With its early French occupation, legendary lighthouses, and general rambunctiousness of spirit, Michigan has to be on of the most haunted of the 50 states of America.Below is a sampling of some of the state's more notorious incidents...we hope you will send us your own personal experiences with any of these sites, as well as suggestions for other haunted places. We know there are ghosts a'plenty; this is the place to give them their due. We will be adding to this list as well. So many ghosts, so little time..
Reader asks: do you have any information on a possible haunting at the Laurium Manor in Laurium Mi?
If you know, please write Weird Michigan.
Also, Strange Michigan: More Wolverine Weirdness includes a tale from a reader about the Witch of Pere Chaney Cemetery in Roscommon. Another reader begs to differ;
Pere Chaney Bewitched or Just Haunted?
I am originally from Grayling, Michigan. As a teen, my friends and I would make several pilgrimages a year to our local haunted spot. Going to Pere Cheney is easier said than done if you are not familiar with the roads up there in Crawford/Roscommon county. The cemetery is located in the middle of absolute nowhere. The only way back up in there is a deeply rutted two-track. If you have a low-set car, don't bother driving in there. You will bottom-out and be stranded. After reading "Peg"'s post about Pere Cheney, I was simply appalled. Here's the straight story.
In 1873 Michigan Central Railroad completed the railway system between Gaylord and Jackson. About that time George Cheney got a land grant form the railway company to establish a stop on the railroad for gas, freight, water and passengers.. Cheney built a sawmill, and later Cheney House, a hotel to acomadate the number of fast rising settlers, lumbermen and tourist in the area. On December 1st, 1874 Pere Cheney received a post office. By 1877 the town had 2 sawmills, a general store, a wagon maker, 2 carpenters, a doctor, a hotel telegraph service, and daily mail.The cemetery was established on about 5 acres, in 1878, located south east from the town.
By 1896 the population had droped from around 1500 people to around 55, 25 people in 1901, and 18 people in 1917. The post office was closed in 1912, and the land was sold off at a public auction on May 7th, 1917. The only remaining families were farmers of the outter lying area of the town. Diptheria was spread through the town twice in its short life, once in 1893, and again in 1897. It took several lives,.Many families moved out of the town into neighboring towns of Roscommon and Grayling, or further. There were several fires in Pere Cheney due to the sparks from the mills that were located behind and to the south the cemetary. There was no water supply near Pere Cheney, so the towns people had to use water wagons and shovel dirt to put out these fires. Sometimes they were not successful and had to let the fires burn out themselves. Most of what you will read says that townspeople from neighboring towns tried to burn the town down to stop the spread of disease, I have found nothing to credit that. Although some of the buildings burnt down due to a mill fire after the town had been deserted. Like hundreds of other cities in the lumber-boom days, Pere Cheney just withered away.
If you ask any random Grayling resident, they might tell you about the "witch" of Pere Cheney Cemetary. I have heard nothing about a witch while researching the town's history. There are few gravestones left in there, most have been destroyed by delinquints drinking. In fact, there is a story about a Crawford County sherrif who as a teen desecrated a grave and drove around with a human skull in his rear window. How horrible! One of the witch stories had something to do with cursing the town with plagues and fires after she was "banished" to the woods. There is nothing to support this. It is also told that the witch has a grave in the cemetary.....that doesn't sound right. If there really was a witch, do you really think the townspeople would bury her with the rest of the dead folks? Probably not. The witch theroy is a tired one and I hate it when people swear that it is the god's-honest-truth.
Yes, people do leave mementos on headstones. I myself have places flowers on the few remaining headstones out of respect. Other items that have been left there are dolls (on children's graves), candles, crucifixes, rosaries, and pentacles (sort of like a pentagram but with only one point up). The reason most of these items are gone the next day is because the gentleman who lives a mile up the road cleans up the cemetary on a daily basis. Other things you might find at the cemetary incluce beer cans/bottles, drug paraphenilia, random garbage and soda bottles. People do not know how to clean up after themselves.
Is Pere Cheney Cemetary haunted? I believe that it is but not to the extent others make it out to be. I have probably been there at least 200 times over the years and maybe 10 of those times I have had something strange happen to me and others that were with me. I have had my car radio switch channels for no reason, my car not wanting to start (at the time I had a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix and this happened in the spring of 1998). A few times we have heard children giggling and laughing VERY close to the car very late at night. One particular time there were small handprints all over the roof of my car after we left the cemetary.
