We received our certificates for completion of the Workshop training. We leveled and reset six more stones after Oscars. In July we spent two weekends in Southern Illinois helping restore The old Slave house Cemetery (Hickory Hills/Lawler). In the those two weekends we , along with others did some basic repairs learned in the workshop and worked with an experienced restorator to learned more of the advanced methods used in cemetery restoration.
The class workshop began at 9 am . The first half was a classroom lecture the, latter half had us in a cemetery across the street for the hands on part of the workshop. breaking at noon for lunch we were told to meet back at 1 pm at the cemetery across the street . We arrived at the cemetery early to take a walk through and see the sites. As we headed back to the area in the cemetery we were told to meet at, we noticed some pink marker flags near certain stones. As we Walked through the flagged stones we discussed the possibity of these being the stones we would be working on for the hands on part of the class. Karl pointed to one and said that's the one we should do first. This is the one. The name on the stone was Oscar and he was a 13 year old boy.
As the group gathered at the entrance and we were told we would be split into pairs and given one of three instructors to guide us in using what we had learned in the mornings class to make some basic repairs. We were lucky to have been paired with the instructor that we knew to have many years of hands on cemetery restoration Knowledge. We had previously discussed this also and knew that we wanted to work with this particular instructor.
Our instructor directed us to a certain area pointed to a specific stone and said this is the one you will do first. And guess what- it was Oscar, the 13 yr old boy who passed away in 1856.
The real story here is if you truly want it from your heart you can easily get what you want, just as proven here with us getting the teacher we wanted, Oscar the 13 yr old boys stone and how things usually work out for us in Bachelors Grove.
Our passion for Bachelors Grove , research and cemeteries started us down another path. About a year ago we starting talking about taking the Illinois state basic workshop for Cemetery Preservation.
In June 2014 we completed the workshop required to do basic repairs in cemeteries. A portion of the day long class was on site training at Oakhill Cemetery in Princeton, Il were the class was held.
Here are a few of my very first photos that were taken at Robinson Woods that got me hooked and took me to The Path to Bachelors Grove.
The lights in the trees (photo above left) were not seen at the time. Orbs, the ever wonderful orb. Yes most can be explained as dust, moisture, environmental. But there is something a bit different to those at Robinson. Photo right, look close, lower left.
Check out the photos below. Middle, right of photo below, coming around the tree. Then photo below, moving around the tree, with a small blue-ish orb in the lead. These photos were taken about 3pm WITH NO FLASH USED!!!
As I look back on the years, I have been on my path even though at the time , I did not know it.
My glass was always half full. My heart always full of goodness even though this world can drag one down and keep them down.
I have always loved and enjoyed animals. I have always been totally in awe of nature and the countryside.
I grew up in Burbank IL, the south side. I moved north near O'hare in 2000, to the location that I live now.
There is a forest preserve across the street. Nature next door was a big selling point to my location. A perfect grounding point with mother earth. I was spending as much free time as I could walking the paths through the woods, exploring the area, relaxing and finding my inner peace with the herds of deer and animals that roam the area. It was an amazing place and even more amazing once I learned about the history of this location.
My father passed away in 2003 from a massive heart attack out of nowhere. Boom , he was gone.
This affected me deeply and changed me at that moment more than one can imagine.
My sister passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2008, only one year after a very early diagnosis.
My mother is still with me and in my life after surviving a quadruple open heart surgery.
That was more than I could ever dream of or expect. Things like this don't happen to me, us, our family.
But it did.
At the moment I heard of my sister's passing, I once again changed drastically. But this time knowingly, wanting to, willingly. Just totally knowing that life is so fragile. That there has to be more to a life than just work, bills and general chaos of the everyday ho hums. The moment that I changed my spirit and outlook on life is the moment things began to change for me. I no longer defined myself by my career, my job. I released my ego to the best of my capabilities. I began to fully love and appreciate my life, my friends ,mother nature and the world we all live in. I began to send out love and good vibes the best I could, honestly and every moment possible. Appreciating mother earth. There is so much more to life, but what is it? I need to find it. I need to live it.
I was spending a lot of time in the woods near me with the deer that I was eventually able to approach, hand feed, pet and got to the point where they eventually no longer "jumped" up when I approached. I was having experiences during those times that I dismissed. Not even thinking twice of what had happened.
There was the occasional glimpse of seeing something move out of the corner of my eye.
