1. The Traverse City State HospitalThe Gothic-style buildings that make up this former asylum for the mentally unstable were originally built in 1885, but have undergone renovations since 2000. Despite these renovations, the underground tunnels and caged balconies contribute to the eerie atmosphere of this haunted hospital. In its prime, this place housed those suffering from tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, and typhoid. Now, it is the site of various paranormal investigations, as well as the perfect subject for countless scary stories shared throughout the mitten!
2. Mackinac IslandWriter and monster chaser, Greg Newkirk, articulates the paranormal state of Mackinac Island perfectly…
“When you take an island that essentially amounts to a giant Native American burial ground, build a fort on it, kill a whole bunch of people there, then turn it into a tourist destination, you get the setup for a great 80s horror film. Or in this case, you get an island filled with so many ghosts it would be difficult to list them all.”
The hauntings of the island take place at various landmarks such as The Grand Hotel, Fort Mackinac, and Mission Point Resort. One of the creepiest stories, however, is of The Drowning Pool (or lagoon). Its sharp, twenty-foot drop off made it the perfect place for women suspected of being witches to be drowned. It is said that rocks were tied around their ankles and they were thrown into the lagoon. Many claim the restless bodies of these angry women still haunt the pool today.
3. Old City Orphanage, MarquetteAlso known as the Holy Family Orphanage, this structure was built to fit a whopping 200 orphans. It was intended to be so large because of the many Native American children that were taken from their families in an attempt by the government to separate them from their culture. The nuns were said to be very physically and emotionally violent toward the children. The darkest of the rumors revolves around one child who ventured out to play during a blizzard. A few days after the child returned, she died of pneumonia. Instead of grieving the loss of the child, the nuns placed her body on display in the lobby of the orphanage for all the children to see (and learn a lesson). Locals have reported hearing the cries of the children in the night, as well as seeing lights moving in the abandoned hallways.
4. The Masonic Temple, DetroitDesigned and built by George D. Mason, this theater has over 1,000 rooms, several secret staircases, trap doors, concealed passages, and hidden compartments in the floors (basically the perfect residence for any ghost)! Mason financed the construction of the building and eventually went bankrupt. It was after these events that his wife left him and the depressed Mason jumped to his death off the roof of the temple.
Upon entering this prime example of Gothic Revival architecture, visitors state that they feel strange sensations of uneasiness or of being watched. Security guards claim to see the ghost of Mason to this day, and there have been various accounts of slamming doors and inexplicable shadows.
5. The Henderson Castle, KalamazooThis 115-year-old castle turned bed and breakfast is home to both the living and the dead. Paranormal teams, as well as guests have had various encounters with the ghosts of the home’s original owners- Frank and Mary Henderson, a Spanish-American War veteran, a dog, and a little girl.
There have been many accounts of unexplained activity such as unknown “presences” moving up and down the staircase and opening unreachable 15 foot cabinet doors. Travel writer of the Detroit Free Press, Ellen Creager, tells of a ghostly experience she had while staying in castle.
“I don’t believe in ghosts, but it was very strange. I was sound asleep in the Dutch Room when I felt a tap, tap, tap on my forearm. I woke up and it was pitch dark. I heard a woman’s voice say, ‘Go away.’ I lay awake for a while. I knew it wasn’t a dream, but if it wasn’t a dream, what was it?”
Although a lot of the castle’s activity would scare most people to death, its permanent residences claim that they’ve experienced only “good energy” and that the atmosphere of the establishment is quite warm.
There are many other spooky establishments out there. If I missed your favorite ghostly hangout, leave a comment sharing your favorite haunted destination in the mitten!