A Road Trip to the Most Haunted Places in Michigan

Some of the most haunted places in Michigan include Marquette, Traverse City, and Detroit. Buckle up for a road trip to remember!
Written by Bellina Gaskey
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Some of the most haunted places in
include Marquette, Traverse City, and Detroit—and what better time to take a spooky road trip through them than before Halloween?
If you’re looking for a little more adventuring this season, look no further. Tucked throughout Michigan’s two peninsulas are a variety of haunted locations, including theaters, lighthouses, and even an old fort.
But before you grab your flashlights and EMF meters, make sure you’re investing in the right protection for your car. The car insurance comparison and broker app
can help you find a great policy at an even better price so that you won’t have to worry about careless drivers (or malevolent ghosts!) while you’re on the road.
Without further a-boo, here are some of the most haunted places in Michigan to visit on your fall road trip. Feel free to mix and match destinations to create the drive of your dreams––or nightmares!

Northwest Trek—Key trip details

Mason to Grand Rapids
This up-and-back loop samples a variety of haunted places in the northwest and southwest portions of the Mitten State.
Total distance (round-trip): 483 miles
Total driving time (round-trip): 8 hours
Total time needed: 2 to 3 days


  • Mason, MI
  • Clare, MI
  • Pere Cheney, MI
  • Petoskey, MI
  • Traverse City, MI
  • Grand Rapids, MI

Northwest Trek Leg 1: Mason, Clare, Pere Cheney & Petoskey

This leg of the trip takes you through several small towns in the northwest and southwest parts of Michigan. There is not enough to do in most of the towns to spend a whole day, so we broke it into two legs. That said, you can take more time if you want to travel at a slower pace.

Start in: Mason

As the birthplace of several sports stars, Mason has some prestigious claims to fame and storied history dating back to the 1830s. Start your trip in Mason and get ready for some spooky stops along the way.
Haunted spots in Mason
  • Jewett House—While this is now a private residence, the Jewett family used the building as a funeral home until the 1990s—after which renters complained of hearing odd noises. Though you may not be able to enter, you can still visit the outside of the house—and perhaps see a spirit.

Mason to Clare

94.2 miles, 1 hour 20 minutes
Known as the City of Friends, Clare sees visitors for its many festivals throughout the year. While it might attract tourists for a pumpkin run 5K or hayrides, Clare holds some haunted history.
To get to Clare, take US-127 N from Mason.
Haunted spots in Clare
  • Doherty Hotel
    : This hotel was built in anticipation of new traffic from cars instead of trains. In 1938, Isaiah Leebove was killed here in a mob-related shooting. Believers claim his spirit still roams the halls.

Clare to Pere Cheney

60.7 miles, 56 minutes
Pere Cheney was established in 1874 as a lumber town, but in the 1890s diphtheria ravaged the population. By 1918, there were fewer than 20 people alive here.
To get to Pere Cheney, continue on I-127 N from Clare.
Haunted spots in Pere Cheney
  • Pere Cheney Cemetery
    —All that’s left of ill-fated Pere Cheney is the moss-covered cemetery and indents in the ground where buildings once stood. Paranormal experiences of visitors include hearing children play in the woods and seeing little handprints on your car.

Pere Cheney to Petoskey

74.1 miles, 1 hour 15 minutes
Petoskey is famous for its abundance of Michigan’s state stone. Petoskey stones are "hauntings" of the past, too––their flower-like patterns are made of fossilized coral from the Devonian Era.
To get to Petoskey take I-75 N from Pere Cheney.
**Haunted spots in Petoskey
  • Bay View Terrace Inn
    Several ghosts have been sensed at the inn, including a pregnant woman named Abbey, her husband Edward, and two construction workers who were crushed to death by a beam. If ghosts don’t deter you, this is a perfect spot to stay the night. Cost per night: from $99
Pro Tip Ask for room 211 or 308 at the Bay View Terrace Inn for your best chance of witnessing paranormal activity!
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Leg 2: Traverse City & Grand Rapids

The second leg of this trip takes you to two of the bigger cities on this route. Both cities have many attractions outside of their haunted destinations, making them great places to stay a little longer.

