The state of Michigan is known to have its fair share of haunted places, gruesome history, and paranormal activity. In this video, I’ll dive deep into the MOST haunted places you’ll ever come across in the state of Michigan.
This blog is a direct transcript from the video below. This comes in 3 versions: You are able to watch the video, read the blog for your convenience or listen to the audio experience (which is linked under the video below).
What’s going on Everyone, Andrew McManamon here with living in Michigan and of course your all time favorite Michigan realtor, coming at you with part 3 of the most haunted places in Michigan, so if you haven't seen part one or two, I'll throw the links in the description so you can add them to your Michigan haunted video adventure.
Starting this list off with number one, is the well known Holly hotel. Located in Holly, Michigan and known to be one of the most haunted hotels in Michigan. These hotels are known to have frequent occurrences over and over again, and what’s interesting is these ghostly visitors tend to have quite different personalities and habits. Residents have said they smell a freshly lit cigar from time to time, and what most didn’t know is the original owner was known for sparking them up. Some question why a meat cleaver would be moving in the kitchen and little do they know it was once a little girl's favorite toy, and it is known she still plays in the kitchen to this day.
You might be wondering, what makes this hotel haunted? Well, take a step back to January 9th, 1913 when one of two fires consumed the hotel, and exactly 65 years later to the day and hour, another fire occurred at the hotel. When you visit this historic hotel, you’ll be greeted with open arms by the staff who will show you around and give you some insight as to what has happened over the years behind closed doors. It is known that ghosts stick around and have kept up on this residence over the years, Mr. Hirst who was the first owner of the hotel, which was appropriately named Hirst Hotel, passed away in the 1920’s, but is still considered the lord of the house. He is known to be the most frequent visitor out of the bunch. Smoking his cigars as I mentioned and making it known he dislikes noise and any renovations being done to what was once his. Hirst may be seen all over the hotel, but another popular spot for paranormal activity is in the Carry Nation Banquet Room. Where you’ll hear disembodied voices, laughter, and even muffled conversation.
You’ll also feel and hear the ghost of Nora Kane, who was the hostess of the house back in the day, where she would play music, small her perfume, and occasionally the faint image of her roaming the bar and back hallway in one of her dresses. On top of that, the feeling of Hirst’s terrier dog rubbing up against your legs and roaming through the hallways.
There are so many occurrences at the Holly Hotel, so if you’re someone interested in Paranormal activity, I highly suggest you add this destination to your bucket list. They have guest speakers and tell ghost stories in the Month of October.
Number two on the list is a very popular tourist area in Michigan, called Traverse City. In Particular, the Bowers Harbor Inn. Believe it or not, Traverse City is known to have an abundance of paranormal activity. In Part one or part two of this series, I talked about the Traverse City State Hospital, you’ll definitely want to hear the story behind that. In the Bowers Harbor Inn however, there are several rumors about a Ghost that inhabits this inn, and the question always comes down to, who is this ghost? It’s a very interesting story actually, to sum it up, Mr. and Mrs. Stickney purchased the farm in 1909, the home was then caught up in flames in 1927.
In 1947, the Mrs. passed away in 1947 at a hotel in Grand Rapids, and Mr. Stickney lived just two more years in the home with a caregiver who would be the one to inherit the Stickney fortune as they did not have any heirs. There were rumors the caregiver and Mr. Stickney had an affair, and the belief is Mrs. Stickney actually hung herself in the elevator shaft in the home due to jealousy, but the reality is she passed away in a Grand Rapids Hotel as I mentioned. The thought is Mrs. Stickney haunts the home due to the room preference that the paranormal activity happens most frequently. She enjoyed the women's bathroom at the top of the spiral staircase where a guest had an interaction of toilet paper being unraveled to their feet just to see there was no one there. Other theories speculate it could’ve been the Hartson family who passed away in the home prior to the Stickney's arrival.
