I brought a friend that didn't believed. He was amazed and then teased my brother and I and acting like he was "summoning spirits etc.big production" Massive wind came from nowhere. There was a HUGE dead pine tree right next to 5'high marker. Couple other dying pines along ridge. It sounds ridiculous but there was a huge pop and unexplainable chattering noise I dont like to recall. We looked at one another SCARED so bad we couldn't move. A branch flew off a far pine whirled away. We all ran and ran and ran 20-30 minutes through thickets and overgrowth to get to the car. we live 50 miles away and Joe was pale and shaking the one teasing.We were all cut to hell by brambles and shocked I've never had a feeling so awful. Want to photo and clear some grass but won't go alone(even armed, that's the impression it made) It would be hard to do it now (back surgerie). Went to walk around with the thought of deer hunting a few years ago. Far away from lost graveyard but every time I even remotely turned that direction felt uneasy left much sooner than intended. There's probably 25 or 30 graves but high grass, no idea really.years ago my brother and i Found one said 'burned alive in cabin by The Medford family marker dying 1year and 1day apart except's an amazing coincidence. Saw many infant graves (not surprising) thought Medford might be smallpox/cholera don't know but I cannot find anything. Not nuts this is one thing that makes me think paranormal might exist. Always been skeptical but that feeling. Its hard to get too but if you know people that like to investigate Physically fit (steep climbs) love to have it looked at. Could meet people there no desire to go alone AT ALL. We rent out a house in the bottom I'd meet to tell renters they have permission and give it a try but at least bring map and show it. Previous renter hunted deer occasionally a cousin with my permission and he never saw/found it. That's how out of the way it is I know exactly were it is. Don't know just looking for it and found this. Sound like a crackpot but im not its one of those thing that has to be seen to be believed. I'd like to go with others (back allowing) so I want to photograph as proof and gps exact coordinates.

Matt Devine

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on February 11, 2012:

shiana-- Thank you!

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on February 11, 2012:

Eiddwen-- Thank you so much!!

shiana may on February 10, 2012:

wow this is amazing stuff

Eiddwen from Wales on March 26, 2011:

A brilliant hub Anna. I was gripped from beginning to end.

Thank you for sharing.Take care


Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on October 22, 2010:

Scribe-- I love old cemeteries, and there are so many in IL and all over the country. I plan on covering some haunted places in a few other states I have lived in, including Arizona and Florida.

Scribe For Hire from Connecticut on October 22, 2010:

Great Hub!

Old cemeteries are really interesting. Many have gravestones with eerie epitaphs.

We have our own share of "haunted" ones in CT, too.

Look forward to reading more!

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on October 13, 2010:

ghomefitness-- I want to make a trip out there next time I am up north. If you ever see anything, be sure to let us know!!

ghomefitness from Chicago,IL on October 13, 2010:

I have been by Resurrection many times and you do find yourself looking around.

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on October 13, 2010:

parkersarah-- Do I believe what, exactly? Do I believe in ghosts? Yes. Do I believe that all of these cemeteries are haunted? Not sure. I do know someone back in IL who is going to do some investigating, though, as will I when I go back there.

parkersarah8415 from USA on October 13, 2010:

Do you really believe this. It looks really vivid, though.

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on October 11, 2010:

xobliam-- I would love a job working for the tourism department in IL! That would be a lot of fun...maybe haunted tours of Chicago, or something.

Just About It-- Great to hear from another person from IL!!! Sounds like you had a lot of fun messing with the new kids!

Just About It from southern CA on October 11, 2010:

Great hub. As a teenager, it was always fun to scare the new kid on the block with these stories of the local cemetery... Bachelor Grove was our favorite.

xobliam on October 11, 2010:

Great and very mysterious...however I doubt that you work with the tourism department of your hometown Illinois....never pick up hitchhikers in this kind on information and story telling...

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on October 03, 2010:

epigramman-- Again, thank you!!! I do have a few more in the works, including one on horror movies. I think I will check out the movie you recommended before I publish it, though. I do love scary movies, especially older ones. There is something more honest about a lot of them. One of my favorites is called The Bad Seed. Great movie!!!

epigramman on October 02, 2010:

.....oh I do love this hub very very much - you have really done your homework here and I am so impressed.

I love anything to do with the dark side - and why not because my love life is in the dark side - lol lol - but that's another matter entirely - I love your use of images and pictures and your text is thrilling - and of course chilling - in fact I would rate this hub as one of my all time favorites - so if you have any more haunted hubs - please go ahead and do them - I will wait for them.

I have a recommendation for you - it's a film by Robert Wise who did The Sound of Music - and this black and white film (which is so appropriate) is from 1963 and called THE HAUNTING!!!! It's the scariest movie of all time - in my opinion .....

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on September 30, 2010:

Allan-- I have some info on some haunted houses in IL and plan on doing one for those, as well. Also haunted schools. And maybe one more covering some other haunted places (roads, hotels, etc).

Allan Douglas from Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee on September 30, 2010:

A haunted house hub? I'll see what I can do. Maybe the family still has some photos of the old place.

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on September 30, 2010:

Ooops...meant ashes..

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on September 30, 2010:

I want my ashed compressed into synthetic diamonds. That way I will be beautiful forever!

Christoph Reilly from St. Louis on September 30, 2010:

In truth, cremation is for me too. I don't want to be left rotting in the ground. And no ceremonial casting of the ashes off a mountaintop either. Just sweep me up a put me in the dust bin.

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on September 30, 2010:

Chris-- So, you are going to haunt the cemetery where you are going to be buried? Sounds like you. I prefer to be cremated. I plan on checking out some of the ones I haven't been to on my next trip up north.

Christoph Reilly from St. Louis on September 29, 2010:

The cemetery I will buried in is not haunted...not yet anyway! I should visit some of these highlighted in your article. I've always been a fan of cemeteries (really), and throwing in a haunting or two only makes them better!

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on September 29, 2010:

Allan-- Really? That's awesome!! I came across a ghost story about a haunted house in Watseka, not far from Paxton. I would love to hear some more info about your experience!

Allan Douglas from Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee on September 29, 2010:

Chilling tales! Since I lived in a haunted house in Paxton Illinois when I was a kid (they were non-malevolent ghosts, a pair of elderly sisters who had died in the house) I tend to believe these stories; I've seen it for myself!

Thanks for the interesting read!

Anna Marie Bowman (author) from Florida on September 29, 2010:

katiem-- I grew up in IL, as well. I have heard some of these stories throughout most of my life. I included the maps so people can check them out for themselves. If you encounter anything, let me know!!!

Dolores-- It is a subject which intrigues me to no end. Old cemeteries are creepy and beautiful.

carolina-- Thank you!!!

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on September 29, 2010:

wow.. fascinating subject!!!

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on September 28, 2010:

Great hub what with Halloween coming up! I have actually heard of Resurrection Mary, she is sure famous. I love old cemeteries, and the idea that some are haunted just adds to the allure.

Katie McMurray from Ohio on September 28, 2010:

I was born in Illinois and found your Haunted Cemeteries In Illinois to be amazing and very spooky. I will keep my eyes open next time I'm home. Happy Halloween :)

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