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Uncovering Michigan’s Haunted History!

In celebration of Halloween, we’ve dug up 31 haunted sites around Michigan worth a visit. 

  1. Michigan State Capitol – Lansing
    It is said that several people died within this 1878 building, many of them construction workers who were on the job as early as 1872. According to, among those who died were a roofer, painter and an elevator maintenance worker who was electrocuted. Also, a legislative page who was killed in the 1880s after trying to jump in between the grand staircase floor rails, falling two stories to his death. Rumor has it that several ghosts of those who passed here still haunt the halls as people report seeing apparitions or feeling cold spots.
  2. Grill House – Allegan
    Haunted by the ghost of “Jack” – a lumberjack who died during a barroom brawl in the mid- 1800s. He’s buried somewhere on the property, without a tombstone, yet his spirit is often seen in the lower level Rock Bottom Bar. Described as about 6-foot, 2-inches, he sports jeans and a flannel shirt, as one would expect from a lumberman.
  3. The Whitney Restaurant – Detroit
    Built in 1894 as the family home of lumber baron David Whitney Jr., this upscale restaurant is home to several spirits including those of Whitney and his wife, Flora (who died before construction was complete). Even the bar inside this eatery is called Ghostbar and Paranormal Dinners are held twice a month (the first and fourth Sunday of every month, beginning at 5pm). This dinner starts with an historical champagne tour of the mansion, followed by a 5-course dinner with selected spirits and ending with a paranormal expedition through the mansion, gardens and carriage house. Reservations are limited to 20 people (aged 21 and over only).
  4. Pere Cheney Cemetery – Crawford County
    A noted witch here cursed the village with outbreaks of disease and disastrous fires. She was later hung from a tree in the cemetery, where she remains today. Visitors here have also reported seeing ghosts, figures, glowing orbs, lights and hearing voices, including the sounds of children laughing, as well as handprints on their cars.,_Michigan
  5. Holly Hotel – Holly
    Sounds of a child’s footsteps, glasses falling off shelves and disembodied voices are among the paranormal activity at this 1891 hotel built by John Hirst. He is one of three believed ghosts and each October the current owners host a series of public seances and other paranormal events.
  6. The Village at Grand Traverse Commons – Traverse City
    Built in 1885, the Northern Michigan Asylum or Traverse City State Hospital, was closed in 1989. Over the years, visitors to the now Village at Grand Traverse Commons, have reported seeing ghosts, feeling unseen forces and experiencing drastic changes in air and energy. Bodiless voices from abandoned areas, unexplained lights and footsteps are also commonly reported. Another story tells a priest of the asylum’s chapel who allegedly hung himself there, perhaps driven to do so by dark spirits. Tours of the facility, including the tunnels underneath, are held on a regular basis. While you’re in the neighborhood be sure to go in search of the Hippie Tree (aka the portal to Hell).
  7. Michigan Theatre – Jackson
    When this theatre opened in the 1930s, vaudeville stars graced its stage. Then came movies. Over the years, ghost stories have surfaced with witnesses claiming to have an eerie feeling of being watched by something invisible or experiencing a sense of dread. In 2018, the Central Michigan Paranormal Investigations spent time exploring the theatre searching for spirits. Among the findings? “One of our investigators was up in the ladies; bathroom. They have this huge mirror and she was talking about how cool that mirror was. And on a voice recorder we heard someone saying ‘it’s cold in here.’”
  8. Mission Point Hotel – Mackinac Island
    Built in the 1950s by the Moral Re-Armament movement, the building was donated to be used as Mackinac College in 1966 (a four-year school that graduated only one class, in 1970). The primary ghost is that of a former student they call “Harvey” who had a girlfriend that he wanted to marry. Turns out she didn’t feel as strong as he did and after she turned down his proposal, he went into the woods and committed suicide. This spirit is known to flirt with female guests and joke around with the men. This site was even featured in 2012 on the SyFy Channel’s popular show Ghost Hunters.
