Ghost Towns in Upper Michigan

Ghost Towns in Upper Michigan

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Ghost Towns in Upper Michigan? There is no scarcity of spirits and mysterious characters in a state with a background as remarkable and intricate as the Upper Peninsula’s coast of Michigan. From the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s, this area was the only region on earth where highly pure and workable copper could be extracted, and that too in unlimited quantities. 

Ghost Towns in Upper Michigan article cover image

Ghost Towns in Upper Michigan

Sadly, when the one-industry died the localities died, and what is left today are just old foundations, rock piles, crumbling buildings, and a few hardy souls who still stay there to keep the places from being declared extinct.

Rise of Abandoned Ghost Towns in Michigan

Michigan is home to some incredible abandoned towns, each of which must have enjoyed its moment of glory and then suddenly vanished. These places are sure to attract people who are intrigued by tales over the campfire and of viewing spiritual sights. While some are still standing, traces of others like Mandan, Gay, and Freda linger on as a stark reminder of the aggressively greedy and romantic history this part of America, during those booming years, must have witnessed. 

The best way to understand what life was like for those wanting to seek their fortune in the towns and forests, a tour of the Keweenawa’s copper mines is a must. Fortunately, visitors today can still experience what life was like below the ground by paying a visit to any of the historic mines near Hannock or Mohawk. As these mines shut down, entire communities migrated to different parts of Keweenaw leaving behind remnants which can be viewed till today.

If you are the thrill-seeking type then the unearthly sites and phenomena of Marquette County will frighten and fluster you to no end. Hiking and biking trails across the former community of Old Town will take the daredevils on a humbling trip of what was once the most vibrant town in the Upper Peninsula. A Catholic Cemetery was established here in the mid-1850’s, which served as a burial site for young people. Understandably, locals still hear occasional sounds coming from the cemetery now and then.

A trip to Marquette’s haunted places cannot be deemed complete without paying a visit to the most haunted spot in the County namely, the Holy Cross Orphanage. Located on Fischer Street, this now renovated six-story complex has been turned into a residential building. However, stories about neglect and abuse of the children in the orphanage come alive from time to time, as stated by neighbors who hear sudden sounds of crying children and visions of some of the occupants who had the misfortune to reside in such an infamous place.

Mackinac Island, which is now a vacation destination, owes much of its popularity to its haunted history. As you walk the eerie streets of this place, you will be mesmerized by stories of ghosts and legends, relating to the darker side of the island’s buried history. Within the walls of the Haunted Theater, three-dimensional monsters will freak you out with encounters from the past. This beautiful destination in Michigan has a darker side most visitors are not aware of. The daring ones can opt for an actual ghost hunt, after being taught how to partake in this live event.

The unique Valley Camp Ship experience one must have at least once in a lifetime. The freighter at one time had a 29 member Great Lakes crew that lived and worked on the great ship. The easily recognizable vessel is docked in downtown Sault Ste. Marie has some exhibits inside associated with mainly earlier shipwrecks. Shadowy figures and coughing sounds have been heard coming from the old coal furnace room. The Valley also houses two lifeboats from the stricken Edmund Fitzgerald. Visitors can view first hand the Captain’s Quarters and the plain accommodation of the sailors.

The Seul Choix lighthouse was completed in 1895 and served as the only means of protection for sailors seeking to avoid the dangers of Lake Michigan. The ghost of one William Townshed, the lighthouse keeper who died here, still haunts the place. Over the years mysterious images have been seen in the bathroom mirrors and many a ship has been wrecked over the past few centuries. Today, visitors can climb to the top and explore the historic building for a small fee.

The area around Lake Superior is known for stories about haunted ships but nothing compares to the ghost of the railroad brakeman who walks the night swinging his lantern. The mysterious Paulding light that is seen glowing in the forest near Paulding is said to have come from this lantern. Despite many explanations, a lot of people come here in the hope to see them for themselves, in a belief to see something truly magical.

One of the oldest surviving lighthouses of the Great Lakes region, the Old Presque Isle lighthouse of 1840 is another landmark where many say that spirits still linger. Thanks to a line of past dedicated caretakers, one of which, George Paris, is still believed to light up the beacon at night to help passing ships sail safely, even though he died in 1992. In spite of there being no electricity, it gives a warm glow, which excites everyone when it comes on. Visitors who have climbed to the top have claimed to capture photos of faces staring at them from within.

The streets of the Upper Peninsula have many engaging sights within the desolate areas and the landscape which provides clues to the state’s infamous past. Perhaps this is the reason that the ghost towns and other hidden gems have made the remaining residents, with a bit of grit and determination, still consider this weird destination as their home. Don’t take our word for it, check out the Ghost Towns in Upper Michigan yourself.

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