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Spookiest Places In Detroit

By Liz Parker

Halloween will soon be upon us, and Detroit, with its long history, has a variety of spooky places that interested thrill-seekers can visit. Check out this list for some ideas.

Eloise Insane Asylum
Michigan Avenue
Westland, MI

Eloise was the inspiration for the 2017 movie of the same name, which was filmed there, starring Chace Crawford. In 2015, it was listed for sale, but still has not sold. The site began as a poorhouse and a farm, in 1839, and eventually expanded to 76 buildings and 900 acres. HauntedUSA.org says this about the site: “Explorers were rumored to have discovered jars of human body parts, documents outlining strange medical procedures, and creepy snapshots of patients in the abandoned buildings that were torn down in the 1980s. More recently, a spectral woman wearing white has been rumored to be seen in the upper floors and on the roof of the old D building … Some have reported hearing strange moans, screams, and roars on the old grounds.”

Belle Isle Zoo
Belle Isle
Detroit, MI

The Huffington Post did an article on the zoo back in 2013, with some up-to-date photos, and it’s been closed since 2002. At one point, the zoo had nature paths, an aquarium, beaches, fields for sports, a giant slide, a conservatory, and the Belle Isle Nature Zoo; although all of that is still there, for the most part, it’s fallen into disrepair. The zoo initially opened with a beer den and deer park, and by 1909 it contained 150 animals. When the current Detroit Zoo opened in 1928, the Belle Isle Zoo became a children’s zoo, in 1947; in the 1980’s, the zoo was given a facelift, but then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick ultimately decided to close it in 2002.
Two Way Inn
17897 Mt. Elliott St.
Detroit, MI 48212
(313) 891-4925
www.2wayinn.com
Unlike the first two venues on this list, the Two Way Inn is one that can actually still be visited, as it’s Detroit’s oldest operating bar, since 1876. You may see a ghost dressed like a cowboy there, and that’s because he was a cowboy: it’s the ghost of Colonel Philetus Norris, a New York native and Civil War spy, who also lived in Michigan. The Two Way Inn’s website even has an entire tab devoted to Norris, where you can learn more about him and his life.

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The Whitney
4421 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 832-5700
www.thewhitney.com

The Whitney is a fantastic place to grab dinner or a cocktail, but it’s also one of the most haunted places in the city – unsurprising, since the mansion was built in 1894, and at one time was a tuberculosis ward. MLive.com’s description of an unusual experience there is very interesting: “When MLive toured The Whitney in October, the comforting, unmistakeable smell of bacon, eggs and breakfast potatoes filled the first floor coming from the kitchen. No one was using the kitchen and The Whitney had stopped serving breakfast months ago when the M-1 Rail construction had started up in front of the building.”

Masonic Temple
500 Temple St.
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 832-7100
www.themasonic.com

The Masonic Temple has many different compartments and staircases where it would be easy for ghosts to hide. The Masonic Temple Association was incorporated in 1894 in Detroit, and once they outgrew the original building, the now-standing structure was built, on Temple St. which was then called Bagg St. The building was dedicated on Thanksgiving, 1926. Rumor has it that the builder of the Temple, George D. Mason, jumped from the building’s roof to his death in 1948, and Temple workers have reported seeing him walking to the roof. There have also been reports of slamming doors and shadows cast – but with nobody around to cast said shadows.

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