HAUNTED MICHIGAN: The Ghost in the Shed
Ya gotta figure – just about any cemetery is gonna have some haunting legend…well, here’s another.
East Farmington Cemetery in Farmington Hills is the “updated” name of the historic Utley Cemetery. It is the oldest of all five Farmington graveyards, dating back to 1824.
It was in 1824 that Sanford M. Utley & his family arrived in (what would become the state of) Michigan. Arriving that summer, his wife Patience fell off their wagon and died from extensive wounds, becoming the township’s first death. She was buried in a section of son Peleg Utley’s farm, which eventually became Farmington’s first cemetery.
The Historical Marker backs this up, as it reads: “This cemetery, now known as the East Farmington Cemetery, is the oldest in Farmington. Mrs. Stanford M. Utley, who died as a result of a fall as she alighted from a wagon upon completion of her long trip from New York, was the first settler to be buried here. She was laid to rest on September 26, 1824, which also, co-incidentally, was the birthdate of John Collins, the first white child to be born in the community. This land was donated by Mrs. Utley's son, Peleg S. Utley. Many of Farmington's earliest settlers are interred here.”
As for the haunting, the urban legend says if you visit at night, you’ll see a hazy white figure standing in and around the old shed in the back of the graveyard (SEE PHOTOS). Whether it’s the spirit of Mrs. or Mr. Utley is not known, as its gender is undecipherable. Some have approached this figure only to have it disappear. Others say they walked toward it, only to have it start walking toward them…needless to say, they didn’t stick around. The burial ground itself is said to be unusually soft, even for a cemetery.
Utley Cemetery is located on 12 Mile Road between Inkster and Middlebelt...
Respect any and all cemeteries when visiting.
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Gallery Credit: Maitlynn Mossolle