The Chicagoland area has already seen its fair share of scares this year as cases of COVID-19 increase and the temperature continues to drop. In an attempt to remove the first fear, Governor J.B. Pritzker banned all indoor haunts in his phase four reopening plan this spooky season on September 21. Approximately six haunted houses in the suburbs of Chicago have decided to ignore this precaution in an attempt to make a fraction of their usual revenue. However, activities like one-way haunted forest walks and hay rides are allowed to remain functioning as long as they do not exceed the 50% capacity and are safely carried out according to CDC guidelines.

Some other great alternatives for Halloween outdoor activities and adventures to consider are the built-in urban legends in the Chicagoland area like Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Midlothian. Four single men established the graveyard around 1840 as part of a tiny settlement that was later abandoned. It was named after Samuel Everton, who donated the grounds. The plots are full of the remains of settlers and Russian rail workers, but according to rumors circulating in the 1920’s, gang members’ bodies and illegal firearms were also deposited at the location. Thirty years later the site was deemed harmless enough to function as a popular party spot for teenagers, who would fracture and filch tombstones so regularly that many fragments ended up in the hands of police. Officials also became familiar with reports about sightings of white women, black dogs, phantom farmhouses, and floating orbs. Even forest rangers found carcasses of animals allegedly used in satanic rituals. Today, Bachelor’s Grove is a favorite destination of ghost hunters and history seeking tourists.

So, even if you didn’t get the chance to enjoy your usual haunts, there are easy ways to find new ones! Whether you find an outdoor substitute to your favorite haunted house or simply discover a spooky site around you, Halloween can still retain its magic.



Bachelors Grove Cemetery & Settlement Research Center, www.bachelorsgrove.com/. 

George, Doug. “State of Illinois Says Haunted Houses Are Not Allowed to Operate, but Several Are Already Open.” Chicagotribune.com, Chicago Tribune, 1 Oct. 2020, www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ent-haunted-houses-shut-down-illinois-20201001-zpfoc4p34ndj3lq55me4mdk5g4-story.html. 

NBC Chicago. “Haunted Houses Prohibited Under Illinois’ New Halloween Guidance, but State Offers Alternative Ideas.” NBC Chicago, NBC Chicago, 30 Sept. 2020, www.nbcchicago.com/news/haunted-houses-prohibited-under-illinois-new-halloween-guidance-but-state-offers-alternative-ideas/2347289/. 

Ugc. “Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery.” Atlas Obscura, Atlas Obscura, 23 Apr. 2014, www.atlasobscura.com/places/bachelor-s-grove-cemetery.