Detroit’s darkest moments can still be felt in its structural bones established in 1701. With the high concentration of abandoned buildings in the Motor City, it’s not surprising many people encounter paranormal activity. What’s a good scary story without a few ghosts or things that go bump in the night? With Halloween quickly approaching, let’s explore 6 of Detroit’s infamous haunted buildings!
Thorn Apple Valley Slaughterhouse
During the early 1900s, the manufacturing industry was booming! This incited a rise in building and construction along the Dequindre Cut rail line. Frederick Packing, a meat processing company, was opened in the mid-1960s. By 1984, the name had changed to Thorn Apple Valley Slaughterhouse, but by 1986 the business was closed and put up for sale.
While Eastern Market is undergoing amazing renewal with business development and street art design, Thorn Apple Valley is still reported as being one of the most haunted places in Detroit. Those who explore the building have reported hearing unexplained noises and having strange malfunctions with their electronic devices. The ghosts of disgruntled laid-off workers couldn’t possibly still be haunting the building, could they?
The Whitney may be an elegant restaurant now, but it’s still known for giving people the jitters. Originally built in the 19th century, it was once home to David and Sarah Whitney, who died in the home. It has been reported as being haunted by their ghosts. From dishes clanking when no one is around, to place settings being rearranged, the ghosts apparently aren’t stopping until their meal is served.
Historic Fort Wayne
This historic site is said to be one eerie place! Located at 6053 West Jefferson Avenue, where the Detroit River is closest to Canadian shore, this fort was originally built as a military safeguard. While Historic Fort Wayne hasn’t seen battle over the years, this building sheltered people on the Underground Railroad and during the American Civil War. It served as the garrison post, a temporary detention center for accused communist awaiting trial and housed displaced families during the Great Depression.
Despite all its historical charm, Fort Wayne it still ranked as one of Detroit’s most haunted buildings. Maybe it’s because an Indian burial mound was excavated to build the fort, with some graves as old as 900 years. Many of the hauntings reported involved American troops who served their orders at this location.
The Alhambra Building
Built in 1898, the Alhambra Apartments were lavish in architecture and detail. Sitting at 110 Temple Avenue in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, this once-luxurious 6-story, 24-unit Romanesque building is now a sight for sore eyes and for apparitions.
It was said that a disgruntled employee poisoned over 40 families with arsenic. Fortunately, there were only two fatalities as a result of this horrid act. It has been reported the presence of the poisoner can still be felt. Word to wise: don’t eat or drink in or around the building.
Jackson State Prison
The Armory Arts Village is located in what served as Michigan’s first penitentiary. The prison operated for nearly 100 years after opening in 1838. Like many prison systems, Jackson did not incorporate rehabilitation services into their structure for law offenders, but often neglected and tortured them.
Now, residents of the Armory, living in renovated cells or artists’ lofts, have reported paranormal activity. Both emerging artists and ghostly inmates are enjoying the amenities.
The Eloise Asylum is about 15 miles outside of Detroit in Westland, and while it’s now abandoned, this year it’s on a haunted tour as part of Detroit Paranormal Expeditions (DPX). Originally a farm and poorhouse, the building expanded to 902 acres and 78 different buildings, which led to the development of an asylum and hospital. There’s even a cemetery on the grounds.
The Eloise Asylum opened in 1939, using practices that are now deemed inhumane; people were treated with lobotomies and electroshock therapy. With multiple reports of paranormal experiences ranging from disembodied moans, screams and sobs to seeing apparitions, the building is said to be haunted by former patients. If you’re planning on taking the DPX tour, be sure to bring a flashlight, as there is no power.
What are some of your Detroit apparition stories/experiences? Let us know in the comments below.