  9. Felt Mansion – Laketown Township
    Dorr Felt built this elaborate 12,000-square-foot Georgian-style mansion in the 1920s and naming the home and its property Shore Acres Farms. Some believe his wife, Agnes, is the spirit that walks the halls and opens the French doors to her bedroom. Over the years, the property has been home to the St. Augustine Seminary for Boys and the Dunes Correctional Facility, a minimum-security prison. Ghostly shadows have been viewed waltzing in the ballroom, heavy doors are known to open and close by themselves and Mrs. Felt is even known to scold visitors who are “offensive” in her presence. The area is also rumored to be haunted by “Melon Heads” who roam the woods around the property
  10. Amway Grand Plaza Hotel – Grand Rapids
    According to, this 1913 hotel is “filled with stunning architecture, and even ranked among the top hotels in the nation, the Pantlind was acquired by the Amway Corporation in 1979, but many residents never checked out. The stories of residents’ deaths, including a woman’s death in an elevator, are all a part of the character of the Amway. Hotel guests can still discover mischievous ghosts who clean, dance, and roam the halls — it’s quite a party here anytime of year.
  11. Doherty Hotel – Clare
    Built in the 1920s, this hotel became a speakeasy where alcohol, gambling and easy women were rampant. The mobsters, such as the Purple Gang and even notorious gangster Al Capone, were known to frequent this area. And, murders were inevitable. In 1938, oil promoter Jack Livingston shot and killed his cousin, Purple Gang lawyer/businessman Isaiah Leebove in the “Tap Room” hotel bar. Isaiah’s ghost is one of many to haunt the hotel today, along with the Doherty family matriarch, Helen Doherty. Apparitions are even said to lock and unlock doors, while some have noted the sounds of unexplained knocking.
  12. The Antlers Restaurant – Sault Ste Marie
    Formerly operated as a speakeasy and brothel, the building is believed to be haunted by both a lady of the night & possibly a waitress. Doors have been known to open on their own and office equipment to turn on and off by itself. On one investigation, a team member was pushed on a stairway in the kitchen by an unseen force. According to the Upper Peninsula Paranormal Research Society (UPPRS the Soo has its fair share of ghosts in everyday establishments (for more, check out “Yoopernatural Haunts: Upper Peninsula Paranormal Research Society Case Files” by Brad Blair, Tim Ellis and Steve LaPlaunt). The Antlers is also a great place to visit when attending the annual MiParacon.
  13. Stafford’s Perry Hotel – Petoskey
    Most stories from the 1899 Perry involve a ghost named Doris. She is typically seen “floating” around in the upstairs in the library, moving books from place to place. She has also been known to peer out the upstairs windows above the garden. There is also the report of a headless coachman, dressed in early 1900s clothing standing outside the yellow brick hotel. offers walking ghost tours throughout downtown, which include the Perry.
  14. Ramsdell Theatre – Manistee
    Built in 1903 in the heart of the Victorian Port City, the theatre’s most “famous” performer is none other than James Earl Jones – who was raised in nearby Brethren. The spirit here is that of Thomas Jefferson (T.J.) Ramsdell and an unknown woman who have both been spotted in the upper balcony area. Lights are known to come back on after they’ve been turned off for the night, and windows that were once closed are reported open even though no one remembers doing so. According to, a promotional photo taken a few years ago even reveals Ramsdell floating in the air near the balcony seats.
  15. National House Inn – Marshall
    Noted as a stop on the underground railroad, this brick bed-and-breakfast inn sits overlooking the Brooks Memorial Fountain in downtown (the exact center of Calhoun County they say). Built in 1835, this historic inn was once a stop on the Underground Railroad and today remains home to a “Lady in Red” who makes her appearance known to staff and guests.
  16. Henderson Castle – Kalamazoo
    One of Kalamazoo’s most noted residents, Frank Henderson – president of the Henderson-Ames Company which made uniform regalia for secret societies, fraternal organizations, and the military, built an elegant castle f-or his wife, Mary, up on a hill overlooking the downtown in the late 1890s. The Queen Anne style home was built at a cost of $72,000 and featured among other things seven bathrooms (one with a 13-head shower), an elevator, third floor ballroom and more…including ghosts! Listed by Thrillist as one of the “top haunted places in Michigan,” people have reported seeing or sensing the presence of Frank, Mary, a Spanish-American War veteran who served with the Hendersons’ son, a little girl and a dog. Today, this home operates as a quaint bed and breakfast and French restaurant.