On Halloween of 2002, myself and three others saw an apparition of a woman in a light coloured dress walking through the rear of the cemetary, then disappeared all at once. That's about it. I've never been chased. I've never seen a witch. I've never felt like someone was trying to lynch me (one of the many Pere Cheney stories--this one involving a large oak tree in the center of the cemetary). The temperature has fluctuated from time to time but it wasn't anything worth writing home about. I do not feel an overwhelming sadness there but I do feel a peculiar energy I cannot fully explain.. However, I feel this was when I walk into any cemetary. I have never once heard of anyone practicing witchcraft out there. If anyone has, they are asking for trouble because cemetaries are portals to the beyond and that is not something that should be taken lightly. If you plan on visiting Pere Cheney, have some respect and don't go in there expecting to see a ghost. Just enjoy the natural beauty of the Northern Michigan countryside and make sure you pick up your garbage.
CHILD GHOSTS OF GREENVILLE
posted Aug. 2009.
Lost children are a recurring theme in ghost sightings. These are the most poignant type of spirit tale for most people, since almost everyone feels a tug to the old heartstrings at the implied death of a child. A writer from Greenville sent me one of the most detailed such stories that I've received.
He lived with his family in a house built in the 1920s that was rumored to once have housed two children who were later lost in the adjacent woods. The writer was about ten or eleven at the time and was walking up the stairs at night when he saw a little boy wearing an "odd-shaped" hat. The boy, who seemed to be about six years old, was looking at him from behind a low partition between the kitchen and living room, and backed farther behind it to remove himself from view. The writer moved higher on the stairs to get a better look and the ghostly little figure crept
behind the living room sofa and disappeared from view. The sightings continued. The little boy appeared again behind the sofa, playing checkers with a little girl ghost who seemed a year or two younger. The writer had recently received the game of giant checkers for Christmas. He said both children appeared well-dressed, but in rather out-of-style clothing.
The writer says he saw the children many other times over the two years the family lived there, and has always wondered if the story about the lost brother and sister was true. The man says he is in his 30s now but has never forgotten the two little ghosts of Greenville and has told the story many times. It would be interesting to know whether anyone in that town has seen the same little children at play. From a letter to http://www.WeirdMichigan.com, from Linda S. Godfrey, author of Weird Michigan; Your Travel Guide to Michigan's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets, and co-author with Lisa Shiel of Strange Michigan; More Wolverine Weirdness. Please visit her also at http://www.beastofbrayroad.com, http://blogs.myspace.com/lindagodfrey and get updated notes on new Dogman and other sightings at http://www.twitter.com/lindagodfrey
Central Michigan U. Haunting posted 10-08
I was a student at CMU about 15 years ago. For a year, I lived at the Forum Apartments. As soon as we moved in, strange things started to happen. The first night, and almost every night after, the locked door would just come open. After living with the ghost for some time, we started calling him "Dick", (pretty self explanitory). My personal experiences were many, but a few that stick out in my mind included the time I came home from class, and the shower was running. Not unusual yet, but about a half an hour later, I wondered who would take such a long shower. I knocked on the door, and after no answer, I peeked in and called again...nobody. Finally, I pulled the curtain back, and there was no one in the shower. The next event I remember vividly was the late night knocking at my bedroom door. This was pretty unnerving...I would be reading in bed, and was usually the last of the four of us to go to sleep. There would come a knock on my door just as clear as if it were a real person. I would respond, "come in," but no one would be there. The first couple of times, I checked to see if anyone was messing with me, but everyone would be asleep. About the third time it happened, I would sit at the end of my bed and wait for the inevitable knock, and jump up to open the door to no one. Soon, I started telling Dick to go away, and wouldn't even bother to look. The third clear memory I have occured in the kitchen. I made myself a bag of microwave popcorn one night, and as I turned around to throw away the bag, the cabinet door came crashing down into my popcorn bowl. My apartment was located on the bottom level to the right, (if facing north), and was the first apartment you came to. If anyone has any more ghost stories from the Forum Apts., or that very apartment, I would love to hear your story. Please write about it.
