Category Archives: Michigan

History and Hauntings of Sault Ste. Marie

PalaceSaloonHaunted1PalaceSaloonHaunted2What about the beautiful town of Sault Ste Marie, MI?  Is it haunted?  If it’s appearing on this site, the odds are, yes.  Michigan’s oldest town (founded in 1668!) and site of the Michigan ParaCon, Sault Ste. Marie (pronounced “Soo Saint Marie”) has some haunted locations. We’ll start right where we get most of our food while we’re on location, the 1903-built Palace Saloon.  This restaurant has activity throughout the building including activity from the basement to the top floor, but most notably, a man in black seen sitting in one of the booths (pictured above).  See a video I shot of employees talking about the hauntings with Mike, Wendy and Allison from the “See You on the Other Side” podcast.

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Also, we got a tip about a number of haunted sites outside of Sault Ste Marie that might still be occupied by active Native American spirits.  These were given to us by a member of the Sault tribe while saying the locations are very active and paranormal occurrences are ongoing.  Here are the locations we need to research more before returning for a number of full investigations:

Sugar Island – Just 4 miles and a ferry ride away from the town center, this is a 49 square mile island with a population of under 700 people and is considered an ancestral homeland to the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians while also being important to the Ojibwe.  It was once in consideration (in 1945) to be the HQ of the United Nations.

MissionHillCemeteryMichiganMission Hill – about 22 miles west is the township of Brimley / Bay Mills and its secluded (click on the map to see just how isolated it is) and active Mission Hill Cemetery.  This location is known for its abundant ghost lights and disembodied voices.  This is possibly primarily a native American burial site.  Due to its seclusion, there has not been a lot reported on it, historical or paranormal.

Green Sky Hill – As tends to be the case with Native American legends, so much oral tradition is just that – only oral, not recorded in print.  We were told to look into Green Sky Hill, about 100 south, in the main “mitten” of Michigan.  Indeed, there is a book titled “Legends of Green Sky Hill” and categorized as “North American Indian Legends,” but the book was published in 1959 and little else can be found online.  A journey into the world of used books may be needed to understand this site.

Charlevoix – in the same area as Green Sky Hill is the town of Charlevoix.  Like all of this region, inhabitation dates into prehistory by tribes of this region and, as the name indicates, French explorers in the 1700s.  More modern establishments sprang up in the mid 1850s and by today we have a very old town with lots of ghost stories, particularly the Weathervane Restaurant that boasts three different ghosts who make their presence visually known.  One specter moves objects… big objects… like slamming heavy doors and even rolling a large banquet table from one room to the next.

Wolverine Hotel – Also near Charlevoix is the town of Boyne City, which boasts the Wolverine Hotel (pictured below, more recently known as the Dilworth Inn), a grand hotel from 1912.  Unfortunately, I could not find any tales of hauntings at this site, nor could I even find if this location is open for business.  Still, the fact that we were informed that this is a place to look into, tells us to pay attention.  So, we’ll keep our eyes open for this site and others!

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Locations within Sault Ste Marie that are reportedly haunted include the Soo Brewing Company, Antlers Restaurant, Museum Ship Valley Camp, Ramada Ojibway Plaza, The Satisfied Frog Pub, which is located just across the street from the Palace Saloon.

More than anything, this article is a call to action for anyone out there.  Do you have tips on interesting history, folklore or your very own personal ghost stories about these locations?  Please let me know in the comments.  Hopefully we can arrange a separate journey to the northern edge of America to further investigate these sites.

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Recap of the 2018 Michigan ParaCon

This post originally came out a week ago in our free paranormal newsletter.  Sign up for that right here on our site at this link.

For the second straight year I headed to the Michigan ParaCon with a motley crew of paranormal nerds (Allison Journlin of Milwaukee Ghosts, Lisa Van Buskirk of Madison Ghost Walks, and two-thirds of the paranormal band, Sunspot and the hosts of the “See You on the Other Side” podcast, Mike Huberty and Wendy Lynn Staats) to hear the latest news from the biggest names in the game.  Feel free to check out our preview video, which we recorded on Facebook live while stuck in construction traffic.   If you’ve never been to an event like this, in some ways it’s like any other trade show.  New products and merch are available in the vendor area (usually in the form of books, DVD releases and clothes) while the main hall features constant programming consisting of panel discussions and lectures.

It’s a wonderful way to connect with fascinating people who share our somewhat unorthodox interests and to meet people we’d otherwise not have easy access to.  Of course, one of the real treat is the exchange of ideas, experiences and theories.  Naturally, a lot of the great first-hand chats happen after hours in the hotel bar (this is often worth the price of admission itself).  Last year, among other amazing stories, we had a conversation with John Tenney, who had been asked to observe an exorcism.  Talk about an amazing and unique (and damn, right – horrifying) story to hear straight from the horse’s mouth!

Sometimes you start to see a shift in ideas when you attend these events.  That concepts and methodology changes is exciting in and of itself.  The latest theory that almost became a theme this year is perhaps easiest explained in conversation rather than written out.  So, enjoy my attempt to throw a fascinating concept your way in the video here.

At a glance, here we some of the highlights this year:

  • John E.L. Tenney, as you may be picking up on, is a great storyteller and a wealth of information. In his lecture, he talked about some of his more recent fascinating investigations, along with a message of oneness and appreciating everything in our world.  Later, at the bar, John dropped some knowledge on us in the form of the incredible story of Ted Serios, a Chicago bellhop who had the ability to psychically imprint images of locations onto Polaroid film simply by touching the camera.  Challenged, he was even able to do this on live TV by touching the broadcast camera.  Oddly, most video of his work on YouTube is in German or Spanish.  It’s peculiar that an astonishing American is remembered more in other countries than our own today.  However, a full conversation on the man can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vFNVpUhiyk
  • Katrina Weidman and I talked at length about shadow people, individual stories and theories. I hope she’s working on a project on the topic as she seems very intrigued.  Wendy and I were both very impressed by the “Paranormal Lockdown” star who we first met two years earlier in Milwaukee.  Her memory of our meeting was so sharp, you would’ve thought we hang out all the time.
  • Finding myself in an elevator ride with Jeff Mudgett, HH Holmes descendant and subject of the recent series “American Ripper.” Jeff and I have known each other for several years at this point and it’s always exciting to hear the latest news in the quest to find out all there is to know about his infamous ancestor.  Meanwhile, Allison found herself sharing an elevator with Josh Gates of “Expedition Unknown,” which allowed her husband to gush to him directly over the phone.
  • Getting to see Sunspot play live. Okay, I’m biased here, but take a look below for a recent live performance about staying the night in haunted locations.  Let’s just say, they’re an ideal booking for a paranormal conference!

  • Though I can’t really say I was a big follower of the show, “Ghost Hunters,” I was still excited to meet Grant Wilson, who is still very interested in learning about the mysteries of the unknown world and is reaching out to audiences directly with a new YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGrantwilson
  • Of course, it’s also always a blast hearing the latest from Greg and Dana Newkirk and the Traveling Museum of the Haunted and Occult.

The next newsletter will come out very soon with some podcasts, haunted sites in Sault Ste Marie (where the MI ParaCon was held), and a look at the movie based on the Bell Witch, “An American Haunting.”