  17. Landmark Hotel – Marquette
    Constructed over the course of 13 years (1917-1930) as the Northland Hotel, this property welcomed guests until the 1970s before closing in 1982. After renovations and a re-opening in 1997, strange activity began to be reported. The sixth-floor Lilac Room of the former Northland Hotel is noted as the “most haunted” of the rooms – with the first guest complaining that there were screws in his bed – even after housekeeping changed the sheets. There have also been reports of phone calls coming from that room to the front desk, when no one is checked into that room. The “Librarian” is the most notable ghost on premise (also connected to the Lilac Room). As the story goes, this spinster woman and a sailor fell in love and made plans to get married. However, his ship sank and he was lost at sea. The heartbroken woman has been seen standing in the window of her room waiting for her love to return.
  18. Mission Table & Jolly Pumpkin — Old Mission Peninsula, Traverse City
    Built in the 1880s as a summer retreat for Chicago lumber baron J.W. Stickney and his wife, Genevive, this grand 11-acre estate is settled along West Grand Traverse Bay under a canopy of oak and towering pine trees. Described as an obese woman, Genevive eventually had an elevator installed in the home, so she could travel between the various levels with greater ease. About this same time, J.W. hired a nurse to help care for her (a woman who it turns out also became J.W.’s mistress). Upon his death, J.W. bequeath his riches to the nurse; leaving only the summer home to his wife. The situation further depressed the fragile Genevive – so much so that she eventually hung herself from the rafters of the elevator shaft. The home was eventually converted into a fine dining restaurant – Bowers Harbor Inn and now, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin. Yet regardless of the name, the spirit of Genevive lives on. Over the years, her ghost has been known to turn on lights, knock mirrors or paintings off the wall and even turn on the elevator. Guests have also reported a female apparition in photographs taken on site.
  19. Nahma Inn — Nahma (Delta County)
    Built in the early 1900s, this historic inn once welcomed guests to this thriving lumber town (built up around the Bay de Noquet Lumber Company). In the 1930s, one of the residents was a woman named Nellie Fleming – who worked at the lumber company as secretary to the owner, Charles Ellis Good. Apparently, she was in love with Good – and rumor has it they had a brief affair, but the two never married (much to her disappointment). Rumor has it her spirit still hangs around the inn waiting for the love of her life to return to her…which isn’t likely to happen now more than 70 years since their respective passing.
  20. The Terrace Inn – Petoskey
    Ghosts have been seen, heard, and felt by several guests and employees. Documented records written by those people who chose to share their experience can be signed out at the front desk on request. Many paranormal investigations have taken place here, and psychics, “sensitives” and others with extra sensory abilities have filled in the missing pieces of the spirits inhabiting the Inn. For the past few years, this inn has hosted the Little Traverse Bay Paranormal Festival (typically in October).
  21. Griswold Auditorium – Allegan
    This 650-seat theater was built in 1929 with money left by one of the community’s founding mothers and lumber baroness Marilla Griswold. Even though she died in 1919 in an apartment a few blocks away, many question whether it is her spirit that still lingers. Another possible ghost is that of Abbie Smith, who was very active with the Allegan Community Players, Michigan’s oldest theater company. Accounts of strange activity have been reported within the theater, specifically the stage area, including the sound system cutting out completely during recitals and other events (with no reasonable explanation for the outage).
  22. Grand Hotel – Mackinac Island
    Local legend has it that construction workers uncovered human remains while digging the hotel’s foundation, which could be the basis for the paranormal activity at this iconic hotel circa 1887. According to, “a maintenance man, working on the hotel’s theater stage, reported that the black mass rushed after him, knocking him off his feet. He awoke two days later, and never returned. Staff have reported seeing a man in a top hat playing the bar’s piano. Others see a woman in Victorian clothing who roams the halls, even getting into beds.”
