Thursday, December 10, 2015

Michigan’s Mackinac Island, Part l

This small island on the western tip of Lake Huron reflects its history at every turn—some believe this is why the ghosts on the island outnumber the living.

Mackinac Island
Many have visited the island for its beauty, but few know its hidden darker past.

Archaeologists have determined the Anishinaabe Tribe, which was drawn to the area for its prime fishing in 900 AD, first inhabited the island. These Native Americans considered Mackinac sacred and used the area to bury their tribal leaders.

Fort Mackinac
However, by the time the first Europeans stumbled upon the island in the mid-1600s, it was deserted. The French first settled the island, then the British took control of it in 1780 and established Fort Mackinac.

Not long after, the Treaty of Paris gave the island to the Americans.

During the War of 1812, the British captured the island once more, despite numerous bloody attempts by the Americans to take it back.

After this war in 1815, the Treaty of Ghent put the island firmly back in American hands.

After the American Civil War, Mackinac became a popular tourist destination. It, after Yellowstone, was made American’s second National Park.

Downtown Mackinac Island
reflects the Victorian era like most
buildings on the island.
The island today still has no bridge to the mainland. It is accessed from ferries, boats, and planes. No cars are allowed on the island—which lends an old-world charm to the place.

Some believe this is why so many ghosts linger.

Grand Hotel
The island’s most famous building is the Grand Hotel. When this structure was built, many human skeletons were found. The workers unearthed so many it is said they did not know what to do with them.

So they were just left there—hence the Grand is built on a massive gravesite.

Two maintenance workers checking the hotel’s theatre stage encountered a dark entity. They felt as if they were being watched. Then one of these men glanced across the stage and saw a dark mass with red glowing eyes.

Before he could react, this entity quickly headed for him—knocking him down. Later, when he woke up in a hospital, he refused to return to the Grand.

Other witnesses have spotted a ghost wearing a top hat in the 2nd floor piano bar. They watched as this entity just disappeared. Afterward, they smelled his cigar smoke.

Workers at the hotel claim a woman dressed in Victorian clothing haunts their employee housing. Some have experienced her lie down next to them as they slept.

At Fort Mackinac,  ghost soldiers have been seen walking the Rifle Range Trail. Others have stated they saw piles of amputated limbs in the fort’s hospital.

Fort Mackinac
Furniture is known to move around by itself, and at least thirteen ghosts of children have been heard. It is believed they died of Typhoid Fever and Tuberculosis. Their cries are heard echoing in the halls of the buildings where they once lived.

Located between Mission Point Resort and downtown Mackinac is a 20-foot drop off a cliff. This area is called The Drowning Pool.

It was here were women accused of witchcraft were tortured.

These women worked in the brothels that sprang up on the island in the late 1700s and early 1800s. They were accused of witchcraft because they enticed supposedly unsuspecting innocent men to their houses of ill repute.

Rocks were tied around these women’s ankles, and they were thrown into the lagoon. If they sank, they were considered innocent—but by then, they were dead.

It is believed this pool is haunted by some of these victims. Shadows come out of the water silently. Also, no ripples are seen.

On the other hand, witnesses report seeing huge splashes in the area that are too big for fish to make.

In Part ll of Michigan’s Mackinac Island stories about the island’s most haunted area—Mission Point Resort are shared.

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