The whispering that was "the wind". The tug on my jacket sleeve and shirt collar brushed off as a typical snag of a tree branch. The sound of thud, thud, thud... chopping wood?!!
After a hellacious long work week, during which I couldn't get my much needed,relaxing "fix" of nature, I went in the woods at night.
I could hear the deer and animals all around me. I could not see them,these eyes in the dark are not what they used to be, but I knew they were there.
Thinking to myself just what exactly are they doing now, I clicked away a bunch of photo's. Yes with a flash. I wanted to see them.
When I uploaded my photos I was a little surprised at what I saw. Actually unsure of what it was I was seeing.
Later I discovered there were "orbs" of all types , colors, textures and even some weird "lights" in the trees of the photo's I had taken. So I posted a few of them on my facebook page. Lots of comments; cool!, what is it?, and all types of other responses. But the biggest question asked was, Where is this? What location?
After replying with the street location (which at the time I didn't even know the name) I discovered that it is Robinson Woods family burial grounds, a well documented "haunted location".
I did some research, Reading as much as I could find about this location, an ancient Indian burial grounds with a deep history of being haunted. The more I read of this location the more intrigued I became. The more I read and learned of the past history, the more I realized those experiences that I had dismissed as just being alone in the woods, were documented experiences others have had in the area.
O.K. Then hopefully i'm not nuts. These things were happening to me. They really were.
I began to pay more attention when I was walking these woods. I took more photo's and examined them in more detail.
I was becoming more spiritual within, A LOT more. Something was going on in there and I wanted to know what.
I continued reading as much as I could find about this location. I read of others experiences within these woods. I saw more things in the photo's I took. I watched, I listened, I experienced. It was there, it was happening, It was real.
I actually sent some of my photo's to a well known writer/ researcher/film maker in the Paranormal field. I also sent to a few other prominent people in the field. I received responses from those I reached out to. Most were very nice and helpful with my questions. Some I have become friends with .
The writer I sent them to was also very interested in what he saw. Interested enough to highlight them in an online article he posted on one of his websites. Later , I Learned of the many possibilities of what could have caused the "orbs", but these were different from what I was told. Something that was common within this area. The "lights" in the trees were a reoccurring experience many had photographed before in this area.
I was onto something, but what?
Paranormal, spirits, ghosts and anything of that nature was not of interest to me prior to this. Not even in my vocabulary. But here it was, brought to my attention. Something is going on. Something more than just of this world.
It was there in front of me for real. But what was it? After pondering my experiences and realizing that there is possibly something going on after we die, I was hooked.
I wanted to experience more. I wanted to know. I needed to know. I had to find out what this was all about.
So where else would be of a location of such. Is there? And if so where?
I wondered and thought on it a bit and then it finally hit me. A place I had been to many years ago. Almost 30 or more years. Those visits made hazy by the years and the beers ingested when i was there. 30 YEARS AGO.
Here it is where my path truly started.
Here is where the story begins.
Here is where the research begins.
And here is where I will share this amazing , ongoing story of one of the most mentioned "haunted" locations in the world.
THE PATH TO BACHELORS GROVE.
My first visit back to Bachelors Grove was, January 10th 2012.
What I saw with my own eyes, heard with my own ears and what I saw in the pictures I took that day, shocked me beyond belief. I was amazed and in awe. I had trouble sleeping for days after that first visit.
There is a world going on there, and not that of our world.
I was again hooked, dragged back by a strong calling to be there, to witness it all again. It got into my head. It really did.
To live it and experience it. To try to understand it.
Called back by something I had experienced that day.
I went back to the Grove five times in a week after that first visit.
Passionate to become a Forest Preserve District chainsaw volunteer and adopt - a - site leader at Robinson Woods Family Burial Ground..
Interested enough to have visited the location over 200 times that first year. Sometimes spending from dawn to dusk in the Grove.
To become a part of it, to preserve it, to keep it real. That once again, something was there, and I wanted to know what it was. I needed to know. Something was calling me back. That needing to know has led to countless hours and days spent at this location. Many, many hours of days spent researching the area and that of those buried within.
In the days spent in B.G. I've spoken with over 700 people, each sharing their own stories and experiences. From
the first time visitor to the many out of towners who make it a point to stop in, to the regulars who visit often.
I have spoke with many more on the topic of the Grove through our facebook page - The Path to Bachelors Grove.
The stories, personal experiences, ghostly photos and tales of the Grove have been steady over the past decades up until this very day.
Something is there, it is strong, it is real.
