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Things That Go Bump In The Night at Haunted Hotels

Published in the Battle Creek Enquirer, October 25, 2013

I love the last of the blazing color in the trees, the fresh cider and the pumpkin patches of late October. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday with no pressure to buy anything but bags and bags of candy.

With Halloween a few days away, one last visit to a spooky inn or haunted house may be just how you want to spend some time at the end of this month. Or how about a pumpkin patch?

Depending on how far you want to travel for a little bump in the night, I found five spooky overnight locations. As close as Kalamazoo, you can spend the night at Henderson Castle, where the ghosts of the home’s original owners, Frank and Mary Henderson, as well as those of a Spanish-American War veteran, a little girl, and a dog are reported to interact regularly with guests. The castle has been in three horror movies.

Marshall is home to the National House Inn, where an elegant full-bodied apparition, a lady in red, wanders the house. She’s also been spotted looking out the second floor window.

If Detroit is your destination, The Inn on Ferry Street has two reported spirits, a friendly woman in a wedding dress who roams the halls in the inn’s Roehm House, plus a male ghost in the inn’s Owen House Room 4102, who grabs your arm at night.

You can also check in at the Sweet Dreams Inn Victorian Bed & Breakfast in Bay Port, where the hosts will organize a ghost hunt from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., including lodging for the night, pizza and pop. No refunds if you leave in the middle of the night.

The Blue Pelican Inn, in Central Lake, Antrim County, is where your stay comes with an entire host of ghostly spirits. The property was used as a temporary school when the original Central Lake School burned down. Reported sightings includes the shade of Mrs. Gill, who managed the property in the ‘20s and ‘30s and came back to stay in the 1950s, when she died in one of the rooms. Also seen is a young woman who tried to elope from the second floor outside window, tripped on her gown and fell to her death. The third “ghostie” is a little girl who is looking out the attic dormer, surrounded by her schoolbooks.

If a day trip fits better into your schedule, try DarkSyde Acres in Jonesville, with more than 70,000 indoor square feet, one of the biggest and largest haunted attractions in three states. Where else do you have the opportunity to have a Zombie Wedding for $400? Or, you can participate in Zombie Paintball Massacre and “splat off” one of the living dead.

The 2013 Pumpkin Fest and Haunted Barn at Wilson’s Barn in Livonia offers the more traditional fields of pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, as well as pony and hay rides. Or visit the annual Tee Lake Halloween in Lewiston, which offers a free Drive-Thru Haunt — a family-friendly, self-guided tour through haunted displays. Your car radio can be tuned to their spooky station. “Terror at Tee Lake” is a walk-through haunted house, or you can stay over in a haunted cabin, The Witch’s Cottage or Igor’s Hideaway.

If spooky is not your thing, you can visit the local pumpkin patch in Richland at Gull Meadows farms, or in Marshall at Bosserd Family Farm.

From full-blown ghost adventures to picking out the perfect pumpkin, enjoy the last few days of fall fun. Boo to you.

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