*If all goes as planned, you should be reading this scheduled post while I'm taking in the spectacle of speed that is the Indy 500 time trials. In the meantime, I thought you might find the ghostly story of my Saturday afternoon sorta interesting... it even has a cardboard tie-in!*
So, my fiancee and I rarely have weekends off together - such is the nature of one of us working a retail schedule and the other being a salaried employee. Therefore, whenever we are blessed with this "nothing on the schedule" overlap, we feel obligated to do something fun and make the most of it.
While munching on our lunch, the lovely lady randomly exclaimed, "let's go to Bachelor's Grove!" This was something quite unexpected and, frankly, it made my blood run cold for a second.
You see, my hometown doesn't have much notable about it, it's pretty well blended into the blur of suburbia. The only thing that might perk up a stranger's ear about the village is the fact that we play host to one of the most haunted cemeteries in North America: Bachelor's Grove.
As you can see from the picture above, my initial fear did not prevent us from making our way to the quiet, secluded spot. The little cemetery was first used in the 1840's, when the first settlers started moving through the area, gained heavy use during the building of the I&M Canal and saw active burials through the middle half of the previous century.
In the year since, it's become a bustling hive of paranormal activity (and teenage mischief). Some of it's most famous phenomena have included the disappearing caretaker's house, the moving headstone, the nearby lagoon being used by Al Capone as a body-dumping site, and the ghostly Model-T. If you want more on the haunted history of the site, I highly recommend checking this link out.
Perhaps you've seen this famous ghostly image before?
The Model-T legend stems from the fact that the path that leads from the main road, into the woods and past the cemetery gate used to be the Midlothian Turnpike, but was bypassed at about the same time the cemetery ceased being active.
Seeing as we were walking down the former turnpike in the middle of the afternoon, I wasn't too scared to be paying a visit - I mean, it's a well-know fact that ghosts don't come out during the day time, right? Although, once I remembered that last time I'd been there that my camera began behaving erratically, I did feel myself paying an awful lot of attention to my surroundings.
As a direct result of this, I noticed a rectangular, shiny object cast aside on the cracked blacktop being reclaimed by mother nature. In the middle of a thatch of weeds, I found this little guy staring back at me:
Okay - this wasn't such a ghostly encounter. I mean, it's not even a ghost-type Pokemon like Haunter or Ghastly. In fact, this a Pokemon that I don't recognize at all - it clearly dates from after I stopped paying attention (which was shortly after the release of Gold and Silver for Gameboy Color).
Anyway, like I said, while it is a famous haunted location, it's notoriety makes it a breeding ground for teenage mischief. Looks like one of those little hooligans left this game card behind... as they were running away from a ghastly ghoul or something, I'm sure.
Being the scavenger I am, I picked it up and carried it with me as a souvenir through the cemetery gates:
The fellow in the red shirt isn't a ghost... I don't think...
Much like the roadway, nature has reclaimed a lot of the grounds and what mother earth hasn't taken back, vandals have destroyed. Beyond the legends and all that stuff, it's truly a shame that human beings' final resting places are being treated with such disrespect.
However, not all of the grove has been eroded away in this manner. In fact, one headstone, in particular, has actually been treated with great reverence:
The unidentified infant daughter buried in this family plot has been largely left alone by the trouble-makers who frequent these parts. As you can see from the picture above, the child has even been left a great many gifts from curious adventurers in search of thrills and chills.
Accordingly to local lore, anybody who leaves a gift for the infant daughter will be bestowed with good luck in the near future. Therefore, baseballs, children's sunglasses, pens, beaded necklaces, etc. decorate this child's final resting place. There was even a lucky penny key-chain that made it here all the way from Las Vegas, clearly placed there by someone trying to double-down on their good fortune.
I too felt compelled to leave something behind in honor of this forgotten child, not to mention the fact that I could always use some good luck. After all, my future mother in law has described me as a real-life Charlie Brown. Thinking I had nothing to offer besides pocket lint, I suddenly remembered my trading card discovery from minutes prior:
Kids dig Pokemon right? Of course, this child passed long before they were in the target demographic and decades before the pocket monsters were dreamed up, but whatever. It was all I had to offer up and I didn't want to be a jerk to a ghost; that's bad juju mcgumbo.
After wandering around the cemetery and the surrounding woods for another 45 minutes or so, I pleased (and slightly disappointed) to experience nothing out of the ordinary. That is, except for the scraggy old man who had been leading a group through the grounds who, when finished approached me asking if I was looking for ghosts and then disappeared back through the now-empty location alone. That was a tad weird. Also, if you notice a mysterious figure or ghostly orbs in any of the above pictures, please point it out immediately.
Anyway, that's the story of how I sacrificed a Pokemon card to the spirit of an infant child in a haunted cemetery located in the backwoods of Midlothian. How was your Saturday?