Actually Haunted Locales

Henderson Castle in Kalamazoo is said to have a handful of ghostly guests. Among these spirits are the castle’s original owners, Frank and Mary Henderson, a Spanish-American War veteran, a little girl, and even a dog. These ghostly figures often interact with guests, speaking to them, opening cabinet doors, even appearing as apparitions. Learn more about the ghosts that haunt these grounds at the Haunted History Dinner on Friday, October 12th.

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s also the time of the year when unseen things go bump in the night. Visit Coldwater for the Historical Paranormal Penlight Tour on Saturday, October 20th. Following a presentation by local paranormal experts, the Paranormal Penlight Tour will kick off on the south side of Oak Grove Cemetery.

The Mackinaw City area is home to nearly 20 historic lighthouses located along the shoreline of Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and the Straits of Mackinac. Some lighthouse keepers have lost their lives during their tenure and a handful are still said to haunt their former lights. Waugoshance Shoal Lighthouse is one of the most haunted in Michigan, where former keeper John Herman was known to play practical jokes over a hundred years after his death. McGulpin Point is rumored to be home to the spirit of a young girl who has been seen looking out from one of the upper windows. Within a short drive of Mackinaw City, you can also find ghostly lights in the Upper Peninsula including Seul Choix, Point Iroquois, Whitefish Point, and New and Old Presque Isle Lights.

Situated in the middle of Copper Country, the AmericInn Lodge & Suites of Calumet has many ghost tales to tell. The Copper Country was once a booming copper mining area that was the destination for many immigrants from around the world. Once the copper mining slowed and then eventually stopped, people left the area to look for work elsewhere. This left at least 18 different ghost town scattered throughout the peninsula. As you travel through, you’ll see what’s left of these old towns and be sure to check out some of the local cemeteries dating all the way back to the 1840s. During your stay, ask the staff about their ghost pictures, where you will see children appearing in the picture and some days a bank setting will have a teller and other days a customer. They have over 100 pictures of the area lining their walls and they look forward to sharing their history with you.

Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island quickly became a popular tourist destination because of its unique history. Built in the 1950s, the resort was donated in 1966 to become the Mackinac College but only graduated one class in 1970 before it became a hotel. One of the most famous ghosts of the resort was a student of this short-lived school, named Harvey. The legend goes that he was so heartbroken after having his proposal to his girlfriend turned down that he took his own life in the woods. However, police reports have since refuted this and there is believed to be another person involved in the death since the gun was not found on the scene. Ghostly whispers of the word “shotgun” and “soundstage” can often be heard, which has led many to believe that the murder weapon is hidden somewhere within the large stage at the resort.

The Grand Hotel, one of Mackinac Island’s most popular tourist destinations, was built in the late 19th century and since then, many odd and disturbing stories have come from its grounds. Most notably, it is said that there were human skeletons unearthed when the foundation was originally laid. The horse corral on the grounds is right atop the island’s original Post Cemetery. The hotel is allegedly home to an ominous red-eyed shadow, a piano playing man in a top hat, and a wandering woman in Victorian clothing who all have been spotted in various places throughout the Grand Hotel’s grounds.

Ask the front desk at the Terrace Inn in Petoskey if they have had anything paranormal happen and they’ll bring you a thick folder titled “Ghost Files” with first-hand accounts from previous guests and workers. Throughout these documents, you’ll find that there are mainly three spirits that haunt the historic inn: a lady in white that spends her time in the hallways and rooms of guests, a man in tweed who appears on the inn’s balcony, and a young boy who roams the basement. Every October, the Terrace Inn hosts a Ghost Hunters Weekend where they invite the public to stay and try to witness ghosts with their own eyes.

“Jack” is the nickname given to the legendary ghost of a lumberjack who was killed in a barroom knife fight in 1847 at what is now the Grill House in Allegan. Occasionally, lights, radios, and television go on and off at odd times. Doors unexpectedly open and close. Faucets turn on by themselves. Sometimes, you can hear footsteps at night. His blurry presence has even shown up in photos taken at the restaurant. Jack’s legacy lives on over 170 years later.

The Blue Pelican Inn in Central Lake has a storied history with ghosts and the paranormal. Visitors and staff have experienced unexplainable noises and eerie figures since the inn’s construction. Paranormal investigation teams have visited the inn and experience some of the hauntings themselves. The inn’s haunted history is well documented on their website.

Shadowy figures, strange noises, and mysteriously shifted objects have all been witnessed at the Mitten Brewing Company in Grand Rapids. One night during the second week of operation, owner Chris Andrus was the last person to leave the Engine House, heading home at 2am after mopping the facility. He was also the first one to arrive early the next morning. As he prepared the taproom for opening, he checked the front lobby and noticed a few footprints left from the wet mop water the night before. At first, Chris thought nothing of it, but after a few minutes, he realized no one else had been in the building between his leaving and return, and that the prints were made by bare feet. He returned to the footprints and made a perplexing discovery: they were the footprints of a child. More footprints would show up over the following years, along with shadows, silhouettes, and noises.