  23. Eloise Psychiatric Hospital / Asylum – Westland
    The Eloise Asylum (built in 1839) was also known as the Wayne County Poor House, which later became a hospital that featured a cemetery with over 7,000 graves. The complex, which spanned over 900 acres with more than 70 buildings, had its own police and fire department, bakery and railroad. It was noted as one of the first hospitals to use x-rays for diagnosis and was also home to the first kidney dialysis unit in Michigan. The facility had a radium treatment for cancer patients, and the sanitarium was one of the first to use “open air” treatment for tuberculosis patients. But, some psychiatric patients underwent electroshock and insulin shock therapy. According to, after the Great Depression, the population of the complex started to decrease, as reports of violence, questionable conditions, misconduct and overall neglect surfaced. Farm operations ceased in 1958, and the psychiatric division began to close in 1977 when the state took over. The hospital stopped business in 1984 and its ruins are believed to be haunted. Witnesses have reported apparitions, often a woman wearing white, moans, screams and roars. Today only eight buildings remain, the rest of the land around the facility is being converted into condos, a strip mall and golf course. A variety of paranormal investigations have taken place here (and most sell out within minutes), including events hosted by Detroit Paranormal Expeditions.
  24. Museum Ship Valley Camp – Sault Ste. Marie
    Although no known tragedy is associated with the ship itself, it does house artifacts from shipwrecks which resulted in the loss of life according to “On one occasion, a heavy coughing sound was heard in the old coal furnace area. When asked what the sound was, a voice was captured on a recording device stating ‘I am coughing.’ Shadowy figures have also been reported on the ship’s deck at night.”
  25. Schuler’s Restaurant – Marshall
    Founded in 1909 by Albert Schuler, this iconic Michigan restaurant celebrates 110 years this year. While the hotel has long since closed, the pub still serves up its famous and complimentary Heritage cheese spread and crackers, prime rib, Swiss onion soup, barbecue meatballs and peppermint ribbon pie. Occasionally, however, Albert makes his presence known to both staff and guests. This community itself has spirted tales tied to the National House Inn (#12) and the 1839 Governor’s Mansion (Marshall was one of the cities considered for the Michigan State Capitol when founded in 1837). Marshall is also home to the American Museum of Magic, which pays tribute to legendary figures such as Harry Blackwell (Jr. and Sr.) and Harry Houdini.
  26. Old Town Playhouse – Traverse City
    The history of the Old Town Playhouse began in April 1960 when Elnora Milliken, who earlier founded the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, gathered Interlochen faculty and 40 local theatre buffs to stage the play “You Can’t Take It with You” at a local school. Early seasons of the Traverse City Civic Players entertained the community but soon they outgrew their space and sought a home with larger facilities – which they found when they purchased the First Christian Church in 1975. Today, this cultural gem hosts countless programs with the help of volunteers, actors, directors, singers, dancers, producers, set builders, ushers, costumers and the resident spirit! According to stories, peering faces have been reported inside the church-turned-theater along with other unexplained activities. But who are these ghosts? According to writer / broadcaster John Robinson of WFMK, there are two possible leads. Ghost #1 – a Jamaican named Aaron Chamberlain who became the caretaker and custodian, who is believed to have died from an accident. Or, Ghost #2: a young man named Eric who “was one of the playhouse’s most active and involved players throughout the 80s & 90s. He was well-liked by everyone there, and his death at a young age [possible by suicide] left a cloud of sadness throughout the playhouse.”
  27. Historic Fort Wayne – Detroit
    This was the third Fort built in this area of Detroit, named after Revolutionary War hero General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, who had taken possession of Detroit from the British in 1786. The 96-acre site with its unique star fortification configuration was completed in 1851 along the banks of the Detroit River, just a stone’s throw from the then British-controlled Canada. Designed to house more than 70 cannons and allowed for the utmost of protection against the enemy, no unfriendly shots were ever fired from the shot (before any artillery had been installed, the United States and Britain peacefully resolved their differences). The site served as a military outpost (more soldiers passed through Fort Wayne on their way to serve our country than any other outpost in American history—heading off to fight in the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War). Two weeks into the American Civil War, the Michigan 1st Volunteer Infantry Regiment was ushered into service at Fort Wayne. Over the next four years, the fort served not only as a mustering center for local troops but was also a recovery center for veterans injured in battle. There is also evidence that slaves looking to escape to Canada found their way here as a final stop on the Underground Railroad, ferried out of the country to freedom by an Irish farmer who lived next to the fort. With so much history, there’s no wonder there are spirits still roaming the grounds. Paranormal investigators, volunteers, historians and others have experienced apparitions, footsteps, voices and more. Throughout the fall season, join storytellers as they reveal legends and tales you will not hear on the daytime tours. This is a guided tour with stops at various sites where the stories will be told. Presented in partnership with Detroit Parks and Recreation Department.
