Dense pine forests, historic lighthouses looming over its coast, home to Motor City, the Great Lakes, and chock full of history and hauntings of every kind ... these haunted places in Michigan will have you checking around each corner.
1. Big Sable Lighthouse
Located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, Big Sable Lighthouse has heard reports of lights turning on and off, walking and chattering noises from stairwells and inside bedrooms, doors locking and unlocking, the smell of cigar smoke, shadowy figures, books levitating in the gift shop, attic covers pulsating and moving on their own, the smell of bread baking, the spirit of a young boy, and the tower lights turning on when no one was inside. If that sounds enticing to you, the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association has a volunteer program where you can stay in the lighthouse yourself and experience the ghosts 24/7.
2. Detroit Masonic Temple
Secret rooms, a labyrinth of hallways, extravagant details, hidden compartments and staircases, all for a society shrouded in mystery. This nearly-century old, neo-gothic building of grandeur is known as the largest Masonic Temple in the world. As legend has it, the man who financed its construction went bankrupt from the venture and leapt off the roof to his death. While no doubt apocryphal, the tale casts an spooky shadow over the Masonic—not that it necessarily needs the help. Reports of unidentified figures, slamming doors, cold spots, and feelings of being watched have all been documented.
3. Felt Mansion
Built in 1928 by inventor Dorr E. Felt of Chicago for his wife Agnes, this 17,000 square foot mansion was meant to provide a place where the Dorrs could soak in the splendor of West Michigan's coastline. Sadly, Agnes passed away just weeks after they moved into their new home. The structure then became a seminary for young boys, then a home to nuns, then a State Police Post and Correctional Facility. Agnes is said to haunt the opulent mansion, especially her bedroom. Shadow people, doors opening and closing, carpets being rolled up, and full apparitions have been reported. You can visit this real haunted mansion for a daytime historical tour.
4. Henderson Castle
Established in 1895 by Kalamazoo’s most successful businessman, Frank Henderson (he owned the Henderson-Ames Company; a uniform manufacturer that made uniform regalia for secret societies, fraternal organizations, and the military), this Queen-Anne style home is now a Bed & Breakfast. Mr. Henderson died in 1899 and is said to still roam the hallways of his elaborate estate. Henderson Castle has been a setting for three horror movies and hosts regular haunted history and murder mystery dinners that can be attended by guests or drop-in visitors.
5. Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island rests on the edge of Lake Huron and was originally an Ottawa settlement and essential site of the Great Lakes fur trade. Two bloody battles of the War of 1812, a Native American burial ground, and a “Drowning Pool” where seven women were said to have drowned after being accused of witchcraft and put to the float test create a rich and eerie backdrop. An evil, dark entity with glowing red eyes, a man in a top hat playing a piano, a woman in Victorian garb roaming the grounds, sounds of crying babies, moving furniture, and feelings of deep sadness have all been reported at locations throughout the island.
6. Michigan Bell Telephone Co.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Michigan Bell Building was built in 1925 on the grounds of the former Judd-White House. The lovely building hardly seems like the type to have terrible misfortunes contained within. Unfortunately, the Judd-White House was exactly that type. The story attached to that house is that of the Randalls. After Warren Randall lost his leg in a railroad accident in 1908, his mental state and his marriage suffered greatly. He and his wife separated a year later. Perhaps attempting reconciliation, the pair went for a buggy ride in 1910. Instead of finding themselves happy once more, Warren sealed himself and Virginia into a room in the Judd-White House, turned on the gas, and murdered his wife before killing himself. Although the names and details seem to have been distorted by legend and time, a version of this grim event did in fact happen to a Warren and Vashti Rowland in 1909. Their spirits are believed to remain on the grounds to this day, even after the Judd-White House was torn down in 1924.
7. Mouth Cemetery
A 165-year-old, unkept, overgrown, and utterly creepy cemetery surrounded by dense trees in a secluded area with a history of otherworldly occurrences? If that’s not a recipe for a good old-fashioned haunting, I don’t know what is. Disembodied voices, sounds of footsteps, and a young girl in a white dress roaming the grounds, and even a legend about a cursed chair are just some of the bizarre happenings reported at Mouth Cemetery.
8. Pere Cheney
Beaver Creek Township, Michigan
In Beaver Creek Township lies a once thriving lumber town established in 1873. Pere Cheney became an official ghost town in the early 20th century after a population of 1,500 plummeted to a mere 25 in the wake of an outbreak of the highly contagious and deadly diphtheria. Ghosts, witches, glowing orbs, disembodied laughter, handprints, and moving lights are just a few of the reported occurrences in this ghost town and its cemetery. Some say it was cursed from the beginning, as it was established on Native American soil and, according to local legend, a witch cursed the land after being banished to the woods.
9. The Whitney
Built in 1894, this Romanesque Revival style mansion was built by David Whitney, one of Michigan’s wealthiest citizens. As legend has it, the spirits of Mr. Whitney and his wife Flora still inhabit their mansion, particularly the elevator, second and third floors. Whispers, cold spots, shadowy figures, and an elevator that moves on its own are just some of the haunted happenings reported in this once private home. Care to break bread with the spirits? You're in luck. The Whitney is now an upscale dining establishment—and its bar is dubbed the Ghostbar.
10. White River Light Station
Built in 1875, this lighthouse was overseen by British-born Captain William Robinson, his wife Sarah, and their large family for nearly 50 years. Even when Robinson was too old and frail to properly function the light, he remained in the lighthouse. He eventually died there in 1919, at the age of 87. Yet their dedication endures even in death. The tapping of William’s cane is said to echo through the lighthouse as his spirit climbs the spiral staircase. William and Sarah are often heard whispering in the museum display room, and dust rags and other objects are often moved, seemingly of their own volition.