Michigan is a state with a lot of history, so naturally, it has more than its share of ghost stories and supposed haunted locations. While we are always down for a good paranormal discussion, there is definitely no better time than right before Halloween to bring up the state's most haunted spots that you totally need to check out while the weather is still mild. However, all you need to do now is turn the lights off, make yourself comfortable, and get ready to learn about all of the spooky things that go bump in the night right here in the Great Lake State.
Where: Straits of Mackinac
Mackinac Island is basically the Poveglia Island of America. As much as this adorable 3.8-mile long island is bustling with the living, the entire place is pretty much just as ghost-infested. It was once the home to a Native American Tribe called the Mackinac, who had mysteriously deserted the island by the time European explorers arrived in the 1600s, leaving behind nothing more than relics and several burial grounds. The island was then built up by the French and became a valuable trade post before it was acquired by the British during the French and Indian War.
It then became a British stronghold during the Revolutionary War. In 1783 the Treaty of Paris passed the island to the Americans, where it later became a hotspot for battles during the War of 1812. The British managed to keep the island under capture until 1815, slaying any Americans who attempted to recapture it until the Treaty of Ghent released the land back to the United States. The war violence didn't end there, Confederate prisoners were held at Fort Mackinac during the Civil War.
As if the battle bloodshed and Native American burial ground wasn't enough to fill this place with restless spirits, the hospital and jail had also seen its share of untimely deaths - even some children. It's rare to find a spot here that doesn't have some sort of haunting. Hard to believe an island so touristy and beautiful today could have such a bloody and hateful past.
Where: Temple St, Detroit
As if a 1,037-room Masonic temple doesn't sound eerie enough as it is, this one is supposedly haunted. (But seriously, who needs that many rooms?) The building architect, George D. Mason, is the most common apparition visitors claim to see, however, there are also reports of doors often opening and closing on their own (even after being locked), and many people state they feel "watched" by unseen forces while inside the building. Even if the place isn't haunted, which we wouldn't be surprised if it was, it's worth a visit for the impressive architectural design and history alone. The old pool room definitely gives us the creeps though.
Where: 110 Battle Alley, Holly
You know a location is bound to have a few good ghost stories when it has the word "historic" in front of the name. The Holly Hotel is no exception; this Victorian-style inn has been referred to as being the most haunted historic location in Michigan many times throughout the years. First and foremost, let's talk about the two fires that this building has had: the first one was on January 19, 1913 - nothing particularly weird about that, right?
Yes and no, allow me to explain. Fires happen all the time, however, the timing of the second fire was extremely coincidental and the chances of it happening randomly are extremely astronomical, it happened exactly sixty-five years apart to the day and to the hour. Sounds cursed, and you think that alone would make someone not want to start a business in it again. I digress. Besides the fires, many entities are claimed to roam the halls, including the original owner, a woman named Nora Kane (pictured below), a little girl spirit, and even a ghostly dog! Are you brave enough to stay a night here?
Where: 4421 Woodward Ave, Detroit
Built in the late 18th century to house one of Michigan's wealthiest individuals, David Whitney Jr., tragically he only got to spend a few years in his dream house before passing in 1900. The 21,000 sqft mansion was built with extreme care using only the best materials - so naturally, no man would willingly leave that much effort behind after only a short duration, if you know what I mean.
You got it, Mr. Whitney is a prominent entity said to haunt the location, often checking in on visitors to make sure they're behaving themselves in his home. And what is a man without his faithful wife, even in the afterlife? Mrs. Whitney, who also lived out the rest of her days in the home, is rumored to be her husbands' companion spirit here. The mansion has since been turned into an upscale diner and every 1st and 4th Sunday of every month they host a Paranormal Dinner Tour. Deliciously scary!
Acocks Medical Center at Morgan Heights
Where: County Road 492
Now demolished, the hospital that used to sit above a trail of tunnels housed patients with Tuberculous and mental illness, often "treating" them with experimental tactics. Like so many psychiatric patients during the 1900's, many were subjected to torture in hopes of a cure. While some were put in straight jackets and left in solitary confinement, others were given more physical treatment with shock therapy, torture, and even lobotomies. As for the TB patients, there wasn't much that the hospitals could do for their declining health, so many accepted their fate and lived out the rest of their days dying of consumption in a rugged hospital.
