A short and spooky list of metro Detroit's most haunted places

Be Afraid of Detroit

Majestic | Legend has it that Harry Houdini gave his last performance here (or was it the Garrick Theatre?) before dying at Grace Hospital in Detroit, which is one reason folks think this place is haunted. Rumor has it that strange things started happening in the basement below the theater shortly following his death. Workers have reported seeing apparitions coming from a set of stair that's been blocked off with a brick wall for years and hearing faint applause coming from the empty theater.

4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit

The Whitney | David Whitney and his wife, Sarah, died in this house, perhaps giving credence to the rumors that it's haunted. For nearly three decades, folks have reported seeing apparitions, hearing clanging dishes when no one is around, and having their place settings rearranged by a non-human entity. While beautiful and well-maintained, the place does have an air of spookiness. Maybe it's all those giant paintings of young hooded girls with eyes the burrow into the soul.

4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit

Historic Fort Wayne | The land that Detroit's Fort Wayne sits on was once an Indian burial mound. When the mounds were excavated in the early 20th century, remains as old as 900 years were found. Funny enough, the hauntings reported here usually revolve around the dealings of the American troops that carried out orders here. Many paranormal investigations have taken place here, and folks say they've found definitive evidence that this place is really haunted. Disembodied footsteps and voices have been reported along with ghostly figures.

6325 W. Jefferson, Detroit

Detroit "Cole House" | According to WeirdLectures.com, coupled with other local folklore, Detroit's "Cole House" is haunted by an evil entity that produces foul odors and gives the home's dwellers terrible dreams. These hostile encounters have been reported since the early '60s, but no one is quite sure why a woman in a blue dress and fur jacket refuses to leave. The home's current owners don't allow paranormal investigations, nor do they speak of any abnormal experiences.

5508 Martin St., Detroit

Detroit Public Library | Though the librarians don't like to talk about it much, John E.L. Tenney says they've reported some odd things happening in the archives in the library's basement. Books fly off the shelf and things rearrange themselves.

Wayne State, Detroit

Jackson State Prison | Michigan's first state prison opened in 1838 and operated for nearly 100 years. It wasn't a friendly place; in fact, it was known for neglecting its prisoners — and worse, torturing them. The place has been renovated and turned into an arts village, where local artists have their studios. Some of the cells were even renovated into apartments. Of course, the folks who live there swear they have less-than-human roommates, and paranormal investigations have turned up quite a bit of evidence that they might be right.

3100 Cooper St., Jackson

Tuberculosis Sanatorium | This place has long been abandoned and is in a state of utter disrepair; maybe that's what makes it so creepy. Neighborhood residents report hearing tortured screams coming from the building late at night, and people who are sensitive to spirits report the feeling of being watched from the sanatorium's windows. Even normal folks say they sense a disturbed presence even from the sidewalk.


Thorn Apple Valley Slaughterhouse | "A compatriot and I were trouncing about this old slaughterhouse in Eastern Market quite a while back, I'd say five years or so, in the late afternoon/early evening one day. Now, in a building like this, even in the daylight, once you get to the innards of the building, you need flashlights, as it can get damn near pitch black. Anyway, we were heading on our way out to the more well-lighted areas when my compatriot, who was in front of me, stopped because she heard something. She turned around and she stopped dead in her tracks, eyes wide, mouth agape, as she seemed to look at something behind me. I turned quickly and briefly saw what she saw; it appeared to be a transparent, vaporous-looking mass. Almost formless — like if a silk sheet were flowing underwater — before it dissipated. We turned to face each other in shock, when I saw a similar, much smaller apparition closer to the wall of this large empty room. We decided to get the hell out of there, as it was genuinely spooky.

Later that day, I was recounting this to my wife. She also told me she tried to call my cell, but that the outgoing message didn't sound right. She asked if I made my outgoing message some metal song, or the audio from some horror movie. I told her I hadn't, but then asked when she called me. Turns out she called my phone exactly when my friend and I were experiencing this 'event.' Weird, huh?" —Robert "Nix" Nixon, former MT Production Manager

Eastern Market, Detroit

Two-Way Inn | Philetus Norris, the former owner and resident of the Two-Way Inn, has been seen by a number of patrons and owners of this Detroit establishment. Reports note that the Union spy, archaeologist, and Yellowstone National Park superintendent still dons his cowboy-like duds, even in the afterlife.

17897 Mt. Elliott, Detroit

Northville Psychiatric Hospital | This hospital opened in 1952 and closed 50 years later, but some patients have yet to leave. It's said that the tunnels are where the most paranormal experiences occur, and visitors report hearing voices, footsteps, and the sound of clanking chains along being touched and breathed on by something unseen.

Northville Township

The Henry Ford Estate | The Fair Lane estate is supposedly haunted by a collection of doors and windows that control themselves, and also by a ghostly butler who often appears inside of the vehicles on the grounds. The estate has been investigated by a Michigan paranormal team, and evidence of various orbs and mists was recorded. The grounds appear to be open to the public, so readers can establish the veracity of such mists for themselves.

4901 Evergreen Rd. Dearborn

The Crocker House Museum | Stories abound of a shadowy figure that appears in the windows and doorways, as well as manifestations of unusual temperatures. Home embalming was performed here back in the day, and a few of the old implements — like an antique cooling table — are still on display. The historical society also does a cemetery walk in Mt. Clemens from time to time.

15 Union St. Mt. Clemens

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