Ghostly apparitions

Paranormal experiences on tap at Ore Dock Brewing event


Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — Susan Hill moved to Marquette from Canada and soon volunteered to lead tours through the city’s notable red lighthouse. On the last day of the season, she had her first paranormal experience.

The following is an account of Susan’s experiences.

I had finished the tour and taken the tourists out the back. I went back through to lock up and I heard a huge door slam upstairs. It was windy out and I figured the wind must have blown a window shut. I’d never been upstairs. There was nobody up there. I called to Hillary (who mans the tickets and gift shop). “Hillary, let’s go up and close that window.” She gave me a knowing look and said,” Let’s go up and close that window.” There was no window. The door I assumed had slammed was standing open. I hurried out and reminded myself that I don’t believe in ghosts.

That changed in 2018.

I was telling a “ghost story” from my flash cards about the maritime museum history. Over a two-week period two middle-aged women fainted. Separately. The first woman, who looked fit and sporty, fell straight over like “TIMBER.” I thought she was dead. I called 911. She started coming to and I hung up. Never hang up on 911. They called right back.

Two weeks later, after the ghost story crumpled and collapsed, her husband said, “Does your ghost attack people often?”

“There’s no such thing as ghosts, of course. It’s just a hot day. Let’s get her some water.” I hurried things along and got everyone out. I yelled upstairs and told the “ghost” that I didn’t believe in that he had to stop touching people. They won’t come back. My nerves were shot.”

2018 was the icing on the cake. I finally contacted Trish Kautz of Yooper Paranormal. She and her friends actually investigate ghosts and such. I’d had a couple of real scares by this point.

On a hot day, at the end of a tour I went to lock up. Suddenly it turned as cold as a meat locker and I had a right tingly feeling run down my back like electricity. You’ve never seen a plus-size woman run so fast. I was sure he was trying to push us down the stairs. That’s just “rude” I thought. I had heard Trish and members of Yooper Paranormal speak on the Ishpeming Library. I decided I needed to bring Trish in. She set up some equipment to detect spirits. Recorders that sometimes capture EVPs (electronic voice phenomena), a Spirit Box that works kind of like a broken radio, and had luck getting some people’s names who had lived in the lighthouse long ago.

At the time, Adam B. Sayles, a second assistant lighthouse keeper was the only person they knew for sure had died in the lighthouse. His room was the front window on the left-hand side upstairs. We’ve seen coastguards run out of that upstairs bedroom. A 3-year-old little girl told us she had been playing with a little girl in a pink dress who had no face. A 2-year-old named David drowned near the lighthouse and still likes to play there. A medium told us about him. Sometime when they set up cat lights, David will run down a line of the lights and light them up. Susan played with him for 45 minutes one night with the lights coming on as she clapped and called out to David, only to discover later, they had lost the audio.

Nelson and Eliza Truckey lived there from 1862-65. He was the keeper but left to fight with federal troops. His wife had five children and a sixth while he was off fighting. She did the lighthouse duties while he was away. He came home with an injured leg and was no longer able to go up and down the stairs. They told her they couldn’t hire a woman as a keeper — even though she had been doing the job while he was away in the war. Two kids were born in the lighthouse, and one daughter died there when she was 6 years old.

Adam B. Sales had complained about the upstairs needing ceiling repairs. As a keeper he liked things to be in good repair. Repairs were completed last summer and the upstairs will be open for tours this summer.

Susan says the spirits sometimes get annoyed and want us to leave. We try not to upset them or treat them like a circus act. One night we could hear footsteps pacing upstairs and they suddenly ran past us. I said I’m out of here, and Trish said, “I’m not leaving my equipment here.” I started hurriedly gathering up equipment. As I was heading out, a man stood at the top of the basement stairs letting out an evil laugh. It was terrifying. I’m pretty sure Keeper Sayles was amused that he had scared us. “Truth be told I’m probably more scared of the spiders than the ghosts,” Susan said.

The Marquette Lighthouse and Maritime Museum opens this year on May 14. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Vickie Fee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 542. Her email address is vfee@miningjournal.net


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