Michigan is home to lots of natural wonders: the Great Lakes, gorgeous beaches, and lush forests. And all of those are cool, but it’s Halloween season, so instead of any of that beautiful stuff, I’d like to introduce you to another side of the state – spooky, haunted places in Michigan that are definitely worth a visit this Halloween… if you dare!
The Detroit Masonic Temple
Photo by Tialie Simpson
What it is: The largest Masonic Temple in the world, with more than 1000 rooms that include three theaters, a swimming pool, and a bowling alley.
Where it’s located: 500 Temple St., Detroit
Why it’s haunted: Some say that the spirit of the Temple’s architect, George D. Mason, haunts the halls of this enormous building. Apparently, it was rumored that shortly after its completion, Mason jumped off the roof to his death. He actually lived to be 92, but who knows? Maybe his ghost decided to stick around and continue admiring his work. Plus, the Temple’s huge number of rooms and neo-gothic design totally make it seem like a place where spooks would congregate, right?
Learn more about it: On the University of Michigan’s Population Studies Center website
South Manitou Island
Photo by Geoffrey George
What it is: A small island in Lake Michigan. It’s part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Where it’s located: Leelanau County
Why it’s haunted: The North and South Manitou Islands are said by the Chippewa to represent the spirits of two bears who were separated from their mother and drowned. That’s kind of discomforting already, but here’s another tale: supposedly a ship full of people sick with cholera stopped on the island, and the sailors decided to take the opportunity to bury them all alive. And people say you can still hear their screams to this day! If that weren’t bad enough, the island is full of shipwrecks and abandoned settlements from the island’s first residents. Pure creepiness.
Learn more about it: On Michigan State University’s Department of Geography website
The Hippie Tree
Photo by Steven Depolo
What it is: An old, colorfully-painted tree. The heart has rotted away, but its long trunks remain.
Where it’s located: Traverse City, near the old State Hospital
Why it’s haunted: “Abandoned mental hospital grounds” is enough to send a chill down most people’s spines, but this creepy tree takes it further. It may look bright and inviting, but legends say that the local woods, and especially the tree, are haunted by the spirits of people who died in the hospital. Some visitors have mentioned hearing moans, feeling odd vibrations, or seeing shadows. Oh yeah, and it’s also claimed that there’s an actual portal to Hell somewhere within the tree’s branches.
Learn more about it: In this article by Atlas Obscura
Photo by Jim Roberts
What it is: A bed-and-breakfast and historic home.
Where it’s located: 100 Monroe St., Kalamazoo
Why it’s haunted: Many people who have stayed at the Henderson have noted some strange experiences – hearing ghostly whispers and footsteps, seeing specters dressed in Victorian fashion, and other phenomena. The home is believed to be haunted by its original owners, Frank and Mary Henderson, and probably several other individuals. Among haunted places in Michigan, this one is unusual because I didn’t find any sources saying a tragedy took place here, so it’s not clear why the ghosts are hanging around.
Learn more about it: On the Henderson Castle’s website
Holy Family Orphanage
Photo by P. Gordon
What it is: An orphanage opened in 1915 for Native American children to try to help them assimilate into white culture. It was run by nuns, hence the “holy” description. It closed in 1982 and has been abandoned since.
Where it’s located: Marquette, in the Upper Peninsula
Why it’s haunted: Some former occupants have stated that the nuns were abusive, and one legend says that when a young girl ventured outside in the winter and died in the cold, the nuns displayed her dead body as a cautionary tale to the other residents. Pretty disturbing, as is the fact that visitors have claimed to hear children crying within the decrepit interior. If you want to check it out, act fast; there are plans to convert the building into apartments.
Learn more about it: In this article from ClickOnDetroit
There you have it: Onenie’s top recommendations for the most haunted places in Michigan you might want to explore this Halloween. Remember to show respect to any place you visit, and don’t leave graffiti or litter behind. Who knows? The ghosts may just choose to show you their wrath in revenge.