From the October 2019 issue

Michigan Haunts Book Sheds Light on Creepy Fun History

Looking for some spooky fun this Halloween? This new Michigan haunts book can be your guide to haunted historical fun in our state.

Michigan haunts book cover over a creepy looking house
Photo of The Henderson Castle Inn in Kalamazoo, courtesy of Jon Milan and Gail Offen

Looking to scare up some historic fun with the kiddos? Snag a copy of Michigan Haunts: Public Places, Eerie Spaces, which debuts on Oct. 7.

Jon Milan and Gail Offen put a spooky spin on some of the state’s historic attractions and legends. Many you can step inside; some are best viewed from a distance. And while they don’t recommend haunted graves for younger kids, most of the locations in the book are safe bets for tame but spooky fun.

“The book is like a guide. You can fit it in your glove compartment, and anytime you go driving you can pull it out and plan on stopping at one of these places,” Milan says.

Both authors are educators – Offen is an adjunct professor of advertising at Lawrence Tech University and Milan is a substitute teacher and piano teacher.

“It’s a great, kind of sneaky way to get people interested in history,” Offen says.

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A few to try? Consider these spots.

1. Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford

Offen used to guide tours at Greenfield Village. “Almost everyone on staff has stories of some sort of encounter. And if you press, you can find out the spookier history of the village,” she says.

Next time you’re here, try to catch a glimpse of President Kennedy or one of the other specters that have been rumored to haunt the historical grounds.

2. Houdini Trail

“Houdini has so much history in the city,” Milan says. “People still come from all over the world just to see where he performed and stayed while he was here. For a while his wife even tried to hold séances in the Masonic Temple to contact him.”

3. Nain Rouge

“This is the first year we’ve attended and it was so much fun. There were families everywhere,” Offen says. While the Marche du Nain Rouge only happens in March, it’s definitely worth attending.

After all, who wouldn’t love to dress up and march against the devil in Detroit while eating crawfish?

Grab a copy

If you’d like your own copy of Michigan Haunts: Public Places, Eerie Spaces, you can purchase it for $22 at arcadiapublishing.com starting Oct. 7, 2019.

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