My fiancé and I have been watching a lot of ghost hunting shows lately. With Halloween fast approaching, I thought I'd start a discussion about the many rumored haunted places up North. In my mind, Bower's Harbor Inn and the Old Town Playhouse are two of the most notorious. Do you know of any haunted places? Any stories/eerie tales/weird happenings you'd like to share?
I've heard some pretty scary things about the state hospital; not to mention the fact that the parts of it that have not been renovated give off the creepiest vibe at night I've ever felt.
The original name for the set of buildings was the "Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane" followed by "Traverse City Regional Psychiatric Hospital" and now simply "Grand Traverse Commons" or "The Village".
Set a date to go there late, late at night on a weekday so there aren't a bunch of herb-smokin' kids hanging around and so that you're much more alone. Visit this page and skim a bit, then set off on your journey.
On your way through/around the state hospital, notice how aware you are of the similarities between everything you've done up to that point and the actions of victims in most thriller/slasher films. Pay close attention to how quiet it is. Focus on the shadows dancing through the buildings as you walk past.
We used to take sleeping bags to the beach in front of the lighthouse and, while I never heard or saw the ghost of her great-great-great grandfather, that looming white lighthouse in a crescent moon always seemed spooky enough. The waves, the wind, the point jutting into the big Lake spoke more of the ghosts of sailors than of lighthouse keepers.
My grandmother sold uniforms to the staff at the Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane. She drove a horse and buggy and spoke of getting there at dusk one time and having people screaming out to her from the barred windows. She quit the next day. When we were little that was such a scary story. I've since learned that while many patients had perfectly legitimate reasons for being there, some of the patients in the hospital were there for questionable reasons. Since all the patients only saw a psychiatrist every six months for a few minutes, if you were having a bad day, voila, your stay was extended. If you were distraught from having been locked away or angry, voila! Some of the people screaming to my grandmother were begging her to get them out. I've always wondered if some of them who were pleading with her were there for the wrong reasons. If so, they would surely be the ghosts who would return to haunt the halls.
House of Ludington in Escanaba has many reports of ghosts. It's an old hotel and restaurant near the harbor. In 2005 my brother and I hosted an anniversary party for my parents there. It was the middle of March, in a snowstorm, so there were no other customers there. Near the end of the night their bar became like a living room with all of us just hanging around talking with the staff and owners, and they told us about all their eerie experiences. A lot of unexplained moving of objects, like double-hung windows opening and closing, carts full of food wheeling themselves around, dishes crashing to the floor for no reason, the elevator moving with no one in it, and lots of footsteps down the hall. They even let us into "the room" where most guest reports had originated. True or not, it made for a really cool party!
Yikes! We stayed at the House of Ludington a few years ago. Glad we didn't know about the ghosts then. Nobody bothered us. It was a wonderful overnight, and a place we've talked often of visiting again. Maybe we'll re-think it!
I haven't, Kristina, but thanks for the hot tip! I thoroughly enjoyed "Haunted Michigan," which features a lot of places anyone can visit (restaurants, inns, etc.) in the state, but haven't heard of this one. I'll definitely check it out. :)
This is Kat Tedsen, author of "Haunted Travels of Michigan". We had some rather surprising experiences in our first series of investigations associated with the Haunted Travels book. Working on our second book in the Haunted Travels series, we'll be traveling to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for a week-long series of investigations. After that, we're back in the northern part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. If anyone has any questions on haunted locations in MI, they can email us directly. Also, if anyone has recommendations on haunted locations anywhere in the state, we are interested in hearing about them. We focus on public locations (hotels, B&B's, historic sites, restaurants, etc.) Our Email is: firstname.lastname@example.org