Ten of Michigan’s Own Haunted Places

The following photo is for my web article Ten of Michigan's Own Haunted Places. I've sent the article to Ben Dunham for review and the photo credit goes to Sam Bower.
Photo by Sam Bower

Summer’s right around the corner and will be here before you know it. Whether you have summer plans or some time to kill, a great way to fill up any extra time is to visit some haunted areas in Michigan. Michigan is full of haunted areas. What place isn’t? Here’s ten places all across Michigan where it’s been told you can catch a glimpse of some spooks.

1. Henderson Castle- Kalamazoo, MI

Built in 1895, Henderson Castle is very well known. Frank Henderson, the owner of Henderson-Ames Company, and his wife Mary, inherited an undeveloped land plot and proceeded to build the magnificent castle. When Mr. Henderson died in 1899, Mary continued to occupy the house. She died a few years later in 1908.

There are several spirits said to haunt the castle: Frank and Mary Henderson, a veteran who served with the Henderson’s son, a dog, and the spirit of an unknown little girl. They like to communicate and use the unplugged radios to do so. Visitors get tapped on the shoulder, people have seen apparitions appear in period clothing, and drawers in the guest rooms and kitchen open themselves.

2. Fenton Hotel- Fenton, MI

The Fenton Hotel is over 150 years old and has passed through many hands. Staff members can hear their names being called when no one’s around. Glasses have the tendency to fly off the bar and guests can hear what sounds like dancing in a ballroom that’s no longer in use. There’s a man in a top hat that people see sitting at a specific table and a woman rumoured to have hung herself haunts what is now the first floor ladies’ restroom.

3. Traverse City State Hospital- Traverse City, MI

Built in 1885, the Traverse City State Hospital was originally an asylum for the mentally unstable. The Traverse City State Hospital then began to house patients sick with polio, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and typhoid. It closed in 1989.

Voices and screams can be heard from both inside and outside the building. Lights are known to turn on even though there’s been no electricity in years. There have been hundreds of reports of both adult and child apparitions in and out of the hospital and inside the hospital’s chapel.

4. Ada Cemetery- Ada, MI

Behind Ada Cemetery is a story of betrayal. Although there are several variations of this story, they almost always match up. In the 1800’s there was a woman known to cheat on her husband. She’d sneak out every night after he had gone to sleep and meet her lover in the cemetery, but one night, the husband followed her. He attacked the couple and killed his wife instantly. The husband and the lover fought over the knife until their injuries killed them both. People say they see a beautiful brunette in a long white dress and hear the raised voices of men fighting. Somehow, she became the Woman in White and the Ada Witch, even though it can’t be proved whether or not she practiced witchcraft.

5. Bailey House- Lowell, MI

There used to be an abandoned house with boarded up windows and barns in the back of the property that were collapsing in on themselves. For an unknown reason, the owners left without their stuff. It was said that before the house burned down one night, you could hear the bell in the kitchen ring. People heard footsteps on the stairs, howls and the sounds of a little girl laughing.

6. Eaton Theatre- Eaton, MI

Named after Rick Eaton, the Eaton Theatre was built in 1902. Rick Eaton died in 1923 after  falling off the balcony he was painting. His wife shot herself sometime after. People have heard her sobs in the place she died. Whispers and footsteps can be heard in the halls and the balcony where Rick Eaton fell.

7. Felt Mansion- Saugatuck, MI

The construction of Felt Mansion began in 1925 and was completed in 1928. Dorr E. Felt built the mansion for his wife, Agnes. Agnes died six weeks after the family moved into the house, in August. Dorr died almost two years later in 1930. The family kept the house until 1949 when they sold it. Soon after, Felt Mansion became a men’s Catholic prep school known as the St. Augustine Seminary. In the late 1970’s, the property was purchased by the State of Michigan and used as a prison. It wa sold yet again in the early 1990’s.

Ghosts and shadow people are seen wandering the grounds and hallways inside. Several doors throughout the building, including those in Agnes’ room, open and close themselves. Voices are heard, along with the soft exhale of a woman, and mysterious orbs and mists show up in pictures. Visitors say the most activity happens in the ballroom.

8. Capitol Theatre- Flint, MI

Flint’s Capitol Theatre opened in 1928 and closed sometime in the 1990’s. Shadows and apparitions walk the halls and balconies. Screams, moans and a strange tapping noise on the walls echo throughout the empty building. Bands who’ve performed there reported that seconds after their equipment suddenly stops working, they heard singing coming from within the balconies.

9. Iron Lake- Iron River, MI (Upper Peninsula)

Cold spots are located all around the lake and the voices of people talking are heard when no one’s around. Inside the house, located besides the lake, the sounds of glass shattering is heard as well as footsteps on the stairs. Doors tend to open, close, and even lock themselves. Even though the house hasn’t had power in well over 15 years, people passing by have seen lights turning on.

10. Clinton Valley Mental Institute- Pontiac, MI

Opened in 1878, this hospital was named Eastern Michigan Asylum and renamed to Pontiac State Hospital in 1911. It didn’t become Clinton Valley Mental Institute until 1973. It’s said that the patients were given intensive electroconvulsive therapy, or electroshock therapy. Over 31 hundred patients were housed before it closed down in October of 1997. Demolition began three years later and hundreds of patients were forced to wander the streets when it closed in 1997.

Before it was torn down, people could hear the sounds of metallic clanging, what sounded like someone thrashing on a gurney. Sometimes, they would witness this happening. Screams can be heard from old patient rooms and pictures taken both in and outside show misty apparitions. Even though the building is now torn down, pained moans and growls are still heard and apparitions can still be seen in pictures.

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