Saturday, June 30, 2012

Marshall, Michigan: The most haunted town in the US?


For my birthday, and because I'm a nerd, my roommate her boyfriend and I took a trip down I-94 to Marshall and Colon, Michigan. On the Hand, these two towns are little specks amongst better known destinations like Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor and Detroit. In fact, I hadn't really heard of either of them until doing idle research of the paranormal online and learned that Colon was the Magic Capital of the World (their sign says so). Well, being the nerd that I am and lover of anything magic, I needed to go. And then my roommate and I discovered that Marshall was home to the Museum of Magic, and, well, my 25th birthday party was set.

It was only after doing more research about our destination that we learned Marshall has a ghost tour.. two in fact. My birthday could only get better! And so we set off on a Monday to see what this little piece of Michigan had to offer... only to discover that the American Museum of Magic is closed on Mondays. Okay, well, small set-back, but we still saw Lakeview Cemetery and went on the ghost tour!

What goes on here?

Well, first thing's first. A little on Marshall itself.

Marshall was built up by the wealthy and elite. The wives of Marshall wanted a place where their friends could stay and relax, and yet still live their high-standard lifestyles. They built the little city up, complete with Opera house. There are several places to shop, to entertain, and every single home in the neighborhoods surrounding the downtown area is grand and beautiful. The downtown area is lively, with people coming and going all day long. Marshall is also home to Schuler's, a famous restaurant in that part of Michigan (and incredibly delicious to boot). And, you might also know Marshall as the birthplace of Jamie Hyneman, one half of the Mythbusters!

But that's the city. What about the ghosts?

(Adiya decided to show up in my picture)

Well, let's begin at the beginning of the ghost tour. Marshall Carriage Company is host to the Marshall Ghost Tours. They have an on-foot tour and a carriage tour. The three of us took the on-foot tour, but there are definitely plans to return sometime around Halloween and try the carriage tour. But!

The on-foot tour begins in the Carriage Company itself. Before we even left the store we were introduced to Adiya, a doll from India. There were several offerings in front of her. Lisa, our amazing tour guide, told us that people leave offerings to Adiya so that she won't feel the urge to follow them home and wreak mischief on them there. My roommate (C) and her boyfriend (G) both left offerings. I... did not. Call me crazy, but I wanted to see if Adiya would indeed follow me home. She didn't, fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), but maybe she was busy following someone else already.


Stop number two on our tour took us slightly down the road to the Stagecoach Inn. This was the gentlemen-only hotel in the city back in the day. It was also a bordello (surprise, surprise). The ghost here is of one of the women of the night. She was tipsy, and on the balcony, and, well.. she fell. Now, she leaves doors open, she takes photographs and faces them to the wall, and likes to leave cupboards open. But there is more to this building than just her.

The third stop is the Block Building. An upper floor housed the opera house of the town. Today it's still up there, still with the posters of the last opera performed hanging on the walls. The ghost here is the leading man from that last opera. He can be heard practicing his lines and acting out his scenes. People have seen shadows, too.

Our fourth haunted building was Filligree Supply, on Michigan Ave. There was an accountant who had an office just inside the doorway, and he would come in every morning to find the tape in calculator run out with a bunch of random numbers on it. The computers would shut down on their own, and cold spots (areas where a spirit may be drawing heat from in order to manifest) even in the dead of summer with no air conditioning to be found! But you'll have to check it out to find out the backstory!

The next stop takes us to the Cronin Building, and the Cronin sisters Elizabeth and Virginia. These ladies were the last to run the dry goods store in Marshall, now an empty building. Since they passed away (actually fairly recently), the sisters have not stopped helping those who come into their store. They can be heard saying "Good day, how are you?" and "How may I help you?" And at 6:30pm, Elizabeth still raps her cane on the floor of the second story, calling for Virginia to send up the day's receipts.

(the inside of the Cronin building)

And last for this particular installment, is the American Museum of Magic itself. While she is unsure just who it is, Lisa is certain a magician haunts the museum. Perhaps someone is attached to a particular trick or tool in the museum. In any case, there is a seance held trying to contact Harry Houdini himself held there every October 31st (you know, despite him having tried to pass a law banning such things). If you get a chance, go exploring (not on Mondays!) and tell me what you find!

I've decided there is just too much information to cram into one blog. I want to do everything justice, so tune in next week for the second half of the Marshall Ghost tour! I promise you a ton more information, and some really amazing pictures lent to me from Lisa herself! Marshall is one hell of a haunted city!

If you'd like to know more, or schedule a tour for yourself, go to Haunted Marshall and make sure you talk to Lisa DeGraw! She is the best tour guide you'll ever have on a ghost tour!

All pictures here were taken by G or me

Saturday, June 23, 2012

You know what they say about big feet...


Well! Unfortunately I haven't received an email back from our wonderful tour guide in Marshall, and I think it wouldn't do the tour justice if I did the blog on it anyway. So, instead I'm going to bring you something a little different. We're going to look away from ghosts for a week and instead turn our eyes onto something else entirely.

