Hauntings at Mackinac Island - Spirit Realm Network

Hauntings at Mackinac Island

Every year, a million people visit Mackinac Island, a small patch of land nestled on the edge of Lake Huron, hovering between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. The island, which covers 4.35 square miles, was once home to a flourishing Odawa settlement around 900 AD. Many local indigenous tribes considered the island to be a sacred place, and served as a gathering place to honor Gitche Manitou, the Great Spirit. Viewed as holy land, many local tribes buried their chieftains on the Island once they perished.

The small, yet promising island gained the attention of European settlers during the 17th Century. An outpost was constructed on the island, and eventually became the primary hub for the Great Lakes Fur Trade.


As the American Revolutionary War shifted into high gear, British troops took advantage of the island’s strategic position and constructed Fort Mackinac. The island and fort stood witness to two different battles during the War of 1812, and was claimed as U.S. territory soon thereafter.

This small but charming island did not become a popular tourist destination until late into the 19th Century. Many couples and families select Mackinac Island as their summer vacation spot due, in large part, to the historic architecture seen throughout the island–which has been well preserved and restored over the last few decades. Thanks to its historical significance, the entire island is listed as a National Historic Landmark, and is forever frozen in time as a picturesque, antiquated town.

But there’s much more than meets the eye at Mackinac Island. As this historic city grew in popularity each summer, so did strange events and encounters of a supernatural variety. Tourists began to experience phantom cold spots scattered through the island–even in the height of summer. Soon after, reports of disembodied voices, even apparitions were being reported all over the island.


But why is this small island so haunted? One has only to look to Mackinac’s tragic and violent past to find the answer. Once considered a very sacred island to the Odawa tribes, many indigenous bodies were buried on the island…and were not relocated when European settlers claimed the territory for themselves. Do these indigenous spirits still roam the island in the afterlife, haunting those who have violated such holy land?

In addition to these burials, many soldiers fought on Mackinac Island during the Battle of 1812. British soldiers ambushed Fort Mackinac, taking American soldiers by surprise–a battle which marked the first conflict of the war. A secondary battle took place in 1814, now known as the Battle of Mackinac Island. The conflict was bloody and over a dozen American, British, and Native American men lost their lives as a result. Many tourists and island employees alike believe these soldiers continue to haunt the island to this day.

As if ghostly soldiers and dead chiefs weren’t terrifying enough, other supernatural entities have become known throughout the island, each with their own morbid tale…


The Moral Re-Armament Building is considered one of the most haunted hot spots on the entire island, thanks to a very active ghost who enjoys toying with the living. Many people suspect the ghost is a former student of Mackinac College. Completely besotted with his girlfriend, legend has it that the young man met her nearby and asked if she would marry him. The young man was shocked and heartbroken when his girlfriend refused him on the spot. Overcome with grief, the young man wandered into the nearby woods and committed suicide.

The young man ended his life in the woods in February, but his body was not recovered until the following July. His death was ultimately ruled a suicide, but many people now question the validity of this conclusion. Did the man truly commit suicide, or is it possible foul play was involved?

Visitors of the Moral Re-Armament Building have reported hearing disembodied voices whispering uncomfortably close to their ears, along with the eerie sensation of being watched whenever they were in the building. Employees claim the young man has a penchant for messing with mail…along with pretty ladies nearby.


Vast and beautiful, it is impossible not to notice The Grand Hotel when approaching Mackinac Island. In fact, many people visit the island with the hopes of staying in this specific hotel. But many employees and regulars are convinced the hotel is haunted. Paranormal activity all began when a large construction crew started to build the hotel’s foundation and uncovered human remains in the process.

The Grand Hotel was a quick success on Mackinac Island and required expansion. The extensive construction plans required that the inhabitants of the island cemetery be moved for the hotel stables.

Employees suspect these “disruptions” in the past have caused the spirits to awaken once more and haunt the beautiful hotel. Staff members frequently report hearing disembodied footsteps following them around at night, while doors are known to open and close on their own. One ghostly gentleman, who always adorns a top hat, has been frequently spotted seated at the hotel piano, while other guests have encountered a woman in a Victorian era dress crawling into their bed in the middle of the night. Some, less fortunate, guests and employees have also encountered a large black mass, which seems to enjoy rushing at the living when they least suspect it.


Mission Point has been featured on several paranormal television shows and is said to be the home of a ghost named Lucy.

Lucy was visiting the island with her parents when she grew suddenly, violently ill. Legend states that her parents left Lucy on the island to tend to business matters in Detroit, but the young girl perished before their scheduled return. Now, Lucy haunts the Mission Point building and is often seen on the balcony, incessantly calling out for her mom and dad.


Given the island’s history with war, it is not hard to believe that several spirits haunt Fort Mackinac and make their presence known to visitors every year.

Tourists have reported capturing supernatural orbs in their photographs while touring the Fort, especially in the Guard House. While exploring the Fort’s hospital, some guests have even seen apparitions of phantom limbs out of the corner of their eye.

Phantom babies are often heard crying in the Office Apartment Quarters, along with furniture that seems to move all on its own, and dead children can frequently be heard playing and running around the Officer’s Stone Quarters located at the Fort.


From The Perry Hotel, to Fort Holmes, to the Old Presque Isle Light, there are numerous haunted locations on Mackinac Island. In fact, over one hundred individual ghost reports have been officially recorded at Mackinac, making it one of the most haunted locations in the state of Michigan.

Capitalizing on the hair-raising activity, Mackinac Island now offers a paranormal-based tour, where numerous locations are discussed and experienced after dark. Do you dare to explore this ghost-riddled island for yourself?

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