Petoskey to Traverse City

67.1 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes
Known for its scenic beauty, Traverse City sees its fair share of visitors in the fall. It’s also home to some of the eerier spots in the state.
Head southwest on US-31 S from Petoskey to Traverse City, where you can take a self-guided tour of some of the spookiest spots.
Haunted spots in Traverse City
  • Old Carnegie Library Building—This historic building is now a brand of the Crooked Tree Arts Center—but those who work here report hearing movements in empty hallways and footsteps on stairs and across the first-floor rotunda. It might just be the spirit of Alice Wait, who spent 45 years working for the library in the early 1900s.
  • Bowers Harbor Inn
    ($$)—Now called Mission Table, rumors say that the ghost of a woman haunts this eatery. Visitors have reported feeling strong forces, seeing lights turn off and on, and even a piano playing with no one in the room.

Traverse City to Grand Rapids

141.8 miles, 2 hours 11 minutes
Grand Rapids has a bustling city center and a thriving craft beverage scene—but it also is known for some weird paranormal activity.
To get to Grand Rapids, follow US-131 S.
Haunted spots in Grand Rapids
  • Heritage Hill—This area of the historical district is said to experience ghost activity. It’s an old, wealthy neighborhood––so feel free to stroll, but you can’t investigate any of the homes.
  • The Old LaMar Hotel and Horseshoe Bar
    —Staff here have claimed to witness doors shutting and locking, lights flickering, and voices speaking in the building. Visit to admire the 1891 architecture and ask the current businesses to share their ghost stories.
Pro Tip You can get an official run-down of GR haunts with Grand Rapids ghost tours. Bring $10 a person and meet at the downtown public library (a beautiful old building in itself) to learn all the local lore.

UP Boogaloo—Key Trip Details

Mackinac Island to Gulliver
What Michigan’s Upper Peninsula lacks in size it makes up for in the number of supposedly haunted sites scattered throughout. This trip takes you from Mackinac Island through the Upper Peninsula, stopping in several small towns along the way.
Total distance (round-trip): 545 miles
Total driving time (round-trip): 9.5 hours
Total time needed: 2 to 3 days


  • Mackinac Island, MI
  • Marquette, MI
  • Calumet, MI
  • Paulding, MI
  • Gulliver, MI

Mackinac Island

Take a ferry from Mackinaw City or St. Ignace to Mackinac Island, where time seems to stand still. While you’re traversing the island by carriage, bike, or foot, there are a few places you can go to try to catch paranormal activity.
Haunted spots on Mackinac Island
  • Mission Point Resort
    —Guests and staff report paranormal sightings on the property—potentially the ghosts of those who drowned in the nearby lagoon.
  • Fort Holmes
    —A British fort at the top of the island, Fort Holmes is said to be home to the spirits of War of 1812-era soldiers.
  • Post Cemetery
    Here you’ll find the gravesites of Fort Mackinac soldiers, their families, and a few local officials.
Pro Tip You can also take a Haunts of Mackinac Tour for a more official run-down of spooky happenings on the island.
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Upper Peninsula

This portion of the trip takes you around the towns of the UP. While you can do this in a day, some of the driving stretches are long, so you might want to break it up.

Mackinac Island To Marquette

166 miles, 2 hours 51 minutes
Take the Mackinac Bridge to the Upper Peninsula and make your way northwest through the Hiawatha National Forest to reach Marquette, a major shipping port on Lake Superior.
Haunted spots in Marquette
  • Landmark Inn
    —A local librarian is said to have died in the Lilac room after her boyfriend, a sailor, perished on Lake Superior. Her spirit haunts the sixth floor––sometimes the phone will ring and sometimes she will appear in mourning.

Marquette to Calumet

114 miles, 2 hours 15 minutes
Once the center of the mining industry, Calumet has some supposed haunted spirits hanging around.
To get to Calumet, continue on US-41 N to the top of the peninsula.
Haunted spots in Calumet
  • Calumet Theater
    — Actors and audience members alike have seen ghosts. The spirit of Helena Modjeska, a celebrity performer, likes to hang out in the rafters. Visitors also hear the screams of a man who was murdered in the theater.

Calumet to Paulding

81.4 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes
Paulding might be a small town, but its landmarks are something of legend—and that’s exactly why it's on our trip.
Haunted spots in Paulding
  • Paulding Light—Those insistent on its supernatural qualities speculate that this mysterious light is the ghost of a train on the old logging railroad, or maybe a grandfather looking for a lost child. A group of engineering students supposedly "debunked" the light––but isn’t believing more fun?