Hi, I just stumbled upon your website. I can tell ya that the story about the boy in the blue pajamas is true. I have been in that house numerous times. It used to belong to a friend of mine and some really strange stuff happens/ed in that house. I will find some pics and other information about it and if you are interested I will email them to ya. Bernie
Anyone else remember strange happenings at former LeForge Villa Townhouses in Ypsilanti? A former resident writes:
I lived in the housing complex for 15 years. In the rear of the town house I lived in was a large field full of weeds and dead grass. The thing that really intrigued me was the black tree with thorns. The tree had no leaves what so ever, and there was a bolder at the base of it. Another weird scenario was a bird that didn't belong to the parrot family.He/She yelled, "thief!" at a man who dug up and moved a rose bush from that area. I really want to know why the tree was the way that it was. - a reader
Erie's Camp Lady of the Lake
I love the "bunch of crap" line about camp lady of the lake...I went up there for two solid years and captured evp's and photos and have seen things unexplainable by myself or friends. Or my mother who is a nurse as my friend complained his shoulder hurt and he got "stabbed" while there and she had no explination for it. And as for the evp's the "ghost" was a coherent soul that was evil and said mine my gf's at the time and my friends and said he was going to kill us... and for any one who has gone up there you know of the path throughthe woods that leads to the beach. well if you go left you go to where an old house before the camp was built for those that have done there research.. a house that burnt down and a woman in the late 1800's and her 3 children died... used to sit... well me and my friend went there in the afternoon and someone or something had set up all those bricks... probably around 200 or so... my friend and i knocked them all down and walk to the mess hall and old play ground then walked back and all the bricks were set back up.. so in 15 minutes it would have taken what 6 people at least to set up those bricks again and to set them up exactly where they were come on....and when we walked out only our car was there. So as for the claim this place is fake please.. next tell me Eastern State in Philly and Gettysburg aren't haunted.
Hi there my name is kaylee and i thought i would tell you my story of camp lady of the lake! Me and my friend were at here house bored out of our minds around 2 in the morning. when her brother and two of his friends walked in the door. they decided they were going to camp lady of the lake to see if the legend was really true. we asked him what they were talking bout so they told us the story. we decided we wanted to go. so we grabbed a couple flash lights and batterys and took off. When we got to the parking lot we couldnt see the gate so i thougt this was all fake.(mind i dont beleive in ghost) But we kept walking up by the beach and there stood the creepest gate ever lol so we took the path by the woods and thought we would go to were the orphange was burnt down but when we got there we werre very disapointed because all it looked like was a bunch off rocks with card board on it. so on our wayy back down the path we decided we would go into the woods just to look around. as soon as we got in there we started hearing things like what sounded like laughter. it started to creep out the guys but that still wasnt enough to make me beleive in ghost and that the place was haunted. so we went deeper in...... thats when it started getting worse. we seen what looked like a little girl wearing a dress but she was glowing white. then we heard the twigs snapping all arounds us and the laughter again. the guys decided it was time to leave and i agreed. but when we were just about to leave i felr what i beleive was a shove on my back. now the shove wasnt hard like it was a threat but like a shove that a friend would give you. That night i went to lady of the lake a non beleiver of ghosts and left a beleiver. please if u had any experiences like mine there please contact me at email@example.com thank you for listning to my storey Kaylee DARE: I dare you to go to the woods around 2 or 3 in the morining and see if you witnessed the same thing as me!!!!!