  28. Hoyt Library – Saginaw
    Recently a documentary was produced and released focused in on the spirits inside this historic library. According to the IMDB listing for A Haunting at the Hoyt Library: “For years, the Hoyt Library has made headlines as one of the most haunted locations in the entire Midwest. Finally, a documentary film crew was allowed complete access to investigate the numerous claims of paranormal activity. What they captured on audio and video will leave no room for doubt. Rooted in the heart of downtown Saginaw, the historic Hoyt Library has guarded its citizens’ history and lineage for over 125 years. A literal gateway to the past, this stately and opulent landmark houses one of Michigan’s largest collections of literature, artifacts, and documents… but according to patrons and staff, it also houses a collection of lost and restless souls. Follow the investigators as they wander through a 40,000 square foot maze of fear and uncertainty, unaware of what awaits around the corner.
  29. South Lyon Hotel – South Lyon
    The first establishment was built here in 1867 (upon the grounds of an old cemetery) known as The Lyon Hotel or Moody House. It’s not sure how far back the first ghost story dates, but its location on a burial ground is likely part of the cause of such spirited activity. It is said that Hiram Jones and Gates Dunlap did move the bodies to a new location (for $2.50 per body) and it wasn’t until all the bodies were located that construction began on the hotel. But, one can never tell (it wouldn’t be the first time that headstones were moved, while the bodies were quietly left in their original resting places). That business operated until the building burned down in 1910 (the first of three notable fires over its 150-year history). The building was reconstructed and named the Commercial House – known for a brief period as the Whipple House. Another fire was reported in the 1970s (#2), resulting in one casualty. The building did survive and was converted into a restaurant and bar. In 2016, a third fire destroyed the South Lyon Hotel (which was again rebuilt and reopened in 2017). Over the years, employees have reported hearing voices when no one is around, seeing shadows and having TVs turn off and on all by themselves. One employee reported seeing a little girl standing at the top of the stairs, while others report ghostly activity in the women’s upstairs restroom.
  30. State Theatre – Kalamazoo
    The Kalamazoo State Theatre, built in 1927, has been the host of an incredibly broad variety of shows, which makes it no surprise that there are supposedly multiple entities that have stayed after their lifetime to haunt the theatre, according to a 2016 article in the Western Herald (the student newspaper for Western Michigan University). “The KST staff has reported experiencing various paranormal activity that seem common when it comes to haunted locations. The staff has reported hearing footsteps throughout the building, different objects around the theatre mysteriously moving from their original place as well as some even being tapped on the shoulder, only to turn around and be alone in the room. The Kalamazoo Paranormal Investigators have captured as much as a girl singing, a woman speaking, and also a voice recording of n bodiless voice saying the name ‘Tom,’ the name of the venue manager that has been employed at the KST for over 20 years.
  31. John A. Lau Saloon – Alpena
    The oldest historic saloon in town is still slinging drinks, just as it has since John and Agnes Lau opened its doors in the late 1800s. According to the Alpena Area Convention & Visitors Bureau website at, “the ghost that haunts John A. Lau is said to be that of Agnes, John’s wife who died on June 24, 1913. There are several speculations as to the cause of death with the most investigated being that she died of consumption (TB); other stories say she died in childbirth or in a boating accident near the Saginaw area. Although we cannot be sure as to the cause death, we do know that she has made the Lau her home in the afterlife. Employees say that sometimes she will tip their trays over and play pranks in the cellar, scaring the wits out of them! Diners have also captured the ghost of Agnes on film (see the John A. Lau website for photos). In fact, Agnes has become so popular after her death, that Mid Michigan Paranormal Investigators launched their own investigation on several occasions with rather interesting results.

You may have noticed that we didn’t include any of Michigan’s haunted lighthouses in this write up. Truth be told, we could fill every one of the 31 spots on this list with a ghostly tale from one of our many historic lighthouses. Nearly 40 of Michigan’s 120 lighthouses are also rumored to be haunted…and 13 of those are included in the pages of “Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses”…available online from