Most haunted places in mid-Michigan

Posted at 8:58 AM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-31 08:58:19-04

Many Mid-Michigan landmarks you pass everyday have a spooky connection to the past.

Ghosts stories and legends have been passed along on Michigan State University's campus for decades.

I went to the university archives to learn more.

"We have the history of MSU itself here," says Jennie Russell, the Assistant Records Archivist at the University Archives and Historical Collections.

One of the biggest legends involves a student dorm on campus: Mayo Hall.

Students say Mary Mayo, the woman who pushed for women's courses at MSU, haunts the hall.

"Either walking around, playing the piano," says Russell.

Even though Mayo hall was built 28 years after her death, the legend lives on.

"People see something and they don't know how to explain it away," she says.

Students pass by Beaumont Tower everyday without giving it a second thought. But, this campus landmark has a ghostly connection too.

"I have heard that it is the ghost of a World War II soldier, or that there has been a man in a top hat," Russell says.

But she says don't fret, most of these campus legends are all in good fun.

"None of the ghost stories have been bad ghosts," Russell says, "they've all been friendly ghosts if that is what you want to call them."

It isn't just on Michigan State's campus. How many of you have spent a day soaking up the sun at Lake Lansing park?

Well, it too has an unexpected and spooky past.

"Right here, right where we are now, in the 1880s was a spiritualist camp," says Bill Castanier, the President of the Historical Society of Greater Lansing.

Instead of sunbathers, imagine thousands of people gathering right here in Haslett in the summer to talk to the dead.

"And believed they were communicating with the dead!" says Castanier.

At the time, communicating with the dead wasn't such a crazy idea. People had a desperate desire to talk to loved ones who died in the Civil War or from disease, and there were plenty of mediums ready to start the conversation.

"They had tricks up their sleeves and everywhere else," he says.

It was camps like this one in Mid-Michigan that helped spawn the Ouija board as we know it today.

"It was evolved from the fact that mediums would write out answers," Castanier says.

To learn more about all of this history, you can visit the archives on Michigan State's campus. The archives are open to the public.

Also, get in touch with the Historical Society of Greater Lansing or your local government for more information.