hey my name is joe and me and a few of my buddies who all live in toledo go up to this camp lady of the lake place... everytime we go there something weird and unexplained always happens there.. for instance one time this passed summer we were tryin to start a little camp fire on the beach. Me and one of my friends went lookin for something flammable, so we went out to the parking lot and found an empty case of beer, a tshirt, and a couple pairs of socks just layin around which we put in the beer case. So we took it back to the beach part and after sittin there for a bit we saw lights coming from the path that connects the parking lot and the beach part, so some of my friends got nervous cause they thought it was the cops and they had been drinking. So me and another friend who hadnt been drinking got up and went to see what it was, but before i went to check it out i put the empty beer case with all the clothing inside of it right at the edge of the woods (there ended up bein just a couple of guys smokin cigarettes takin a walk with flashlights). But anyways, me and my friend who got up were only gone for like less than a minute and when we got back the rest of our friends wanted to get the fire started so i went to get the case full of clothing and it was gone. so i told everyone that the stuff we had to start on fire was gone and they all went to try help me find it... id say we went a good 20 feet into the woods and couldn't find anything so we ended up not makin a fire, but no one saw anything or knew what happened to the case.. the weirdest thing about it was that we came back the next day and when we looked towards the woods we noticed that the same socks and shirt were tied on branches in one of the trees, and some socks were pretty high in the tree where someone couldn't reach by standing on the ground.. i dont know if it was some guy in the woods or if it was something super natural but somehow within the minute i put the case by the woods and when i got back to get it it disappeared but there were no cars besides ours in the parking lot that night. ................. everytime we go up to that beach something unexplained happens, and me and my friend have many more stories about our experiences there as well as pictures with many orbs seen in the pictures.... please email me back because id like to hear what u have to say about this... hope to hear from u soon, Joe
hi, there is an interesting old gate off i 75 north near erie michigan on erie rd when you get off the highway heading north turn right and drive all the way to a gate just before the gate there is parking spaces. walk through the gate and go down the old road all the way to the end and to the left you'll find an old gate post with iron words saying camp lady of the lake. you cant miss it and look ahead you'll see lake erie. If you go at night that area past the street lamp is very dark. this area is haunted by murdered kids. I've gone there near dark and sensed nothing. thanks, anne
Hi here's a picture of that old iron gate with camp lady of the lake on it the gate is near the bay and or lake erie, there are old slabs and such a man said the camp was a camp in the early 20s along with a tennis court and such this was before much shore erosion. photo courtesy of Anne.
RESPONSE: posted Friday Oct. 13, 2006
CAMP LADY hey, I live in luna pier michigan where the first camp lady of the lake originated unitil a park was built and it was moved to the locatiion off of erie road. My dad is 53 years old, he grew up during the time the camp was still running, he used to go there all the time. It was a church summer camp for orphans and nobody was murdered there, not a single person died, that is probably why you didn't "sense" anything why you were there. It was shut down because there was alot of water damage from flooding becasue its so close to the lake, and being a church organization they didnt have the money to repair it. Therefore, camp lady of the lake is not haunted, its all a bunch of crap that somebody pry started, so don't waste your time going there.
Seen the Camp Lady? Email your story
NEW: The Crib Whisperer of Cadillac
I believe I was only five at the time when this incident occurred in my weird childhood. It happened in an old, teal colored house, with peeling paint and junk in the yard. A place that I'd come to call home, in the midst of Cadillac. I always had a weird creepy feeling when night rolled around. Shadows crept unusually dense, around objects that normally had little or no shadow at all. I guess the house would have a spooky feeling since my grandma acted like a witch, and my dad like a cultist.
Nights were spent awake as I woke up from endless nightmares. Dreams filled with the unknown and the obvious. Dreams with the pink room and blinking doll. Dreams where the vulnerable were hunted down by the most horrible. In one dream, two little boys were playing with wooden blocks at the top of the basement stairs. As they innocently played, I could feel the dread in my limbs, as an unknown figure crept up the steps. Right when the figure should have came into view, the dream always ended.
I had this horrifying dream over and over in my childhood until it was etched into my memory and I recognized it like the back of my hand. The next morning, after the dream, I would always feel a tug at my consciousness as if I were supposed to admit my bravado and submit myself to the basement itself. The basement reminded me of walking into a crypt, as the pre-chilled and stale air hit my face. By looking at any of the old artifacts that the basement contained, I'd always receive a tremor in response to what my nervous system had told my brain. I could have sworn that an electric chair was hanging from a nail in the beam that supported the basement ceiling. Always, after a quick glance around, I'd retreat up the steps like something was chasing me from behind.
