White Cemetery, on Cuba Road in Barrington, IL has a certain reputation for being haunted. Say what you will about your aunt's cousin's brother's friend and his spooky story about meeting a ghost but I'll believe that when I see it. Orbs? Mysterious cars that follow you, right up on your bumper, then disappear? Dudes with lanterns?
Right. Tell that to the judge.
I lucked out getting into White Cemetery. Because stupid people will act stupidly, the village now has to keep the gates locked to prevent vandalism. At another Chicago-area cemetery, Bachelor's Grove, graves have been defiled, tombstones knocked over and general havoc wrought. Why, people? Why? What's the thinking here? I think this place is haunted, so I think I'll take me home a souvenir bone? Idiots. They think they're acting out some Satanic ritual, local legend says. More likely they're drunk, doing something gruesome – not to mention disrespectful – on a dare. Are there even real Satanists?
I retract that question. There are stupid people of all persuasions. Silly of me. Equal opportunity and all that, etc., etc. No one can be any less important than any other! Right? Right! We're ALL WINNERS!
Anyway, I went into the cemetery and was really glad to see there was no apparent vandalism. A couple older tombstones were broken, but that sort of thing happens. I didn't see anything else that appeared to have been caused by humans. All I saw was a really pretty place that just happened to be populated mostly by dead people.
I drive my kids crazy having absolutely no fear of death, the dead or belief in any superstition, ghost story or anything else unexplained by this recent invention called SCIENCE. I'll go into any cemetery at any time: morning, noon or night. I don't get the creeps, the heebie jeebies or whatever else you may call it. I am immune. That doesn't mean I don't like hearing the stories, of course. I'm pretty sure we all do. It's silliness that doesn't cause any harm, a bit of gothic chill made perfect in the autumn season.
But, to be honest, I'll admit this thing creeped even me out:
Then there was this:
But scared of ghosties and ghoulies? I don't think so. Trust me, there's enough to worry about in this world without having to make up anything else. Given a choice between believing the dead can wreak evil and knowing man's seemingly limitless capacity for being inhumane to one another, I'll take the dead. At least I can rub garlic all over my body and carry a cross to keep them away. Everybody knows that. Except for the werewolves. Damn the werewolves! For them you need silver bullets.
White Cemetery, like hundreds of thousands of others, is just a quiet, reflective place to hang out. If you enjoy the art people generate in the memory of the dead it's pretty – especially when the leaves are changing, blowing off the trees and skittering across the ground. And if it does give some a little thrill, that irrational fear hanging their foot off the bed risks having it grabbed by THE BOOGY MAN! that's probably one of those life things we have built into all of us. Because who knows what's OUT THERE? What's BEYOND?
I can tell you right now: I have no clue.
Just do me this one favor. If you, too, decide to check out a location with a reputation for being haunted, possessed or what have you, don't be a jerk. If you have to prove you're brave by defacing something, breaking or stealing what has no meaning for you, but does very much so for someone else, you're not much of a person at all.
And because of people like these, the rest of us with good intentions may get no further than the gate. Not that that really deters jerks but if you're on the fence (no pun intended), if it seems it could be a bad idea, it probably is.
So don't do it. OR I WILL HAUNT YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH!
I know. Catch-22. Blah blah.