On top of all that, guests and staff have said that the ghostly visitor still messes with music, lighting, dishes and the sound of chains being dragged across the floor. Someone actually was granted permission to leave a recording in the elevator where they would playback the footage and hear the whistling of a tea kettle and the sound of books hitting the ground. Today, the Bowers Harbor Inn is the Peninsula room, surrounded by acres of vineyards, offering quality cuisine and service. The Mission table, a place where guests relax and have a great meal by the fireplace, and of course, the Jolly Pumpkin. A brewery located in several locations around Michigan, but why not get your possible paranormal fix at the Traverse City location?
Stepping on over to number 3, the White River Light Station, located in Whitehall Michigan. For those of you not familiar with the location, it’s between Grand Haven and Ludington on the western coast of the state on Lake Michigan. Since Michigan has so many lakes, it’s no secret that we have an abundance of lighthouses, but this one in particular attracts visitors from every direction to learn more about its history and paranormal happenings.
Built in 1875, where Captain Willian Robinson served as the lighthouse's first keeper, died in 1919 at the age of 87 and is said to still haunt the building to this day. It’s said that once the lighthouse’s duties ceased and transitioned into a museum that there have been numerous claims of paranormal activity throughout the lighthouse. A former curator said she would hear coupled footsteps late at night from the captain and his wife Sarah. Another curator has even explained that chores and other tasks would simply be completed without the presence of anyone else, as if the ghosts of the captain and his wife take on a physical form to keep their space neat and tidy. To this day, this lighthouse serves as a museum to share the history and stories that have happened over the last several decades.
Moving on to number 4, the legend of the Ada Witch. I believe one of the views of the other parts in this series brought this one up, so I figured I would dive a little more into it and share it with everyone. Lets jump back to sometime in the 1800’s, where a woman was very much unfaithful to her husband, and taking time during the night to meet with another man while her husband was sleeping.
One night, her husband got a little suspicious and stayed awake, pretending to be asleep to see if he could figure out exactly what his wife was doing on these nights. After following his wife, he saw his wife and the mysterious lover together. The husband went crazy and attacked them both, killing his wife and battling the lover until their wounds were so extensive that they both ended up having a very gruesome death. All this took place at the Findlay Cemetery in Ada, Michigan.
People who have visited this cemetery over the years have said they see a “woman in white”, and bluish-green fog or mist, along with the sound of footsteps and screaming. On top of that, visitors have said they feel themselves being physically touched by a spirit, tapped on the shoulder, and hear the sounds of fighting with the faint sound of a woman crying. There's a gravestone with a date of 1870 on it, where people believe it is the Ada Witches grave.
This story might sound a little familiar, as it started to become more popular with the release of the movie Blair witch project in 1999. Due to several occurrences of vandalism and trespassing, this cemetery has had an eye on it, and has requested all guests to be respectful, and if you’re interested in extremely old tombstones, you’ll definitely want to make a visit to the Findlay Cemetery.
Number 5 on this list we have the story of the Felt Mansion in Saugatuck, Michigan. Construction of the mansion began in 1925 when the owner Dorr E. Felt purchased numerous pieces of land in Lake town Township. Felt, a legendary businessman known for his invention of the Comptograph, which was a key-driven mechanical calculator, decided to finally settle down with his wife Agnes and their four daughters on over a thousand acres to build the home of their dreams. Just a few years later, the family moved into this three-story, 25 room mansion.
It was hardly 6 weeks after moving in and Door E. Felt’s wife Agnes passed away due to an unknown illness, and just two years after that, Felt passed away in his Chicago home where he was living with his new wife. After the passing of the Felt’s, the daughters were given the mansion where it was owned until 1949, when it was purchased by a Catholic seminary preparation school, where it housed priests and their students. 14 years later, the seminary building was tacked onto the west side of the Felt Mansion. Another 14 years passed and the building was purchased by the state and became a police post while the building transitioned into a correctional facility. The usage of this building was so low that it ended up shutting down and the majority of the thousand acres became the Saugatuck Dunes State Park and a small chunk of the land went back to Lake town Township. As far as the mansion itself, it was preserved and operated by the public. The story doesn’t sound so bad so far, but it actually takes a very dark turn after the building was restored in 2001.
