Ghost Hunting On Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island is haunted.
The resort destination, which sits right between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas in the western-most waters of Lake Huron, has a turbulent past.
It was a sacred burial ground for Anishinaabe Indians, then a fort for British soldiers during the Revolution, a fort for American soldiers until the War of 1812 (when it was recaptured by the British) and the site for a number of bloody battles.
The United States maintained a garrison on the island through the end of the 19th century when Mackinac finally became a resort full time for pleasure-seekers from Detroit and Chicago.
A visit to the island justifies itself; it’s a beautiful tourist stop rich with history and remarkable architecture. However, by adding a few ghosts to the mix, your stay on the island can be one of the most memorable of your road trip.
The island’s most visible landmark is the Grand Hotel, built a hundred years ago and one of the island’s crown jewels. Reportedly home to a number of ghosts, it’s the best place to begin your hunt.
Locals say during the building’s construction, workers unearthed so many human remains they lost track of the number. Hotel employees tell tales of seeing apparitions late at night in the hallways and finding furniture inexplicably moved.
The local favorite is a story of a black shapeless mass with red eyes that two maintenance men reported seeing while working on the hotel’s stage.
Elsewhere on the island, visitors have seen the ghosts of garrison soldiers walking Rifle Range Trail and have reported hearing the sounds of a fife playing old military tunes through the early morning fog near the fort’s North Sally Port Entrance.
The strangest place on the island is a drop-off known as the Drowning Pool. Situated between the island’s downtown quarter and the Mission Point Resort, the Drowning Pool is a 20-foot drop where early inhabitants of the island would force confessions from women they suspected to be witches. If the women refused to confess, they were weighted with stones and pushed off the drop-off’s edge.
Visitors today talk about seeing ghostly shadows rise from the water or hearing large splashes like someone’s been dropped into the waves.
Ghost hunting on Mackinac can be a thrilling break from shopping and sunbathing on the island. Most of the locals have their own ghost stories to share and tips on the best places to have a spooky encounter.