This was the lifestyle for many patients at the hospital, and although the building no longer stands, the tunnels below are said to still harbor the energy of the mistreated souls during their stay at the Acocks Medical Center.
The Landmark Inn
Where: 230 North Front Street, Marquette
Since opening its doors in 1930 as the Northland Hotel, many notables have stayed the night in this elegant inn, including Amelia Earhart, Abbott and Costello, and the cast of Anatomy of a Murder. The hotel closed in 1982, sitting unused for over a decade until it underwent renovations in 1995 and reopened as the Landmark Inn we've come to know and love today. As with most old buildings, this one is riddled with haunted tales, but the one that stands out from the rest relates to the inn's sixth-floor Lilac Room.
The hotel's switchboard workers in the main floor lobby often report getting phantom calls from the room when no one is in it. Spectators tend to believe the calls are being made by the spirit of a heartbroken lover called the Lilac Lady, who often stayed at the hotel while her sweetheart sailor went sailing on Lake Superior - one day never returning to her. The brokenhearted woman committed suicide in the room by tying multiple lilac imprinted napkins together to make a noose. Many people have said they've seen her apparition, but she's best known for her phone calls.
Where: Eastern Market, Detroit
The Eastern Market is usually a hotspot for the living, but the shopkeepers believe they have more than just live customers. The market was built atop a cemetery, Russell Street Cemetery to be exact, and many of the early morning merchants have seen some things that are simply unexplainable. Lesson learned: if you don't want ghosts, don't build over a cemetery.
The Majestic Theatre
Where: 4140 Woodward Ave, Detroit
As one of the very last places the famous Harry Houdini performed at, many people believe the Majestic Theatre is still haunted by his spirit. Maybe he's still trying to impress people with his disappearing act - get it? 'Cuz you know, ghosts can travel through walls and stuff.
Where: Homerich Ave. SW, Byron Center
Located in the Winegar Cemetery is a gravestone that supposedly glows a faint green light at night. While the cause of its luminescence remains a mystery, there's one thing that's for certain: hundreds of people have sworn to have witnessed it. So, is it just a weird natural phenomenon or some sort of divine intervention? No one really knows, but you can, and should, check it out for yourself.
Where: 100 Monroe St, Kalamazoo
Just a quick glance at this mansion on a hill and you can already tell it's haunted. Built over a century ago, the Henderson Castle has had a rich, strange past. The OG, Frank Henderson was involved with secret societies and Freemasonry, which is still evident in some elements and design within the castle. The castle has been featured in three horror films and has since been turned into a spooky bed and breakfast. If you need something to do this Halloween eve, you should attend their Murder Mystery Dinner and Spirit Tasting event.
Seul Choix Point Lighthouse
Where: 3183 County Road 431, Gulliver
This picturesque lighthouse was once featured on an episode of Fox Family’s Scariest Places on Earth and although we aren't sure if we agree that it's necessarily the scariest place on the list - let alone on Earth - it is said to be haunted by a former Lighthouse keeper, Captin Townsend. According to eyewitness reports, the Captin has a good sense of humor and enjoys playing tricks on the visitors when he's not busy working on keeping the lighthouse in order. Hearing footsteps climbing up the tower is not uncommon, nor are items being rearranged to the way the Captin once liked them to be. He works harder than most living people!
Mary Mayo Hall
Website: 361 Delta Ct, East Lansing
At Michigan State University, students and ghosts alike are welcome to stay in the dorm rooms. While the entire university is full of ghostly legends, the Mary Mayo Hall is the place that stands out from the rest. A portrait of Mary hangs on the first floor with eyes that are said to follow you through the room, and her restless spirit supposedly roams the halls. The piano has been heard playing by itself, and many believe it's the spirit of Mary enjoying the building erected in her memory.
