At Least 5 Spooky Spots You Can Visit in West Michigan Right Now
September is almost over. There's a chill in the air. It feels like a good time to talk about some haunted spots you can visit in West Michigan.
Personally, I don't know if I necessarily believe in the paranormal. However, I always err on the side of caution when it comes to visiting haunted spots. Especially, if people are trying to engage the supposed ghosts.
With October quickly approaching, perhaps you're feeling a bit brave and want to visit a few locally haunted spots in West Michigan. Here are at least 5:
*Before we get into this list, please note that you should never enter a privately owned building or step onto a privately owned property without permission from the owner.*
1. The Henderson Castle
Starting in our own backyard, we have the Henderson Castle in Kalamazoo. The Henderson Castle has long been rumored to be haunted. In fact, when I had family in town, they decided to stay at Henderson Castle. The room tour came with a warning that they may hear odd noises, piano keys randomly being hit, and maybe children laughing. While my in-laws didn't experience anything unusual, the Henderson Castle does offer specialty dinners with presentations about their haunted history. Learn more here.
2. The Kirby House
Located in Grand Haven, The Kirby House started as a hotel in 1873. Today, it acts as a hub for restaurants and entertainment but, apparently, it also has a bit of a haunted history. According to an article from mysteriousmichigan.com, an employee once saw a little girl running around upstairs after hours. Another thought he saw his boss in the wine room with him (pictured above) but when he looked up, the figure that he saw had vanished. Spooky.
3. The Felt Mansion
The Felt Mansion sits in between Holland and Saugatuck and is a prime location for events. They have dozens of rooms, a ballroom, and, clearly, the grounds would make for a gorgeous wedding/special event setting. The history of the property is diverse with it starting as a summer home for Dorr Felt and his family. Unfortunately, soon after moving in both Dorr and his wife, Agnes, passed away within a year and a half of moving in. The home was eventually given up by the remaining members of the family in 1949. The home then became a Catholic prep school for young men until the late 1970s when the State of Michigan purchased the home to be used as a prison.
If you watch any supernatural shows, you know that this kind of history is the perfect setup for some ghost stories. If you want to experience it for yourself, The Felt Estate is hosting Haunting and History nights where you can hear the history firsthand and brave candlelight tours through the home. Learn more here.
4. McDowell Cemetery
If you're in the South Haven area, especially after the sun goes down, take a drive by McDowell Cemetery. That's where Al Capone's mistress, Flora, is allegedly buried. Rumor has it that she is sometimes spotted dressed in a white dress with distant chimes signaling her arrival. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of concrete information backing up the history of the graveyard or whether or not a gravestone marked "Flora" belongs to a mistress of Al Capone or to another woman of the same name.
5. Hell's Bridge
This is a rough one. The story, or more accurately, the urban legend behind Hell's Bridge in Rockford is gruesome. The legend goes that, at this spot, a man once kidnapped and killed a group of school children and buried their bodies nearby. Some say you can hear the cries of children in the area once the sun goes down. Is it true? Probably not. However, an ominous and rickety bridge crossing a river next to a tree covered in graffiti sure does make for a creepy setting. Learn more about the "history" of Hell's Bridge below:
If you love to be scared but not by potential, actual ghosts, that's okay! You can check out a haunted house (where you're expecting things to jump out at you) all spooky season-long. There are several in the Kalamazoo area: