Monday, October 24, 2011
Kalamazoo and Ghost Tour, two!
This is late, I know, but I was living it up at Cedar Point's Halloweekends, getting as scared as possible before Halloween night! I've been informed that Cedar Points is haunted by more than just Screamsters. Perhaps we'll take a look at that later on in the cold months to come. For now, I do believe I need to finish up the ghost tour my roommate and I took October 14th.
What Goes on Here?
We last left off with the murder of Louis Shilling down on Portage st. Now let's visit the Corner Bar, a popular hangout for college students from WMU. Before it became the local hangout of dozens of kids after class, the Corner Bar was a Bowling Alley (read: Speakeasy). Yup, they made illegal booze right in the heart of the Midwest. Well, it's said that a young boy who worked at the bowling alley as a pin setter got caught in the machine in day. He unfortunately died, but fortunately haunts the Corner Bar to this day. Employees have seen him in the kitchen, and without cause plates and utensils have been flung to the floor.
A little drive down the road brings you into Augusta. Here is the Brooks Lodge, a great place to go for food and drinks (or so I hear), but it also seems to be filled with another kind of spirit. This was once the Upjohn vacation home. There was space enough for everyone here, including the mistress. After the family sold the home, it was turned into the Brooks Lodge. There have been several investigations of this place, with especially good collections of evidence. We were told of a few EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) captured by the team.
They were asking questions in the house, and discovered that two unseen entities were having a conversation amongst themselves. Half the conversation was garbled, but the ther voice was strong and could be heard answering the muffled voice with "Yes, I know." "It's okay." and "I don't care." These are not Dr. Upjohn, however. The team was given that definite answer during one of their EVP sessions.
The Park Club on Rose and South streets was a merging of three different men's clubs (sorry ladies) in 1904. It is still used a dinner club now, with only the finest served. We weren't told many details, but our guide did say there was plenty of spirit activity here. Perhaps the members of this dinner club don't want to spook newcomers too badly.
The State Theatre is haunted, as well, but this is not a surprise to any of us, is it? It is a theatre after all.
There is indeed an Indian burial mound in Bronson Park! It has been confirmed through very careful probing and excavations of the site. If you check it out, please be courteous and remember that this is a sacred part of Kalamazoo.
Last, but certainly not least is the Civic Auditorium, facing the burial mound mentioned above. It was built in the 1900's by none other than Dr. Upjohn, for his daughter who couldn't get enough of live theatre. Perhaps a little surprising, however, is that she is not the one strolling the stage after dark. Thelma was an avid theatre goer right until until her death in the 1960's. Even after her death, pieces of her remain throughout the auditorium. She donated all of her possessions to the prop department, and they still use them today for various shows. She even saved them herself from a water pipe that burst in the prop room in the basement of the auditorium. When employees got down there to clean up the mess of soaked and damaged props, they were shocked to find that every single one had been moved and saved from drowning! No one had even known the pipe had burst until the morning!
I would like to thank the Ghosts of Kalamazoo tour guides (Heather, Blair, Bob, Mike #1, Jamie and Mike #2) for the fantastic tour they put on. They managed to get a lot of great information across in a short amount of time, and did it well! Can't wait to see you next year, guys!
Below are a few websites to delve further into the haunted history of Kalamazoo:
Note: Kalamazoo Asylum isn't in here on purpose. That will be getting its own blog in weeks to come!