The fourth floor has been completely sealed off from the public. Rumors have spread that Satanic rituals were performed there, and a young woman was said to have hanged herself on the floor. Despite being closed off, people still claim to see figures and lights in the fourth-floor windows.
SS Valley Camp
Where: 326 E Portage Ave, Sault Ste. Marie
We've talked about haunted islands, dorms, castles, and now, ships. Although there was no known tragedy associated with the Museum Ship Valley Camp, it does contain dozens of artifacts from mass-casualty shipwrecks. Many people believe that spirits can attach themselves to objects, making the artifacts housed in the museum a perfect opportunity for possible attachments. There have been reports of shadow figures and disembodied voices by both workers and visitors.
Fort Shelby Hotel
Where: 525 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit
Historic, picturesque, and haunted, the ghost of a homeless man has decided to stay for a while at the Fort Shelby Hotel. Legend has it that a drunken, one-eyed homeless man referred to as Old Al met his fate in sludgy human waste 4ft deep in a neighboring alleyway. There isn't any specific area of the hotel that is haunted by him, so you never know where he might decide to pop up at. After a death like that, we believe the man deserves a room at the inn.
Where: 1507 Bond St, Niles
This private residence was built in 1847 by the Beeson family, complete with a family crypt. The first family member to be laid to rest in it was the homeowner's elderly mother, proceeded by the death of the homeowner's son and daughter-in-law, William and Harriet's infant child. The death of the baby boy took a huge toll on his parents, specifically Harriet. She was so overcome with grief that she refused to accept the death of her child.
Legend has it that every night the grief-stricken mother would enter the crypt and take care of her baby, bringing clean diapers, bathing him, rock him, and even feed him as though he were still alive and well. She left a lit lantern in the crypt every night because she believed he was afraid of the dark. Eventually, the child's decomposing body reached a state of decay that Harriot could no longer ignore; one night while she was rocking him his eyes fell back into his skull, sending the mother into a mental breakdown.
She ended up being admitted to an insane asylum where she lived out the rest of her days - she was 28 when she died, many believe of heartbreak. The crypt was eventually filled with a total of 12 family members, and the entire property is said to be haunted by some of them - specifically of Harriot who cries out in grief over her child, as well as the baby who cries for his mother's attention. The property is not open for tours as it is privately owned, however, you can see the mansion and crypt from the road and you can always drive by and take some photos.
Historic Fort Wayne
Where: 6325 W Jefferson Ave, Detroit
If there's one thing we have confirmed from some of the other places, it's that war zones are the perfect spot for hauntings. Old Fort Wayne, located in Detriot, is no exception. This fort has seen everything you'd expect, prisoners, victories, losses, and of course, plenty of bloodshed. Not all of the bloodshed was fatal, however many men did take their last breath on these grounds - and many visitors today swear their spirits are still here.
There have been reports of apparitions, disembodied voices, moving shadows, missing/moving objects, mechanical errors, strange photos, and even timeslips. There are haunted walking tours hosted here every so often, so if you're interested in testing the legends for yourself you should definitely book your trip before spots fill!
The Alhambra Apartments
Where: 100 Temple St, Detroit
If you've been yearning to move into someplace haunted, the Alhambra apartment complex is just the place for you. The story being this ritzy building is that in the very early 1900's, Rose Barron made biscuits with arsenic which she fed to several families, ultimately causing the death of two unfortunate consumers whose souls believably haven't left the building.
Where: 810 N 3rd St, Marquette
Extra, extra! Get your monthly newspaper and scares all in one trip. When the building was first built the first print press worker, Beth Ann, also lived upstairs so she spent plenty of time in the office - ultimately leading to her untimely demise. With large metal printing presses, printing wasn't known for being the safest job around, and unfortunately one day she started her shift as normal but ended terribly. Her shirt sleeve got caught in the card stock feeder. No one could hear her cries for help as the machine slowly started inching the woman closer to the letterpress. Blood spewed everywhere and arm missing, her husband discovered the grizzly scene after arriving home from work that evening. To this day, workers report disembodied screams echoing through the building late at night.