It shows itself to you. It grabs you. Some say to a point of obsession. It can and will if you let it.
Now it is a passion. But when something so deep, so profound, so real happens to you, and you know it, it can and will affect you in a certain way , sometimes in a negative way if you allow it.
The Grove has a passive /aggressive /obsessive/negative/loving-positive nature to it.
The Grove will seep into you if you allow it to.
As our research has evolved,from our Bachelors Grove survey and
from speaking with many a visitor,many a person claim, say the same
thing of themselves.
They are called back to the area. They are "absorbed" by the location.
That first visit there, has led me to this moment, this time
in my life, the making of this site with Wendy.
And the sharing of our story of Bachelors Grove.
If a picture is worth a thousand words,,,,
We hope you enjoy this site. Learn something from it.
Look through the many pages ~ Topics on this our site.
Maybe even realize your own experience there has happened
Come along and enter the ever evolving world
of Bachelors Grove and share in it's storied history.
You cannot reach a destination, if you do not believe it exists.
Both Wendy and I continue to visit,research and experience the Grove. We always enjoy the time spent there with our friends.We all clean up within the area when possible and we most certainly enjoy speaking with the people we meet when visiting Bachelors Grove.
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Everyone who has visited Bachelors Grove has a story. I've heard many of them over the past year and a half since Aug. 2012. The things that people have told me that they have seen, heard and felt there are fascinating. Its led me to believe that Bachelors Grove is a place beyond what most of our minds can grasp .
My story starts the weekend of August 25, 2012. The year before this had not been a particularly good one. To make a long story shorter, I can sum it up by saying this - financially and personally things were not going well. I was not a happy person.
At the time my work schedule was hectic, sometimes not getting a day off for weeks. My daughter Samantha for months before had been telling me all of the stories she had read online about a haunted cemetery called Bachelors Grove. Disappearing cars, phantom houses, satanic rituals, murder , vandalism and Al Capone. She began asking me to take her there after she researched and realized it was only a 45 minute drive from where we lived. I told her we could go for weeks but always having to put it off because of work. In the days approaching the 26 I told Sam that we wouldn't be going again this weekend because I needed a day off.
But when I woke up that Sunday morning, even thought the forecast was strong thunderstorms all day, I decided to go.
We picked up a friend of Sams and set off in the pouring rain to Midlothian, Il.
It took us a bit to figure out where the path was but Sam was the one who had read that it was across the street.
I can tell you that from the moment I stepped on that path my senses came alive. My first set of pictures starts with photos of the entrance to the path. I look at them now and think of the first steps I took into a world I could not have fathomed before.
When we got to the cemetery I noticed a group of people chatting to the right. So being the introvert I was I immediately made a hard left. After walking around I came up by the split tree. The others had gone and there was one guy left under the tree. For some reason, so out of character I asked him what they were doing here. He introduced himself as Karl with a K . We started to talk. He began telling me of paradolia and the craziness that is in the grove. Me asking the same questions I've heard so many times since then from others. At one point aiming to snap the picture of the tree to the right, Karl leaned in to point at my camera screen as he was explaining paradolia. I will never forget the instant feeling of wanting to be closer this person. It was so clear and out of left field that It still makes me wonder when I thik of it. This image will forever be vivid in my mind.
The rest they say is history. Karl has become a major part of my life. Over the Past year and a half my life has done a complete turn around and the friendship and support hes given me has been a big part of that. I've had a few soul searching , life changing things happen involving the Grove that we will share with you. Something changed in me that day. Its not all been good or easy. Theres been some difficult times. But my life since has over time fallen exactly into place.
I started going to the Grove with Karl, then sometimes by myself. Being drawn back there time and time again. The more time I spent the more I wanted to know about this place that had become a sanctuary for me. A peaceful place by a creek to spend sunny days. I actually become unusually mellow when in the cemetery. Just ask K how I "derp" in there. But when I'm there I am somewhere else. My mind is preoccupied by the families buried there. All that I have learned about the area makes me feel as I almost know them. Any history buff i'm sure will tell you that after spending so many hours reading about and viewing photos of people, they become a part of your life.
I've since spent hours researching the families buried in Bachelors Grove and learning some of the history with K. All of this combined with the time spent there has lead us down a path that we believe we were called to.
The Path to Bachelors Grove name was coined as K and I sat at his condo in October '12 , 2012 ,talking even then about possibly doing a website. Karl has spoken daily of his path from the day I met him. How could it be named anything else. The Path to Bachelors Grove.