The city of Detroit has a long and colourful history. Like so many cities that have a story to tell, the history seems to bring with it a healthy dose of mystery and superstition – not to mention a few ghost stories. Add to that the high concentration of abandoned buildings that there are in Motor City and you have the perfect recipe for some paranormal activity!
Let’s explore some of the most haunted places in Detroit, MI:
13 – Thorn Apple Valley Slaughterhouse
One of the most haunted places in Detroit is said to be the Thorn Apple Valley Slaughterhouse. Inside the slaughterhouse is pitch dark, even in bright daylight Those who have explored the old building have reported hearing unexplained noises and seeing strange white mist like figures. Visitors have also reported strange malfunctions with their cellphones and other electronic devices.
12 – Northville Psychiatric Hospital
Northville Psychiatric Hospital opened in 1952 and closed around 50 years later. However, it seems that not all of the patients left when it ceased operations! The tunnels under the hospital are apparently the most haunted part of the building and visitors say that they have heard clanking sounds, phantom footsteps and disembodied voices down there. There are also reports of people being touched or feeling someone breathing on them when there is nobody else around!
11 – Two-Way Inn
The Two-Way Inn is said to be haunted by the ghost if its former owner/resident Mr Philetus Norris. Several customers and owners of the bar have reported seeing his apparition in the property. Philetus was certainly a colourful character having been not only a bar owner, but also a Union Spy, an archaeologist and a Superintendent at Yellowstone National Park! Witnesses say that his spirit can be recognised by the fact that he still dresses in his signature cowboy style clothing!
10 – The Alhambra Building
The Alhambra Building is an old apartment building which was the scene of a very famous poisoning back in 1904. A disgruntled employee is said to have laced the food of more than 40 families with Arsenic. There were only two fatalities as a result, but the death toll could easily have been much higher. Visitors to The Alhambra Building say that you can still very much feel the presence of these deaths in the property.
9 – Cadieux Café
It has been said that a strong disposition is required by those who choose to dine at the Cadieux Café! Why? Well, because there are regular reports from its patrons of all sorts of paranormal activity happening here! Among the reports from customers are tales of items suddenly moving by themselves, terrifying apparitions sitting at the bar and being touched by unseen hands. One of the most common sightings by both staff and customers seems to by the spirit of the owner’s mother!
8 – Historic Fort Wayne
There was never any battle that raged at Fort Wayne, but there are still plenty of reasons why It has become one of the most haunted places in Detroit. It was once a military location and during the Great Depression it offered shelter to many Detroiters who were displaced from their homes. There were many difficult times here in Fort Wayne which no doubt helped to contribute to the paranormal activity. Then of course, there is also the fact that an Indian Burial Mound was excavated in order to build the fort! However, most reports seem to suggest that the apparitions that haunt here are mainly soldiers who served here. The Visitor’s Center is said to be one of the most haunted parts of the property – especially the restroom!
7 – The Whitney
One of the most haunted places in Detroit is The Whitney, a well known residence that has been transformed into a restaurant. The Whitney was originally built by a local lumber tycoon some time in the late 19th century. Visitors regularly report seeing apparitions and strange unexplained shadows in the restaurant. Reports of the hauntings here span over three decades and there are claims of a non-human entity residing here! The most common reports include apparitions, dishes clanging when no-one is around and place settings being rearranged! Some of the hauntings could be attributed to the fact that the mansion actually served as a tuberculosis ward for a short time.
6 – Elmwood Cemetery
Who doesn’t love a good haunted cemetery? Detroit’s Elmwood Cemetery has more reason than most to be haunted. Not only is this one of the oldest cemeteries in the entire state of Michigan, but it was also the site of a particularly bloody battle between British Soldiers and Pontiac’s army – The Battle of Bloody Run. Visitors have seen apparitions of soldiers in among the gravestones here.
5 – The Masonic Temple
Detroit’s Masonic Temple is certainly considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in the city. In fact, it is often described as being something of a playground for spirits! It was built in 1912 and is packed full of hidden rooms and secret staircases! No matter what type of paranormal phenomenon you can think of, there is a very good chance that it has been experienced here! There have been lots of reports of paranormal activity in the building including everything from doors slamming by themselves and visitors being touched by icy unseen hands! It is not known who exactly is haunting here, but some say that it is George D Mason, who built the temple and also jumped to his death from its roof in 1948.
4 – Detroit Symphony Orchestra Building
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra Building is said to be haunted by the spirit of famed Russian pianist Ossip Gabrilowitsch who worked for the DSO in the early 1900s. Apparently visitors and staff members have seen an apparition of the pianist in various parts of the building as well as hearing disembodied voices and unexplained sounds.
3 – St Aubin House
St Aubin House has a bit of a grisly claim to fame having been the site of a famous murder. In 1929 the severed head of religious cult leader Benny Evangelist was discovered arranged with precision at the feet of his corpse. His wife and their 4 young children were also found dead in the property, albeit in a much less gruesome fashion. The crime was never solved and perhaps that has a role in why the spirits of the family remain here.
2 – Jackson State Prison
Jackson State Prison opened in 1838 and was in operation for more than 100 years. It was Michigan’s first state prison and it was certainly not known for being a particularly friendly place! It had a reputation for neglect and torture of its prisoners and this has undoubtedly left a mark on the building. Although is has since been renovated and is now an arts village with studios and apartments for local artists, there is still a very foreboding feeling here. Many of the people who live and work here are adamant that they have some ghostly room-mates! The old prison has been the focus of many paranormal investigations over the years turning up plenty of evidence to suggest that this is indeed one of the most haunted places in Detroit!
1 – Eloise Asylum
The now abandoned Eloise Asylum stands roughly 15 miles outside of downtown Detroit, but it is well worth making the trip to see it if you are in the city. The building is said to be haunted by the ghosts of former patients here and it is said that they often stand at the broken windows staring out at the people passing by. The hospital was originally a farm and poorhouse, but over time it was expanded over 902 acres and 70 different buildings. However, since it was abandoned in 1980s there are only 8 buildings and 50 acres remaining. At it’s peak Eloise Asylum was home to 12000 patients and there was an onsite bakery, slaughterhouse, cannery, greenhouse and tobacco field.
The complex was so large that it had its own zipcode as well as onsite police and fire departments and its own post office! There are some unsubstantiated rumours that before the buildings were demolished in the 1980s there were jars of human body part and some very strange photographs of patients found. However, this could be just urban legend – although it did become the basis for a horror movie based on the hospital! Needless to say, there are plenty of reports of people visiting and having paranormal experiences including hearing disembodied moans, scream and sobs, seeing shadows and even an apparition of a man if fairly modern clothing sitting on the main staircase! This truly is one of the most haunted places in Detroit.
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