I spent night after night of weakly peeping into darkened corners from the safety of my rickety crib, only to get just the opposite of what I was searching for. I would always catch a little whiff of this old, flowery smelling perfume . The screams, the tortured human souls that lingered in the slow, rotting floorboards and cracking painted walls, I did not know; for I was only a child at the time with dreams and possibly, hallucinations. Closets were filled with ancient, discolored boxes that decades ago contained kitchen merchandise from the 60s. I remembered one box quite well though. It was colored in a combination of green and white. On all four sides it featured a black, outlined figure, that quite well resembled a lady; dressed as though she'd been baking a pie or doing the laundry, in the 1960s of course. I estimated that she was supposed to be somewhere around the age of 30. The box was stuffed with old clothes that were either too big or too small for my brother, Zak, or I to wear. My brother and I used to use this box in the closet, as a place of refuge when hiding from our grandma.
At night when it got dark, oh so early; I got put to bed early. I was strapped inside the crib with a safety harness, and was equipped only with my green blanket. Around five minutes later, alone in the upstairs room of mine, with only a sliver of light to see by, I heard shuffling coming from behind my closet door. Then a women's voice asks quietly, "Little boy in the crib, what is your name"- Ethan R. Stewart
also Sunfield Ghost story all on Reader Page
From Reader, Kalamazoo Civic Center Ghost Thelma
Hi! I used to volunteer at the Kalamazoo Civic theatre, and it is DEFINITELY haunted. They used to tell us not to tick off "Thelma" because she would mess up your show if you did. However, she's really saved the butts of some performers and crew members during shows. I personally have had three run-ins with Thelma, including one where she spoke to me. I had no idea I was talking to a ghost until she disappeared! This kind of experience is so common that at one time they mentioned her in the new volunteer orientation class.
Well, I was in a production of "Steel Magnolias" and had several quick costume changes, so an hour before the show I had to check and make sure all my costume pieces were set where they needed to be during the play. I was doing this before one performance when I saw an older woman standing in one of the wings. It was way before show time, and I knew the lobby wasn't even open yet, so I asked her if she was lost. She laughed and said "Oh, no I think I know my way around here pretty well." Then she turned away, chuckling, and completely disappeared before my eyes.
Later, during the run of that same show, a pipe burst in my dressing room and flooded the cubby hole where I had stowed my wig and the pregnancy suit I had to wear in the second act. I was the first to discover the flood, and I found that all my things had been carefully moved from where I'd left them the night before to a safe, dry shelf across the room. The theatre staff insisted no one had been in the dressing rooms all day long. The legend around the theatre goes that Thelma like theatre and donated some of her things to the Civic players when they'd been in another auditorium, then when she died she haunted the props she donated, moved with them to the new building, and installed herself permanently. But no one knows for sure. ---Jen
Just think, out of over one hundred lighthouses along Michigan's Great Lakes shoreline, every lighthouse at one time played host to a succession of lighthouse keepers and their families. Isolated most of the time, subject to all the whims of nature's storms, the lighthouses had to be lightning rods for human emotions as well as beacons of safety to passing ships. Undoubtedly many of them were the sites of various deaths, natural and unnatural, and would be the kind of location to keep hold on a spirit, if that were possible. In truth, many are said to be haunted. Here are a few:
Alpena: Cruelty to one's wife can have long-lasting consequences. Built in 1870, the light at New Presque Isle near Alpena got an unhappy start that has persisted to this day. According to local legend, a lightkeeper's wife was reguarly locked in while her husband pursued a tryst in the neighboring town. Eventually he got tired of hearing her scream, so did away with her. Little did he know that she would only scream louder and longer once she was dead. Her angry cries are still heard today, say some.
Big Bay Point: now tamed into a modern bed and breakfast, the old lighthouse that stood on the promontory 25 miles north of Marquette, Michigan, is said to be haunted by no fewer than five ghosts. They range from a young woman with an ax to grind to former lightkeeper William Prior who hanged himself on the spot. He's identified by his beard and keeper uniform.
Eagle Harbor: This rocky point has been home to three different lighthouse buildings since 1851, which were tended by (among other names) three lightkeepers named George. Small wonder that the spirit who befuddles modern Coastguardsmen by turning off their radios when they play rock and roll is said to be named "George." George was also reportedly fond of pulling out dresser drawers to let them crash to the floor, creating his own raucous noise.
