Halloween brings out the ghost stories and haunted houses this month. Whether you are looking for chilling adventures or are interested in the spooky side of history, you’ll find haunts of all kinds around West Michigan.
Haunted North Region Attractions
Prepare yourself for a unique experience on a one of a kind haunted trail walk (or run!) through the “Forest of Fear” in Grayling, open weekends in October dusk-11:00 pm.
Get ready to scream! Ride the Loki lift and follow the lanterns down the Haunted Trail…if you dare. Crystal Mountain’s Haunted Trail is open October 18th-19th and October 25th-26th in Thompsonville (weather permitting). Tickets are $9 per person, kids 6 and under are free with a paying adult.
Fort Fright will be held October 4th and 5th at Mackinac State Historic Parks’ Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City. The event is 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm both nights, with last admission at 8:30 pm. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for youth ages 5-12. Tickets are available online at mackinacparks.com/fort-fright, and will be available at Colonial Michilimackinac starting October 1st. Lanterns light your way through an 18th-century fort and fur trading village overrun by werewolves, witches, goblins and ghouls. Storytellers weave spooky folktales near bonfires and treats such as hot mulled cider, cookies and candy can be found throughout the site. Most stops are suitable for all ages, but a haunted house, demon walk and werewolf walk will give thrills and chills to adults and children alike.
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.
With Halloween fast approaching, it’s time to explore Charlevoix’s local haunts. Stop by Castle Farms to explore the beautiful grounds and historic charm. Take a guided tour of the grounds to learn more about the several ghosts who are known to call the Castle home. Be sure to stop by Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant. While you are enjoying great food and breathtaking views of the Pine River Channel, you may find a ghostly presence. Rumor has it that a ghost can be found on the lower level of this historic restaurant, individuals have reported a playful ghost opening and closing basement doors. Check out each of these locations to see if you have a ghostly experience.
Every year in October, the historic S.S. City of Milwaukee in Manistee is taken over by ghosts and ghouls. Enjoy the perfect fall scare every Friday and Saturday in October.
Spooky Places to Visit in the Central Region
Ludington’s biggest Halloween party, Ludrock’s Night of Fright, will be held October 26th. The event features a costume contest, four bands, food, and more. Doors open at 6:00 pm with music starting at 7:00 pm. Admission is $5.00 and all ages are welcome.
Take a spooky wagon trek through the Cartier Park Campground Forest in Ludington— enter if you dare! This family-friendly event, held October 19th, will feature apples, cider, a scary movie, and wagon ride. Cost is $5 per person or $20 per carload, so gather your friends for a fun time!
A Haunted Mansion Halloween Party and costume contest will be held in the Grand Ballroom of Stearns Hotel in Ludington, Saturday, October 26th, with live entertainment from Maddison Tripp. Entry is just $5.
Haunted Hall comes to the Muskegon Lakes Mall again! Open Fridays and Saturdays in October from 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, the cost is $15 per person and admission gets you into four frightening haunts. Not recommended for the faint of heart!
Visit the Lakeshore Museum Center in Muskegon October 11th-12th for the “Mad Scientist’s Lab Escape Room!” The mad minds at the LSMC are at it again, and this time they are testing your skills to see if you can escape the mad scientist lab in 60 minutes. This escape room will challenge your teamwork and problem solving as you try to get out before it is too late! Enjoy a candlelit evening tour as you travel back in time to explore the deaths, funerals, and autopsies that occurred in the Lakeshore Museum Center Hackley and Hume Houses through Obituary Tours held October 24th-26th! Experience a re-enactment of Julia Hackley’s funeral service and become immersed in the practices and traditions of death and dying in the Victorian Era.
Come to Muskegon’s Evergreen Cemetery to experience “City of the Dead” October 12th-13th. Meet some of the city’s founding fellows, names well known and not, in this historic walking tour featuring historical re-enactments.
Discover the magic of Victorian Halloween traditions and superstitions at the Cappon House at the Holland Museum, October 18th and 19th, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm. Tour the dimly lit rooms of this historic home to learn how Halloween was celebrated 100 years ago. Then, partake in spooky parlor games and broom races, listen to classic ghost stories, have your fortune told, and carve a mini pumpkin to take home. Great for families with kids ages 5-12. Costumes are encouraged!
October is the month for spooks galore and family fun! Mecosta County has numerous activities to “haunt” your days throughout the month. You’ll find corn mazes, spooky trails, and even a haunted fish hatchery, along with stops for seasonal treats and apple cider!
South Region & Nearby Haunts
“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.
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.
Witches, pumpkin heads, black cats, and bats, oh my…it must be the Haunted Masonic Temple in Coldwater! This popular annual haunting is a scary spook for locals and visitors alike. Or, check out the Haunted Forest in Coldwater’s Rotary Park for a ghostly good time. Visitors can adventure through the forest from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm both Friday and Saturday, October 11th-12th. The early session, from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm, will be less scary geared toward the younger crowd and the later session will be the true Haunted Forest.
Take a terror-ific ride through the haunted woods of the Michigan City LaPorte Area aboard the Flying Dutchman Railroad and watch out for the mad lumberjack as you make your way down the track on a real steam engine. The Hesston Ghost Train departs from La Porte, IN, at noon Saturdays and Sundays between October 12th and 27th.