C H I C A G O G H O S T S:
The Madonna of Bachelors Grove
(Copyright 2013 by Ursula Bielski)
August 10, 1991, Judy Huff-Felz was visiting Bachelors Grove Cemetery
with the Ghost Research Society, one of the oldest local ghost hunting
groups in the nation. During that visit, she took one of the most
controversial and infamous “ghost” photos of all time,
first published in the Chicago Sun-Times and the National Examiner: the
incredible capture of the so-called “Madonna of Bachelors
Grove.” (photograph reproduced with permission of Ms. Huff-Felz)
The image of the “White Lady” or the “Woman on the
Stone” has been circulated in all corners of the globe, and
regularly appears on lists of the top paranormal photographs of all
time. It is a ritual for visitors to Bachelors Grove to re-enact
that renowned scene.
Below, Judy Huff-Felz tells about the day she took the photo, and of
the fame that erupted around it—and continues to this day.
clairaudience, mediumship and the ability to heal run in my family for
many, many generations. It is traceable to my European ancestors. My
great grandmother was a faith healer, my great step grandmother was a
medium, my grandma, aunt and mother were all readers. My sister and I
are both clairvoyant and clairaudient.
In the late 80's
my sister and I convinced our mom to start a group which gave lessons
on how to teach people how to find, enhance and safely use their
abilities. After all of the sessions were over with each group my
sister (Mari Abba) and I organized and ran an interactive ghost tour.
This was for our mom's students to experiment and practice their
abilities at several known haunted locations throughout Chicago and the
My sister and I
met Dale Kaczmarek, founder of the Ghost Research Society. He invited
us to his meetings and we then became members of his group.
GRS had planned an investigation for Bachelor's Grove Cemetery. The
team members brought their equipment, my mom, sister and I were coming
only with our gifts. Someone from the group suggested I bring some
infrared film and take pictures of where I sensed activity.
investigation was done where each member was given a clipboard, a pen
and a map of the cemetery. Then everyone except for one person would
wait outside of the fenced area.
Then one person at a time we would walk through Bachelor's with our clipboard and whatever equipment they brought with them.
walked around, they would note where and what the saw, heard and/or
felt. Then would use their equipment to see if they could detect
So as I
walked through, I'd take pictures where I felt something. My camera was
an Olympus automatic 35mm telephoto. As soon as you would take a
picture the camera would automatically wind the film to the next frame.
The design of this camera made it impossible to double expose film.
my pictures I found a woman or girl sitting on a broken piece of
headstone. I did not see her with my naked eye the day of the
investigation. Although I believe I may have come across her on a few
other occasions later.
is history. There is no way I would ever guess that my photograph from
Bachelor's Grove on that fateful day in September of 1991 would have
been published in so many books and newspapers throughout the world or
have been on so many television programs. Now it's part of a travelling
exhibit that I wish I could see or be a part of. Thank you Ursula
Bielski and Dale Kaczmarek for keeping up the interest and for
Yours in spirit,
Judy A. Huff Felz
Who is the Madonna of Bachelors Grove? There are many theories surrounding the identity of this mysterious woman in white.
Two sisters-in-law both emerge as candidates: Kathryn Vogt Fulton and
Luella Fulton Rogers, pictured below (top two center, left to right). Kathryn, who married Luella’s
brother, Burt Fulton, was heartbroken by the loss of her child, little
Marcia May—who died in infancy. The young couple’s
baby was buried at the Fulton family lot in Bachelors Grove—under
the famous Fulton Stone, identified with the “Infant
Daughter” marker. Years later, the child’s parents
were laid to rest in town, at Zion Cemetery, with Kathryn Vogt’s
kin. Could an otherworldly Kathryn be searching for her baby, buried so
Luella (or Lulu) Fulton Rogers was buried at the Fulton Stone after her
death from a hit and run driver. Could she be
restless due to her violent death? Some believe that a
resemblance seems to exist between Luella and the the
“ghost” in Judy Huff-Felz’s famous photo.
Moreover, Luella’s baby sister—Emma—is also buried
with her at the Fulton stone, but her marker was stolen long ago.
When it was recovered, it was not returned to the Grove but, rather,
placed into the care of the Tinley Park Historical Society. Could
Luella be upset that her sister’s stone is missing? Is that was
the ghost is looking for? Curiously, old references refer to the
Madonna as “Mrs. Rogers,” surely pointing to some
connection to Luella.
A final candidate for the Madonna is Amelia Patrick—the first
wife of Senator John Humphrey. Another sad infant death, little
Llibby May was laid to rest with Amelia’s family at Bachelors
Grove, though her mother was interred elsewhere. Could Amelia,
like Kathryn, be making nightly visits to the Grove in search of her separated child?
For much more on Bachelors Grove, visit our Bachelors Grove site at BachelorsGroveInfo.com!