Having over 350 years of history is a badge of honor and nothing to make light of for the folks of Sault Ste. Marie. But with such a storied past, there is bound to be something dark…
For 20 years, the Upper Peninsula Research Society (UPPRS [pronounced Yoopers]) has been investigating things that go bump in the night around the Soo and the Eastern Upper Peninsula. The team has completed so many investigations, that they have released a pair of books. “Yoopernatural Haunts” reviews some of the group’s most curious research cases and “Great Lakes Monsters and Mysteries” which dives into the eerie stories surrounding the Great Lakes’s greatest unsolved mysteries.
Here are some of the locations that will leave you thinking it’s “Boo Ste. Marie” instead of Sault Ste. Marie. For more on these locations and to learn about other haunted locations throughout the UP, be sure to grab a copy of “Yoopernatural Haunts.”
A frequent stop for the UPPRS, the former Superior Impressions, is now home Secondhand Childhood and maybe something out of this world. The building is believed to be haunted by a former ship captain whose family originally built the structure, and ran retail operations after leaving the Great Lakes. Activity includes disembodied footsteps from the upper floor and a Christmas caroler doll which would be moved to different locations in the store overnight.
Although known for serving pints and spirits, “the Frog” has had its own run-ins with spirits. Reported activity includes nickels turning up on a formerly vacant bar, and the spirit of a little girl who has been both seen and heard at the rear of the establishment. In a picture taken several years back, a gnarled, disembodied hand is seen gripping the shoulder of a young lady. There has been no explanation given to where the “hand” came from.
The friendly instantly recognizable ship located in downtown Sault Ste. Marie has never been associated with a tragedy itself, but some of the artifacts housed inside the ship (many associated with tragic shipwrecks) have been known to shake the boat, if you will. On one occasion a heavy coughing sound was heard in the old coal furnace area. When asked what the sound was, a voice was captured on a recording device stating, “I am coughing.” Shadowy figures have also been reported on the ship’s deck at night.
As history buffs know, the Valley Camp houses two lifeboats from the Great Lakes’ most famous doomed vessel, the Edmund Fitzgerald. These crafts have been known to conjure emotions across the scope, and the UPPRS takes an investigative look at them in a portion of the Valley Camp chapter.
Now a beloved family restaurant, the Antlers has one of the more storied pasts in Sault Ste. Marie. During prohibition times a speakeasy and brothel were operated out of the building. It is believed that a “lady of the night” and a waitress continue to haunt the building. Doors have been known to open on their own, and office equipment to turn on and off by itself. On one investigation, a team member was pushed on a stairway in the kitchen by an unseen force.
Are you hungry for more paranormal action? Don’t miss your chance to attend the premiere paranormal event created by the UPPRS! The 12th annual Michigan Paranormal Convention is taking place August 25-27 at Kewadin Casino. It’s the largest event of its kind in the Midwest! Weekend passes are available here and will be available at the door.
Also, keep your eyes peeled come October. The Valley Camp has had haunted ship tours around Halloween! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest to stay up to date on upcoming dates and details.
As always, if you’re traveling to the Soo for MiParacon or to enjoy the natural (and supernatural) beauty of the area, don’t forget to tag your photographs with #ilovethesoo on your social media so we can share in the adventure. For more stories about the Soo make sure to follow up!