There was a story that children with Hydrocephalus (hydro-sefa-lis), a condition where there’s an abnormal buildup of fluid in the brain, often referred to the slang term Melon heads, created a plan to come back and kill all the doctors that abused them over the years, and disembodied them, hiding their body parts throughout the mansion. The mansion is said to be haunted by these individuals and bodiless doctors. Visitors have stated they have seen ghostly figures of children with larger heads, and voices of them as they run down the hallways of the mansion. Outside of the mansion, throughout all the wooded acreage, visitors have said they have seen groups of huddled children throughout the area.
On top of that, the mansion is said to be haunted by Agnes Felt, where visitors have said they’ve seen a lady figure roaming the halls and disappearing in the walls. During the times of restorations, workers have said they heard doors open and close on the second floor. The project manager of the restoration mentioned during the decorating for the Christmas holiday that she rolled out a rug in what was once Agnes’s room to come back to see it rolled up. After several attempts of rolling it back out, she would come to find it rolled back up. The last time she came back, the rug was gone and rolled out in a different room. Today, the mansion is used as a venue for several events and ceremonies, along with tours and history nights.
Last but not least, we have number 6, The Calumet Theater. Located in Calumet, Michigan. For those of you not familiar with this location, it’s located on the most northern tip on the upper peninsula's shark fin between Houghton and Copper harbor. This place was rated on Travel Channels ``Most terrifying places” during their Ghostober television series a few years ago. Opened in 1900, and actually a destination for a lot of film stars to see live shows and plays, several celebrities have passed through the theater doors, but it was the death of one of these celebrity performers that has made this destination among the most terrifying. Madame Helena Modjeska, passed away in 1909 at the age of 68. It wasn’t until 1958 when one of the actresses performing forgot her lines, and began to look up at the balcony to see the ghost of Madame Helena mouthing the lines the actress had forgotten. After this point, several visitors and staff have come forward staging they have seen Madame Helena roaming the theater, and hearing music that simply comes out of thin air.
The paranormal activity doesn’t stop at Madame Helena. In 1903, a man and a little girl died in the theater, and there have been reports of screaming from both these individuals. Then 10 years later, at the historic Italian Hall, a disaster occurred during Christmas Eve when someone yelled “FIRE” and everyone ran to the closest exit carrying their loved ones, but with so much panic in the moment, people tripped, fell, crushed others and suffocated. By the time everyone was out, the death toll hit 70, and the majority of them were children. The saddest part of the story is, there wasn’t even a fire, it was a joke brought on by the numerous cocktails from the Christmas Eve celebration. All the deceased individuals were then brought back to the theater, and visitors to this day say they hear the laughing, playing and screaming of several children.
The pressing question I ask in each part of this series is, have you been to anywhere haunted in Michigan? If so, drop your experience in the comments below. And If you’re one of those people obsessed with haunted places, and paranormal activity, be sure to stick around for the other two parts of this series.
HAUNTED MICHIGAN SERIES 🔦
→Haunted Places In Michigan Part One: https://youtu.be/rWCec9UaBtE
→Haunted Places In Michigan Part Two: https://youtu.be/yIQOm3xAEoo
Andrew McManamon is a Michigan REALTOR® with Signature Sotheby’s International Realty and provides real estate services to Buyers, Sellers and Investors throughout SE Michigan including Livingston County, Oakland County, Washtenaw County, Genesee County & beyond. Andrew has become one of the rising stars of Michigan real estate agents. Prior to his real estate career Andrew was responsible for managing a senior living facility in Brighton, Michigan as a dining supervisor and an activities assistant. Andrew’s passion to help people is unlike any other, and he continues to strive to be best resource he can be. Andrew graduated from Cleary University in Howell, Michigan with a double major and currently resides in White Lake, Michigan.