Freshman Ghosts Gone Wild! Almost every campus has its urban legends, many of which revolve around ghosts. Theaters, with their heavy curtains and dramatic atmosphere, are particular favorites for college haunts. Dormitories are probably the major site of young lives turned otherwordly. Again, a sampling;
Michigan State University: Michigan State's Fairchild Auditorium in East Lansing is widely rumored to be haunted by a young boy wandering around the stage and seats at will. He is accompanied by unidentifiable noises coming from the state area. The school's Holmes Hall is also reported to have an extra "resident" on its sixth floor; a man who is seen entering the elevator, but is never found inside it or anywhere else. Mayo Hall is much worse, however, supposedly home to the ghost of Mary Mayo for whom the building was named, and equipped with a secret, fourth floor "Red Room" once used for devil worship.
Central Michigan University: With a name like Mt. Pleasant, you wouldn't think there would be a haunted dormitory within the town's well-known campus, but Warriner Hall residents claim to have seen the ghost of a young woman who was decapitated in an unfortunate accident with the old-fashioned floor-to-floor lift platforms called "dumbwaiters." She makes herself known to lone students by flashing a blue light and often by dropping something for effect.
Northern Michigan University: An old janitor in the Forrest Roberts Theater on this Marquette campus doesn't threaten, just likes to make his presence known. After dying of a heart attack there, he has shown his spectral body to numerous witnesses.
Ghosts are equal opportunity haunters. Houses, cemeteries, deserted bridges, bookstores; all can end up with spectral denizens. Please feel free to contribute to this grand ghost parade:
Ypsilanti: If I were a ghost, I'd haunt libraries. Especially if I donated one. Maryanne Starkweather, generous benefactor of Ypsilant's Ladie's Library, has shown herself in the building's upper story, and many workers claim to have heard her footsteps when no patrons were in the building, as well.
Kalamazoo Regional Psychiatric Hospital: Nothing like a mental hospital to bring on troubled spirits. The old building on Oakland and Howard has it all; noises, lights, mysterious writing appearing on the walls by an unseen hand, and of course ghostly forms. Only a part remains of the former vast grounds, one building with a classic 1895 Queen Anne water tower that's no longer in use except as a 175-foot landmark.. (SEE PHOTO, RIGHT)
Ishpeming: A little boy in blue pajamas haunts an old green house near the downtown area. There are also supposed to be many leftover spirits from the Indian burial ground the town is built upon, as well as departed miners from the days when gold was struck nearby and the town was inundated with brawling gold-rushers. These spirits are said to wreak periodic habit on the town's electrical and phone systems, showing up in darkened streets and alleyways as faintly glowing figures bent on electromagnetic mischief. (gathered from several Web and book sources)
Flint: From e-mailer "Ribby" --- Another weird thing, and this one ocurrs in my hometown, is the Capitol Theater. Located in downtown Flint, this used to be mine (and many others') local punk rock hangout during the late 80s-early 90s. Many people who have worked the theater during these local music shows have reported ghost sightings. The three main ones are: 1. Ghost of an usher who reportedly can be seen in the theater's balconey. 2. Screams and knocking noises of someone who was allegedly sealed in a wall. 3. Ghost of a workman. All the times I've been there, I've never seen anything; however, I can say that the Capitol Theater has a very weird "vibe" about it, for lack of a better word. It's a very creepy place that used to give me a weird feeling every time I went there. --Ribby
Grand Rapids: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel; The word is, if you go into the old section of the hotel lobby, there is an area where items are supposed to move around by themselves. Truthfully, when Weird Michigan was there everything was beauiful and seeminly nailed down, but then it was a Sunday morning. However, the place definitely has a spooky and historic atmosphere, and you have to think that with all the soap salespeople who have stayed there, at least a few must have been tormented enough by not making their monthly quota that some poltergeist activity should almost be expected. Knowing Amway, they are bound to have at least one product guaranteed to wash ghosts away, though (this writer admits to being a former Silver Direct Distributor in another lifetime) Haunted Lobby photo below:
Grand Rapids: Old Veterans Home/Hospital; The grounds of this beautifully wooded old hospital on the city's north side are supposed to literally crawl with ghosts of old Civil War Veterans. I took the photo below on a calm, blue-skyed day, and did get one rainbow orb to the upper left of the photo. No moisure on lens, no similar marks on adjoining photo frames. Digital camera. Notice it's in front of the tree so cannot be a window reflection. A closeup on the orb reveals a snarling cat face, tilted diagonally to the left. I think it's the branches beneath that make up the cat features, but still...