The Bedsheet Effect --

An investigation report by Josh






October 10, 2001

Bachelor's Grove Cemetery, Midlothian, Illinois

9:30 pm - 10:00 pm

60 F


Report Photos


The story behind the above photos acts as a cautionary tale to anyone interested in the observation and/or investigation of paranormal phenomena. On one of our excursions to Bachelor's Grove, everyone made the decision after arrival at the site to not enter the cemetery proper, and to instead gather data from the road across the lagoon that borders the site.

Standing in the cold, taking what would likely turn out as blurry, dark photos of the water and/or some uninteresting trees, I made a decision, and handed Mark my car keys. I had decided to enter the grove alone, snap a full roll, and by the time I was ready to leave, the rest of the team would return to the side of the road in my car, and I could rejoin them.

I equipped myself with a watch, a better flashlight, and my camera, and endeavored to take the long trip into the grove. While on the long walk down a darkened forest path at 12:15 am, preparing to enter an extremely active and negatively charged area alone, I took careful stock of my emotions. Researcher or not, Bachelor's Grove can be an unsettling place with a group, to say nothing of the dangers inherent in any given forest preserve, alone after midnight. When I proceeded to little more than halfway from the road to the gates, I saw ahead of me, on the path, a white form, cloaked somehow, standing in the middle of the path ahead in the darkness. Upon seeing this, I immediately took stock.

"Alright," I thought, "You are alone here in the dark, entering a possibly frightening place away from where anyone friendly can hear you, your nerves are on end, and your imagination is acting way up. You are seeing things!" And, with that affirmation, confident that I was seeing something that could not possibly be anything except a figment of my imagination, I looked forward, and sure enough, the white draped figure had vanished.

Imagine my shock, when upon approaching to within ten feet of where I first thought I saw the figure, it re-appeared! Upon closer inspection, my phantom turned out to be a white sheet hung from a tree branch low over the path.

The fact that I failed to see something that was really there, assuming it was my overactive imagination is telling. As investigators, we must be ever vigilant against the possibility that we are seeing things that aren't there. However, we must be equally cautions to avoid the "bedsheet effect" and to miss data that is there. Though our perceptions may be distorted by a belief in the paranormal to cause us to "see things," genuine data, which is automatically rejected due to a healthy sense of skepticism, is an unrecoverable loss.

An interesting footnote to this story is as I moved past the bedsheet, (which had little red diamonds all over, looking uncomfortably like small spatters of blood in the darkness at night,) I heard a sound which I can only describe as a loud churning and clanking, as if something made of metal and/or glass were thrust into rapid movement. Directly after that, as I was deciding whether to prove myself brave, and enter the cemetery with a new roll as my prize, or to cut and run back down the path, screaming like a cheerleader; something moved from the direction of the sound, impossibly fast across the path in front of me, and away, into the direction of the cemetery proper, where I could almost feel its movement, but not see it. I held my ground, gritted my teeth, and waited for any further noises. None came, and I crept into the grove and shot the quickest 20 exposures of my life, pausing only to take the photos of the bedsheet to document this story.

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