Paulding To Gulliver

195 miles, 3 hours 22 minutes
With its four lakes, Gulliver is a scenic destination on the Upper Peninsula. It is also home to the only operational lighthouse in the area.
Complete the circuit of the UP from Paulding by taking M-69 E and US-2 E to Gulliver.
Haunted spots in Gulliver
  • Seul Choix Lighthouse: Named for being the "only choice" for sailors in the area at one time, long-term residents have cataloged five separate spirits attached to the Seul Choix lighthouse. One is longtime operator Capt. Townshend, who appears in the mirrors or sends wafts of cigar smoke.

Mid-Michigan Mania—Key trip details

Detroit to Holly
The third selection of Michigan haunts is clustered in the southern portion of the lower peninsula, from historic Detroit architecture to the Saginaw Bay (the "thumb" area).
Total distance (round-trip): 288 miles
Total driving time (round-trip): 5 hours
Total time needed: 2 to 3 days


  • Detroit, MI
  • Willis, MI
  • Jackson, MI
  • Bay City, MI
  • Holly, MI


Start your trip with an overnight stay in the Motor City. Detroit has seen a lot over the years, so it’s no wonder spirits remain here—whether they’re truly trapped or simply wish to make mischief is anyone’s guess.
Haunted spots in Detroit
  • The Whitney
    —This historic mansion welcomes visitors for upscale dinners and weddings––but be prepared to mingle with spirits! Most commonly claimed are the presences of David Whitney, the original owner, and his wife Flora, who died before its completion.
  • Masonic Temple
    —Each Halloween, the Masonic Temple attracts dozens of ghost hunters and paranormal believers. Owner George Mason is said to remain in the building. Visitors have heard doors slam open and closed and felt a bone-chilling coldness descend upon them out of nowhere.
Pro Tip Book a dinner at The Whitney ($$$) and see if you sense anything. Opt for a themed experience with a paranormal dinner tour or sip a Witching Hour Martini at the upstairs Ghostbar.

Central Michigan: Willis, Jackson, Bay City, and Holly

From Detroit, you’re headed on a one- to two-day tour to some of the spookier locales around central Michigan.

Detroit to Willis

36.1 miles, 42 minutes
Head west on I-94 from Detroit (and leave lots of room in your belly) to reach your next destination.
Haunted spots in Willis
  • Bone Heads Bar B Que
    ($$)—Local press concedes this barbeque joint in Willis is the real deal. Lights have moved and flickered, kitchen utensils have been placed into staff hands, and paranormal investigators have picked up signals. Enjoy deep-fried pickle chips, the Death by Pork sandwich, or St. Louis Ribs while hearing all about the restaurant’s friendly ghosts.

Willis to Jackson

52.7 miles, 56 minutes
Continue inland past the college town of Ann Arbor to reach Jackson, the site of Michigan’s first prison.
To get to Jackson, take I-94 W to M-106-S.
Haunted spots in Jackson
  • Historic Jackson Prison
    —This was Michigan’s first prison and, at one point, the largest walled prison in the world. The underground tunnels are creepy––and likely spiritually active. There’s also an on-site haunted house called Jackson Underground.
###Jackson to Bay City
136 miles, 2 hours 10 minutes
After your slight detour to Jackson, head north through Saginaw County to Bay City, where you’ll enjoy Saginaw Bay’s famous views of Lake Huron.
Get back on I-94 E from Jackson to US-23 N. Change to M-25 E at exit 126 A, and follow the road up to Bay City.
Haunted spots in Bay City
  • USS Edson
    —This warship saw a lot in its day, and those who served on it may still be tied to its rooms and structure. You can pay for an overnight paranormal investigation (about $75 a person) to find out for yourself!

Bay City to Holly

66.7 miles, 1 hour 12 minutes
Your last stop in mid-Michigan is the town of Holly, which is known for its winter activities. You’d be wise not to overlook the town’s haunted history, however.
To get to Holly, follow *I-75 S.
Haunted spots in Holly
  • The Historic Holly Hotel
    —Multiple ghosts reside in the hotel’s Victorian halls—Nora Kane leaves a scent trail of perfume, a child plays with utensils in the kitchen, and the family dog, Leona, might even be around, too. Today, it operates only as a restaurant.
Pro Tip Looking for more fun in the Detroit area? World-class haunted houses near Detroit include the four-story Erebus in Pontiac and all-new Eloise in Westland.

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