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Detroit's Most Haunted Places

During the Victorian Era, tales of haunted houses, enchanted forests and novels about vampires, ghostly orbs, wisps and apparitions were at the height of their popularity. Today, some folks would prefer to believe that sites are haunted because spirits among us just can't get themselves to "the other side." In her book, "Michigan's Most Haunted: A Ghostly Guide to The Great Lakes State," author Sandy Arno Lyons concedes that, obviously, none of the haunted hypotheses can be proven scientifically. But let's ignore that for a moment, because we still love hearing a whopper of a tale. Here are some of Detroit's most "haunted" places.
Henry Ford Estate (Fair Lane Mansion)

The Henry Ford Estate
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
(313) 593-5580

The butler did it. According to folklore, the butler at the Henry Ford Estate still strolls about the mansion, cleaning, fixing and straightening.  Apparently, he has obsessive-compulsive disorder and doesn't like sloppy visitors besmirching his digs. If you are going to have a ghost in your house, having a neat-freak butler who cleans up after you is probably the best ghoul friend you would ever want.

Related: Walk In The Footsteps Of Detroit's Historical and Important Figures

Masonic Temple

The Masonic Temple of Detroit
500 Temple Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 832-7100

When James Taylor sings "Up on the Roof," he describes an oasis of serenity. In 1920, architect George Mason designed Detroit's Masonic Temple, the largest in the world. Of course, big buildings cost big money. When the bills came rolling in and Mason began having domestic issues, he climbed to the roof to find his nirvana. While there, he decided to end his problems quickly by leaping off the roof to his death. Detroit folklore insists that Mason still roams the roof, opening doors that were supposedly shut and locked.

Nightlife & Music Under 21, Saint Andrew's Hall
Photo Credit:

St. Andrew's Hall
431 E. Congress St.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-8961

The basement of St. Andrew's Hall is called The Shelter - it is where rapper Eminem began plying his trade. The building originally housed the St. Andrew's Society of Detroit, a group of somewhat upper-class Scottish Americans who prefer bagpipes to rap. And according to reports, a ghost now chases visitors out of the basement of the old hall. Apparently, this ghost has refined taste.

Related: Best Detroit Arts Programs To Support

Historic Fort Wayne

Historic Fort Wayne
6325 W. Jefferson Ave.
Detroit MI 48209
(810) 853-8573

Historic Fort Wayne was named after United States Army brigadier general "Mad Anthony" Wayne. In DC comic books, Bruce Wayne (the alter ego of Batman) is revealed to be General Wayne's direct descendant. Just as Batman fights evil, the spirits of old soldiers still hang out at the fort, ready to battle the enemy (defined in their days as Native Americans and the British). The ghosts of these so-called avengers (Batman wannabes) are hanging around the fort just in case the occasional English tourist drops by.

the whitney via facebook
Photo Credit: The Whitney via Facebook

David Whitney House
4421 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 832-5700

The David Whitney mansion was built in 1894 by the highly successful lumber baron who was too snooty to live in a house made from lumber. The stone mansion hosts Detroit's best-dressed ghost, David Whitney, whose apparition sports a dashing short-waist tuxedo. The "most haunted" area of the mansion is the elevator which rises on its own although no one pushes a button. Apparently this ghost enjoys playing in elevators like a little kid. Witnesses also report hearing the ghost in the kitchen, washing and stacking dishes. Of course, you first have to believe that a man would do the dishes without being nagged. Whitney could be the perfect ghost if he would only do windows.

Romero Anton Montalban-Anderssen is the winner of the 2009 first prize in journalism from the Detroit Working Writers Organization. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University School of Law. He has seasonal residency in Detroit Michigan, The Italian Riviera, and Honolulu Hawaii. His work can be found at

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