Yes, I know, this phenomenon has been done to death. But I have never done proper research on it, and it seems only fair that I devote equal attention and brain space to all the supernatural phenomenons out there, not just the ones no one knows about. And, since I've lived in California, Oregon and Michigan (three places where he/she has been spotted and has somewhat of a following), I thought it would be a good idea if I, along with you, became better acquainted with this elusive monster of legend.

So, without further ado, I present you.... Bigfoot.

What goes on here?

If we want to learn anything new about Bigfoot, we have to start with everything old about Bigfoot. This legend has been around for years. And when I say years, I mean Columbus hadn't even stumbled upon North America in a drunken stupor yet, this legend is so old. Nearly every Native American community has a legend similar to Bigfoot, whether they call him "the Big Man," or think of him as something closer to a big brother. He appears in times of great need or distress within a community, and sometimes offers strength to the people to fight through their troubled times. At other times, to other communities like the Hopi, he is just the messenger from the creator sent to show the people how much they are destroying what the creator gave them. Kind of like a warning.

"The existence of Bigfoot is taken for granted throughout Native North America, and so are his powerful psychic abilities. I can't count the number of times that I have heard elder Indian people say that Bigfoot knows when humans are searching for him and that he chooses when and to whom to make an appearance, and that his psychic powers account for his ability to elude the white man's efforts to capture him or hunt him down. In Indian culture, the entire natural world -- the animals, the plants, the rivers, the stars -- is seen as a family. And Bigfoot is seen as one of our close relatives, the "great elder brother" " (

But in recent times, Bigfoot has become a new kind of legend. He's the scary story we tell our kids around a campfire, or that mysterious noise just outside our tent. He's the strange, awful smell when we're on the hiking trail, or the movement in the trees. We know him on sight, or on sound, as some big, hairy hominid lurking just out of reach in what's left of America's forests. The last great mystery of the wilderness. There have been countless sightings, photographs and videos. Hell, there's even a Bigfoot Museum in Willow Creek, California (I've been, it's awesome). Bigfoot is part of the American culture, as much as apple pie, or political sex scandals.

But there continues to be sighting after sighting, and more and more people believing in the big guy everyday. 

Of course, it all really began back in 1967. 

Since the Patterson film was presented to the public, there are have a myriad sightings of Bigfoot (or something like it) in the wild of America. This video is still hotly debated, and a great many people do believe it's completely fake. And who knows? It could be. But what people are seeing out in the woods might not be.Gimlin, Patterson's partner in crime, still claims the film is 100% real, and since the early 2000's has been available to talk about what happened. 

The men were on horseback near the Klamath river in California when they spotted a big fallen tree and the furry creature behind it. Patterson got off his horse and started rolling. The thing, presumably Bigfoot, kept on walking from the scene, looking back a few times at the men with nothing resembling emotion. They tracked it for a few miles, but the creature eventually disappeared into the underbrush of the forest. (

Since then there have been more than a few other videos claiming to capture Bigfoot:

Like this one, of a police car dash cam.

Unfortunately Bigfoot has become such a known entity that finding nearly anything worthy of posting here from Youtube is nearly a waste of time. However!

BFRO, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, is a group that collects reports of the Big Brother from all over North America, from Florida to Alaska, with Canada in between. And it's not just old hunters with stories from the eighties. According to their website, Bigfoot was spotted this month! Their reports are pretty credible, and they even do follow-ups with the eyewitnesses. They seem like your one-stop-shop for everything Bigfoot.

Or! If you'd like to look at a whole bunch of photos that might be (but might not be) Bigfoot, there's a great image gallery over at Unexplained Mysteries that has a ton of photos from users all over the world!

Personally, I would love to know much more about Big Brother, watching over the forests of North America. Have you seen one? Or have other evidence for or against the existence of Bigfoot? I would loooove to hear it! Email me, or leave a comment below and tell me what you know!

Until next week, happy hunting!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm back!

Welp, my computer has been fixed by a wonderful friend of mine, and now she (renamed the TARDIS by said friend) is running like a dream! Apparently I just need to reinstall Windows every few years, and my computer keeps trudging along.

However, I still can't afford to pay for the internet at my new apartment, so I have to go in search of it at my lovely local library to do anything requiring the interwebs. Which is fine for now, I suppose, since I don't work on Saturdays, and can come here and update for all of you!

Speaking of an update, do I have a doozy for you. It'll be here when I get the email back from the very interesting and well-informed tour guide who will be filling in any spots I missed. What happened, you ask?

Well! My roommate, her boyfriend and I all went to Marshall and Colon, Michigan for my birthday this past Monday! If any of you are familiar with the place, you know just how excited I was to go! Colon is the Magic Capital of the World. I know, right? I had never heard of it, either. But! I have always had a soft spot for magic, and I needed to see what all the fuss was about (and pay homage to Harry Blackstone's grave). We also went on the Marshall ghost tour, and, well, I've got a few amazing pics to show you.

However! That will all have to wait until Saturday! For now, know that I am back in the full swing of things, and I can't wait to tell you everything there is ghostly in Marshall!