Haunted Michigan Lighthouses: 13 Spooky Sites
Lighthouses were often a lonely place to live and work, and some were isolated from civilization by many miles. Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state, and a handful of them have been the subject of paranormal investigations and sightings of ghosts. The following is a list of some of the most popular “ghost stories” that surround Michigan’s legendary lights. We’ve been able to visit all of these lighthouses, and many of them that are open as museums have photos and exhibits detailing rumored hauntings. For more reading on haunted lighthouses in Michigan and beyond, check out Haunted Lighthouses: Phantom Keepers, Ghostly Shipwrecks, And Sinister Calls From the Deep by Ray Jones, the Haunted Michigan series by Gerald S. Hunter, Weird Michigan by Linda S. Godfrey, and Spirits at Seul Choix Pointe: True Lighthouse Stories by Marilyn S. Fischer. Visit these haunted Michigan lighthouses, and decide for yourself if there’s something paranormal at work!
Seul Choix Point Lighthouse, Gulliver (Lake Michigan) – Constructed in the 1890s, Seul Choix Point Lighthouse marks a harbor of refuge for vessels on a dangerous 100-mile stretch of Lake Michigan between Poverty Island and St. Helena Island. Its white tower is 77 feet tall and is attached to a brick, two-story keeper’s dwelling.
rumored to be haunted by: former keeper Joseph William Townsend
how to visit: from US-2 in Gulliver, head south on CR-432 for 4.5 miles, then turn onto CR-431 (Seul Choix Rd.) and follow it 4 miles to its end at the lighthouse. This lighthouse is open as a museum seasonally, visit https://www.greatlakelighthouse.com/ for updated hours and details on how you can enter the light and climb the tower.
Old Presque Isle Lighthouse, Presque Isle (Lake Huron) – Built in 1840, the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse is one of Michigan’s oldest surviving lighthouses. It also had one of the shortest service careers of any Michigan light, as the area’s harsh weather conditions took a toll on this 38-foot-tall brick tower. The New Presque Isle Lighthouse (see below) replaced this station in 1870.
rumored to be haunted by: former keeper George Parris
how to visit: the lighthouse is located on E. Grand Lake Rd., just a few miles off of US-23 north of Alpena. The lighthouse tower and unattached keeper’s dwelling are open for tours seasonally, find out more at https://presqueislelighthouses.org/.
New Presque Isle Lighthouse, Presque Isle (Lake Huron) – First lit in 1870, the New Presque Isle Lighthouse boasts one of the tallest towers in the state (109 feet). Its white tower has green trim and accent paint, and has a one-and-a-half story dwelling attached. Many other buildings on the grounds have been restored, including a 1905 dwelling.
rumored to be haunted by: the wife of a former keeper, who may have locked her on the grounds while he went into town to visit a lady friend.
how to visit: the lighthouse is located on E. Grand Lake Rd., just a few miles off of US-23 north of Alpena. The lighthouse tower and keeper’s dwelling are open for tours seasonally, find out more at https://presqueislelighthouses.org/
White River Light Station, Whitehall (Lake Michigan) – William Robinson was the first keeper at the White River Light Station, serving 44 years before his death at the lighthouse. It is said that both he and his wife “never left.” The lighthouse here was constructed in 1876, and its tower is 38 feet tall, marking the channel entrance to White Lake from Lake Michigan.
rumored to be haunted by: Captain William Robinson and his wife Sarah
how to visit: the White River Light Station is operated as a museum by the Sable Points Lightkeepers Association. Find out more and get directions at https://www.splka.org/whiteriver.html.
Big Bay Point Lighthouse, Big Bay (Lake Superior) – Standing on a bluff 40 feet above Lake Superior, the Big Bay Point Lighthouse has marked a dangerous stretch of shoreline since 1896. The red brick keeper’s dwelling and attached tower bear some similarities to the Old Mackinac Point light, and the lantern room is painted white and was equipped with a Third Order Fresnel lens.
rumored to be haunted by: former keeper H. William Prior, who was so distraught over the death of his son that he vanished into the woods with a rope and was found hanging in the woods a year later. His son had been helping with work at the lighthouse and died after getting an infection in his leg after an injury.
how to visit: the Big Bay Point Lighthouse operates as a bed and breakfast, with access allowed to other visitors during select times. Find out more at https://bigbaylighthouse.com/. From Marquette head north on CR-550 to Big Bay, then take county road KCB a few miles east to the lighthouse.
Whitefish Point Light Station, Paradise (Lake Superior) – Marking an area of Lake Superior that has seen enough shipwrecks for it to be referred to as the “Graveyard of the Great Lakes,” the Whitefish Point Light Station is the oldest operating light on Lake Superior. Built in 1861, the steel skeletal tower is 76 feet tall. Today, the grounds and buildings are affiliated with the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, which is home to many artifacts including the bell from the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.
rumored to be haunted by: unknown; visitors at the life-saving station crew quarters have reported paranormal occurrences.
how to visit: From M-123 in Paradise, head north on Whitefish Point Rd. and follow it to its end at the lighthouse.
Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, Port Huron (Lake Huron) – One of the oldest surviving lighthouse on the Great Lakes, the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse dates back to the 1820s. The white tower is 82 feet tall, and a brick keeper’s building is located nearby.
rumored to be haunted by: former keeper Bob Hanford; Motor City Ghost Hunters have led several events at the site and claim to have witnessed paranormal activity.
how to visit: the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse and other buildings are operated as a museum in Port Huron. Find out more at https://www.phmuseum.org/fort-gratiot-lighthouse/. The lighthouse is located at 2802 Omar St., a few blocks north of the Blue Water Bridge.
Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse, Port Hope (Lake Huron) – marking a spot in Lake Huron where the water is only a few feet deep due to a shoal, the Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse is incredibly important to those traveling from Detroit to Saginaw (and beyond). The current tower was constructed in 1857 and is 89 feet tall. The attached two-story keeper’s dwelling is now open as a museum.
rumored to be haunted by: Catherine Shook, who was the first female lighthouse keeper in Michigan as she took over for her husband after he drowned in 1849.
how to visit: From M-25 north of Port Hope, turn right on Lighthouse Rd. and follow it to Lighthouse County Park and the Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse. More info at http://www.pointeauxbarqueslighthouse.org/.
Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Northport (Lake Michigan) – Constructed in 1858, the Grand Traverse Lighthouse sits at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula marking the point where Lake Michigan enters Grand Traverse Bay. Its 41-foot-tall tower sits atop a two-and-a-half story keeper’s dwelling.
rumored to be haunted by: Captain Peter Nelson and others, footsteps and voices heard here have been attributed to several former keepers.
how to visit: the lighthouse is located in Leelanau State Park. From Traverse City head north on M-22, then take M-201 to CR-629. Follow the signs to the state park and lighthouse, which is now a museum. Find out more at https://www.grandtraverselighthouse.com/.
Waugoshance Lighthouse (Lake Michigan) – marking a dangerous shoal in the Straits of Mackinac, Waugoshance Shoal Light is one of our more unique-looking surviving lighthouses. The tower is brick and 63 feet tall, topped with a birdcage lantern room. During World War II the abandoned lighthouse here was used for bomber target practice, leaving it a shell of what was once a larger station and prettier tower.
rumored to be haunted by: former keeper John Herman, who is rumored to have drowned at the site while playing a practical joke on his assistant
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, Eagle Harbor (Lake Superior) – this lighthouse was constructed in 1871 to replace an 1851 structure that had deteriorated. The tower and keeper’s dwelling of the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse are constructed of red and white brick, with the tower standing 44 feet tall. The light marks the entrance to a protected harbor along an extremely rocky stretch of Lake Superior on the north end of the Keweenaw Peninsula.
rumored to be haunted by: a Coast Guard worker who was stationed here in the 1970s reports many strange happenings, possibly attributed to a former keeper
how to visit: the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and several other buildings are part of a museum complex. Where M-26 makes a sharp bend in Eagle Harbor near the beach, take North St. straight ahead then turn left after a couple blocks where signs mark the entrance to the lighthouse complex. Find out more at http://keweenawhistory.org/sites/church-2-2-2/.
Sand Point Lighthouse, Escanaba (Lake Michigan) – as Escanaba became a popular port during a lumber boom in the 1860s, it became clear that a lighthouse was needed. The Sand Point Lighthouse was constructed in 1868, standing 44 feet tall and constructed in the “schoolhouse” style.
rumored to be haunted by: former keeper Mary Terry, the first keeper at this site who took over for her husband after he died during its construction. Mary died mysteriously in a fire and is rumored to still haunt the museum.
how to visit: from the intersection of US-2 and M-35/US-41, head east on Ludington St. and take it through downtown. Continue on Ludington until you reach its intersection with Lake Shore Dr., at which point you should be able to see the lighthouse and parking area. For more information on the lighthouse museum, head to
Point Iroquois Lighthouse, Brimley (Lake Superior) – the current Point Iroquois Lighthouse was constructed in 1870 to help guide ships in and out of the Soo Locks. It is a Cape Cod style lighthouse building, with a 65 foot tall tower. The tower and attached dwelling are painted white with red roofing and a black lantern room.
rumored to be haunted by: a young girl killed in a bear attack; others – attributed to the fact that this lighthouse was constructed on the site of a deadly Native American massacre in 1662.
how to visit: operated as a museum by the National Forest Service, the Point Iroquois Lighthouse is located on W. Lakeshore Dr./Iroquois Rd. (Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway), a few miles west of Bay Mills. Find out more at https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hiawatha/recarea/?recid=13342.