Ghosts and goblins may be comical haunts to some, but for others, they are altogether real. With Halloween looming closer, now is the time to get in tune with some otherworldly creatures. Detroit has some stories that will leave chills running down your spine, and ghosts have been known to remain present among the living in the area. Check out these Metro spots for haunted happenings.
S.S. Columbia – The Boblo Boat
River Rouge, MI 48218
The S.S. Columbia ferried guests to Boblo Island Amusement Park from 1902 to 1991. Now in ruins, and docked in River Rouge, this ship is said to be haunted by the spirit Detroit-born actor Wally Cox, known for his role as “Mr. Peeples,” the voice of “Underdog” and rumored lover of actor Marlon Brando. As a child, Cox was inspired by the iron works on this ship, and eventually moved to New York City, where he studied metal-working and became a master craftsman.
Old Cass Technical High School
2421 2nd Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
The area within and surrounding the old Cass Technical High School is said to be haunted by the spirit of Detroit-born aviator Charles Lindbergh, whose mother taught chemistry here from 1922 to 1942. The original building has been demolished, but later buildings crowd this area. Psychics relate that Lindbergh’s spirit is in turmoil over incompetent management of the area school system, years of waste, corruption, massive debts, irresponsibility in protecting the original historic structure and gangster culture’s brazen disregard for education.
The Gem Theatre
333 Madison St.
Detroit, MI 48226
The Gem Theatre is said to be haunted by the spirit of Detroit-born Sicilian Sonny Bono, whose love for entertainment and theatre consumed his life. Formerly known as Twentieth Century Club, The Rivoli, Drury Lane, Europa and The Cinema, the beautiful Gem Theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Salvatore Phillip “Sonny” Bono was born to Italian immigrants, and appreciated the old-world Mediterranean revival architectural style found in The Gem, as well as the entertainment playing in the theatre when he was a child.
Detroit, MI 48226
Detroit’s Farmers’ Market flourished from 1841 until 1891 at Cadillac Square, nearby today’s Compuware World Headquarters and Farmer Street. The environs are said to be haunted by Oscar Ferdinand Mayer, who immigrated to Detroit from Bavaria in 1873, and worked as an apprentice for George Weber’s Retail Meat Market. While living with his cousin, he honed his selling skills at the Farmers’ Market before founding his own meat firm Oscar Mayer. Godfather of the Wienermobile and Wiener Whistle, Mayer is said to be a happy spirit, who can be heard singing in distant corridors of buildings surrounding Cadillac Square.
383 Lenox St
Detroit, MI 48215
The Fisher Mansion has been many things to many people – firstly the stately home of Lawrence P. Fisher (president of Cadillac) and currently a cultural center honoring India’s timeless heritage. The palace is said to be haunted by the spirit of Elvis Presley, who was a former guest inside its elaborately gilded walls and ceilings. The king is said to enjoy its flashy colors and über ornate decor, as well as the free weekly feast presented by the cultural center.
Romero Anton Montalban-Anderssen is the winner of the 2009 first prize in journalism from the Detroit Working Writers Organization. He has seasonal residency in Detroit Michigan, The Italian Riviera, and Honolulu Hawaii. His work can be found at Examiner.com.