The last time we ran a feature on the Ten Most Haunted Places in Michigan, you guys responded like we had never seen before. The comments were tremendous, and I get the heebie-jeebies reading through them. Now the time has come to publish the sequel to “The Ten Most Haunted Places in Michigan,” and if you know anything about sequels, they are gorier, scarier, and even more extreme than the originals, so prepare accordingly.
Old Presque Isle Lighthouse, Presque Isle
This lighthouse is perched on Lake Huron and was active for 31 years before a turn of events left it seemingly haunted. There are tales of screams coming from the tower, which are rumored to belong to a keeper’s wife who had been locked up there. The real hauntings come from a different lighthouse keeper, George Parris, and his wife. These two moved into the keeper’s cottage in the 199o’s to run the lighthouse, manage the museum, and give tours. After Parris passed, the permanently disabled light from the lighthouse continues to come on at dusk and turn off at dawn every day. This lighthouse and its grounds are open to the public mid-May through mid-October.
Calumet Theatre, Calumet
This theatre originally opened as an Opera House in 1900 before making a gradual transition to plays and films. It has two balconies that are fairly large and the theatre as a whole holds about 700 people. The original ghost story begins with an actress named Madame Helena Modjeska who preformed at this venue during her life. Sometime in the 1950s, an actress was onstage and forgot her lines. As the rumor goes, she looked up into one of the balconies and discovered Modjeska up there, mouthing the lines to her. Currently, theatre-goers have said they feel eery presences, sudden gusts of cold air, and hear music that does not seem to come from a source.
The Tunnels of the Northville Psychiatric Hospital, Northville Township
Psychiatric hospitals have always been known for their paranormal activity. Nothing is more frightening than knowing thousands of people died unconventional deaths while locked up against their will. The Northville Psychiatric Hospital was built in 1952 and shut down for good in 2003. Being such a large psychiatric hospital with many buildings, this hospital was constructed with many tunnels leading to the various buildings. These tunnels were used for transporting patients during times of unfavorable weather (this is Michigan, you know). These tunnels are unable to be visited, something that is strictly enforced by the local law enforcement. However, those who have managed to get inside report feelings of being touched and breathed on by unknown sources. Mysterious noises such as footsteps and chains clanking have been reported as well.
Bower’s Harbor Inn, Traverse City
Now known as the restaurant Mission Table, this building is famously haunted by a ghost named Genevive. Genevive’s husband was Inn owner JW Stickney, who had an elevator installed at the Inn for his overweight wife. Stickney also hired a nurse to care for Genevive, but ended up having an affair with this particular caretaker. When Stickney passed, he left all his financial wealth to the nurse, leaving only the Inn to Genevive. Genevive eventually hung herself in the elevator and continues to haunt the restaurant to this day. Staff members and customers see her in one of the bathrooms and often on the stairs. She also causes disturbances by slamming doors, turning lights on or off, and making pans fall. It is also rumored that she doesn’t take kindly to visiting nurses in the restaurant, so beware.
The Jewett House, Mason
This home was purchased by the Jewett family in the 1920s where it was converted into a funeral home. When the funeral home closed in 1990, it turned into a rental home for local residents. It is not uncommon for someone to move in, only to move out again very quickly due to the extreme amount of paranormal activity that occurs. Such reports include nightly whistling, footsteps on the second floor, hearing voices that do not belong to anyone, balls moving around without aid, and the smell of cigar smoke can be detected without rationale. So, if you are looking for a home to rent in the Mason area, might I suggest the Jewett House?
The Whitney Restaurant, Detroit
This house was originally constructed in the 1890s for private residence by David Whitney, Jr. It was restored in 1986 and is now used as a formal dining restaurant. Both Whitney and his wife died in this mansion and are believed to remain behind to haunt it. Tales of table settings being rearranged on their own and of a mysterious, elderly gentleman gazing out windows on the second floor can be attributed to paranormal activity. The elevator is especially active and will often move between floors without anyone in it. This restaurant is open to the public, so make your reservation to dine in today.
Bone Head’s BBQ, Willis
This building is believed to have been built in the mid-1860s and served many purposes before becoming the Bone Head’s BBQ restaurant that we all know and love: a post office, general store, coach shop, butcher shop, and ice house. The reason why this building is haunted is not widely known, but supernatural activity occurs so very often. It is not uncommon for lights to turn on by themselves, hours long after the restaurant has closed for the day. Many customers see a woman in a white dress on the staircase, and one little girl even saw an extra reflection in the mirror in the bathroom. Phantom footsteps and whispering have been overheard by employees and neighbors have even stated accounts of seeing someone cleaning windows on the third floor. Seeing how this is a public establishment, I highly recommend swinging in for a spooky dinner this month.
The Bruce Mansion, Brown City
The Bruce Mansion has a long history of owners who have tragically died either in the home or on the property. In one particular case, a man driving accidentally hit someone walking on the property and decided to bury him near the home. The driver of this car later hung himself inside the bell tower. In 1996, Barbara Millsap and her brother Bill Masiak become owners of the mansion. Masiak reported occurrences of doors forcefully opening and closing on their own. In 2009, the Waite family became owners of the home due to foreclosure. This family reports that many previous tenants have not left and often hear children’s voices that do not seem to have a physical source. Tours and ghost hunts used to be allowed at the mansion, however, the current property owners have decided not to continue with such activities.
Eloise Asylum, Westland
The Eloise Asylum originally opened in the late 1830s and was then known as the Wayne County Poorhouse, which was home to the mentally ill. There are many reports of inadequate and unsafe treatment of the patients during the time the hospital was open and functioning. Currently, a fair amount of the buildings have been torn down, but a few remain. Workers and trespassers report hearing voices, and rumors of former patients walking the halls have been accounted. The playground built for worker’s children and the cemetery that holds over 7,000 patients are considered to be the most haunted areas of all, with many incidents of growls and moans being reported.
The Southwest Michigan Tuberculosis Sanitarium, Kalamazoo
The once thriving Tuberculosis Sanitarium now sits abandoned on a hill overlooking Kalamazoo. It was shut down in 1969 and given to the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital until it closed for good in 1990. Locals in the surrounding neighborhoods report hearing screams and tortured cries coming from the abandoned buildings. There are even rumors of distant neighbors seeing figures walking by the broken windows in the daylight. This abandoned building is closed to the public, but walking alongside the fence might be worthwhile to catch a glimpse of an unknown entity.
Some of these haunted areas are open to the public or tours are available, however some do state that trespassing is strictly forbidden. There is no better time of year to hop onto one of these tours and give yourselves a fright. The day I wrote this, an electrical outlet overheated and fried my nightlight. I am taking this as an omen; I’m staying home this season with the lights on.
Have you been to any of these haunted areas? What have you seen? Are there any haunted areas near you that we need to know about?