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

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