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15 Haunted Lighthouses to Explore in Pure Michigan

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Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state...and many are rumored to be haunted!

15 Haunted Lighthouses to Explore in Pure Michigan

  1. 1. 15 Haunted Lighthouses to explore in Pure Michigan! Dianna Stampfler
  2. 2. Did you know… Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state —117 protect the Great Lakes shorelines, with the oldest (Fort Gratiot) dating back to 1825. Many of these lights are open to the public for tours, some offer a B&B or “Keeper Program” and more than two dozen are rumored to be haunted (perhaps with the ghosts of former keepers). Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association ( 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  3. 3. The Ghost of Captain James S. Donahue — South Haven A disabled veteran of the Civil War (losing his leg in the Battle of the Wilderness), Captain James S. Donahue began his service in South Haven in April, 1874—at the age of 32. He retired in 1910 at the age of 75, after saving 15 lives. His ghost is said to still walk the halls of the keeper’s residence, which sits on a bluff overlooking the Black River, the beach, pier and lighthouse). 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  4. 4. The Ghost of Captain Bill Robinson—White River Light Station Bill Robinson and his wife, Sarah, came to the Whitehall area in 1867 from England with the hopes of him securing work in the thriving Lumber industry. Bill was instrumental in the first lighthouse being built here in 1875 and he was rewarded for his service by being appointed the first keeper. He served 44 years, until 1919, when he passed away at the light. It is said that both he and Sarah still reside at the lighthouse museum. 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  5. 5. The Ghosts of Aaron & Julia Sheridan—South Manitou Island A Civil War soldier, Aaron Sheridan and his wife, Julia, began tending the South Manitou Island Lighthouse in 1866 until they died in a tragic boating accident just off the coast of the island in 1878. Aaron, who lost the use of an arm during his military service, was unable to save himself, his wife or their infant son, Robert, that frigid April day. It is believed their ghosts haunt the lighthouse. 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  6. 6. The Ghosts at Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Northport There are different opinions as to the ghost(s) at Grand Traverse Lighthouse—inside the Leelanau State Park in Northport. All three theories are tied to former keepers: Peter Nelson (keeper from 1874- 1890), James McCormick (keeper from 1822-1938) or John Markin (keeper from 1960-1967). Rumors of voices, footsteps and the smell of bacon are attributed to someone! 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  7. 7. The Ghost of Harrison “Tip” Miller—Beaver Head Island Light Tip Miller was appointed keeper of the Beaver Head Island Light (on the south end of the island) in 1863 along with his wife and their 10 children. He also worked at the lifesaving station at Whiskey Point, where the St. James Harbor Light stood. This long-time resident still believes to walk the grounds around the lighthouse, which is now part of the Beaver Island Lighthouse School (part of the Charlevoix Public Schools). 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  8. 8. The Ghost of John Herman—Waugoshance Shoal Light John Herman tended this Lake Michigan light, just southwest of Mackinaw City, from 1887 until 1900. This keeper had a fondness for two things: a good practical joke and a good stiff drink. Those two didn’t mix well on the night of October 14, 1900. After locking his assistant in the tower, the prankster is believed to have fallen into the water and drowned. His ghost continued to hang around for another 10 years, before the light was decommissioned. 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  9. 9. The Ghost of Captain Joseph Townsend-Seul Choix Point Countless people have had spirited encounters with the ghost of Captain Joseph Townsend at this remote Upper Peninsula lighthouse. After dying on August 12, 1910, his body was embalmed in the basement and lay in state for nearly 3 weeks while his family made the trek to pay their respects. A heavy cigar smoker, the scent of his habit is just one of the many unexplained situations that have been noted over time. 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  10. 10. The Ghost of Mary Terry—Sand Point Lighthouse The first keeper at this 1868 Escanaba lighthouse was to be John Terry, but he died before it was complete. His wife, Mary, was appointed in his place—serving for 18 years until she died during a mysterious fire in 1886. It is believed that she encountered an intruder breaking into the lighthouse, that she was killed and a fire was started to disguise her murder—which has never been solved. Her ghost is believed to still haunt the museum. 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  11. 11. The Ghost of William Prior—Big Bay Point Lighthouse Red-headed keeper William Prior was a workaholic, even when it came to his son who assisted with duties at this Lake Superior lighthouse. When the son, Edward, was injured on the job in 1900 the hardnosed keeper shook it off and failed to get his son treatment. Edward soon died from an infection, and the last anyone saw William, he was headed to the woods with a rope. His body was found later that year and he is often seen walking the grounds, still distraught. 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  12. 12. The Ghost at Whitefish Point Light Station The remodeled lifesaving crew quarters at Whitefish Point along the Lake Superior shoreline, is rumored to be haunted—and following the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, 40 years ago (November 10, 1975), that makes sense. Paranormal activity has been reported here for years, and many visitors to the B&B-style complex report strange occurrences in the early morning hours. 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  13. 13. The Ghosts of Point Iroquois Light Station The sight of a bloody Native American battle, shadowy apparitions have been seen around the grounds here. There are also reports that a ghost of a young girl has been seen in the area—believed to be the victim of a bear attack many years ago. Paranormal investigators have been to this site many times, and strange activity is always reported. Point Iroquois Light Station 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  14. 14. The Crying Ghost at New Presque Isle Lighthouse The ghost at this 1870 lighthouse, one of the tallest on the Great Lakes, is rumored to be haunted by the wife of a former keeper. Legend has it that he would lock her in the tower when he would trek off to town to visit his girlfriend. The cries of the heartbroken wife can be heard echoing throughout the tower. 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  15. 15. The Ghost of Old Presque Isle Lighthouse Even after this light was decommissioned and the tower extinguished, the light was reported shining out into the waters of Lake Huron for many years. The mechanics were eventually removed from the tower, yet still the light would shine. Keeper Lorraine Parris, who tended the museum with her husband George, also reports many visits he made following his death. 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  16. 16. The Ghosts of Saginaw River Light Station The tower at the old Saginaw River Light is rumored to be haunted, perhaps by one of the husbands of Julia (Tobey) Brawn Way. Her first husband, Peter Brawn, was the keeper until he took ill and she took over duties. He later died. She remarried, and her second husband, George Way became the head keeper…and then HE died. There wasn’t a third husband (that we know of) and Julia was soon removed from her duties. 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  17. 17. The Ghost of Point aux Barques The ghost at this historic beacon is believed to be that of former keeper, Catherine Shook. Her husband, Peter, died while he was serving as head keeper. She was appointed in his place, and lived at the light with their eight children. She died not long afterward, and her unsettled ghost— dressed in a long white flowing dress—has been seen walking throughout the house and the tower. 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  18. 18. For more on Michigan’s ghostly lights… 15 Haunted Lighthouses in Pure Michigan!
  • FMWebster

    Feb. 13, 2016
  • JudiGeorge

    Nov. 29, 2015
  • PromoteMichigan

    Oct. 28, 2015

Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state...and many are rumored to be haunted!


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