Grand Haven, MI.
The Lake Forest Cemetery is located in the busy little city of Grand Haven, MI. With a colorful history, The logging industry set strong roots at the start of the city’s existence. The cemetery was moved to its current location back in the year 1900. It seems that the city was growing to fast and the people did not want a cemetery so close to town. Several members of the city’s prominent leaders and their families were given the first plots, on top of the cemetery's tallest hill, which is now called Ferry Hill. The city made offers to all of the families who had loved ones buried in the old cemetery as incentive to make the decision easier. The old cemetery was turned into what is now called Central Park and that is a whole different story which we will do another time.
There are reports of everything from shadow people and apparitions of civil war soldiers in full dress making patrols. The most famous stories that surround the cemetery are probably the legend of the “Blue Man” who is believed to be the spirit of William Ferry and the infamous “Stairway to Hell” which leads to the top of Ferry Hill and the grave sites of William Ferry, his family and close friends
On our first adventure to Lake Forest Cemetery, we had a lot of unusual things happen to our team. The layout of the cemetery is quite hilly, with lots of turns and dark corners. It is really easy to get lost in this place. Add the fact that the cemetery borders Duncan Woods, which is a nice little forest nestled right in the center of the city. This takes the “creepiness factor” for the cemetery up about 4 notches.
At one point, we were in the woods following one of the trails and we stumbled on a mass of graves. We could not figure out why these graves would be here, the middle of the woods, 150 yards from the border of the cemetery. This was very puzzling until we started our research and we discovered the the city was starting to expand the cemetery into Duncan Woods and had not started to clear all of the new land yet.
A short time later we found our way into the cemetery & we were heading to one of the lower plateaus, when one of the team members, Bill, saw a shadow dart from behind a headstone about 20' in front of him, it ran to cover behind a large tree another 20' in front of there. Bill was caught off guard by the suddenness of the event and made a rookie mistake, he never took any pictures when he saw this. I did (I mean “he”) manage to snap a photo of the tree that this shadow went behind. This photo turned out to be an interesting one, Bill did as he was trained, held the camera correctly and took 3 shots of the tree. Photos 1 and 3 were normal, photo 2 was more interesting. The tree was shrouded in a bluish mist. This photo was later incorporated into the G.R.A.S.P.P. banner which we use on our site.
As we worked our way around the area we started to hear some strange growls coming from the wooded areas around us. These sounded unfamiliar to us, and we can't rule them out as critters in the woods but we are leaning that way. Others members in the group reported uneasy feelings and feeling like they were being watched. While these experiences are hardly credible evidence, they did add to the total experiences of the night.
As we made our way back thru the woods, Bill did have another unusual experience. He was in a small clearing, about a 30' circle, and he was firmly struck in the left arm just below his shoulder. He called out to the group and they all took photos and other readings. Which yielded no evidence. While examining the area, we could not find any branches sticking out, or freshly fallen debris. Nothing to explain what had happened. This made an interesting evening.
After talking with others who had experiences in Lake Forest Cemetery and Duncan Woods we found that we were not the only ones with questions about this beautifully, creepy place. One person told us about the time that he and his wife were in the area of the Civil War section when they heard marching and turned to see several soldiers, in full civil war battle gear, marching as if they were on patrol – weapons at the ready.
The famed “Blue Man” who is believed to be the spirit of William Ferry is said to be seen near Ferry Hill and also other parts of the cemetery as if he is watching over the city that he helped to build. The Stairway to hell has its own legend as well. The stairway ascends to the top of Ferry Hill and it is said that when a person is buried in the cemetery their soul must climb to the top of the stairway and await judgment. If they see a white light, they can proceed to heaven. If no white light is shown to them, they must return down to the bottom of the stairway and a trapdoor to hell will open and take them. No one has as yet, proven this story and I'm not sure when or even where this story even started, and there are other cemetery's that have similar stories.
Lake Forest Cemetery is a great place to investigate and we recommend if you get the chance to do so, just make sure that you have permission. There has been a lot of vandalism in the cemetery and the police will issue you a hefty fine, should you decide to be sneaky.
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