Great Lakes Ghost Stories

Are you ready to get spooked?

October 2021 Multimedia Madison Weaver Web Exclusive

The world’s most treacherous lakes are no stranger to the ghosts and spirits we love to hear about this time of year. With Halloween just around the corner, you may want to remember these tales of haunted ships, ghost sightings and spooky lighthouses to scare the passengers on your own ships.

The Black Dog of Lake Erie

Dog lovers are not going to love this scary tale. In the Welland Canal nearly 140 years ago the Mary Jane sailed across Lake Erie with the ship’s mascot on board; a giant, black Newfoundland dog. In the midst of the voyage the dog fell overboard, and the gate of the canal lock crushed him. However, that is not the last time the dog was spotted. The dog tortured the crew with baying howls during the night; perhaps angry the crew did not rescue him. But that isn't all, the dog has also been seen climbing aboard the ship from the lake’s depths, crossing the deck of the ship and leaping off the other side.


With nearly 50 wrecks on Lake Superior, many are said to be haunted by their ill-fated crews. But no wreck diving experience will give you the jitters like visiting the SS Kamloops, which wrecked in 1927 off the coast of Isle Royal. One of the crewmembers, affectionately named grandpa, floats up behind divers, following them through the engine room. His well-preserved corpse sits in the engine room just waiting for them to visit.

Seul Choix Point Lighthouse

Joseph Willie Townsend and his wife lived in the Seul Choix Point Lighthouse for 8 years, from 1902 to 1910. Their service was cut short by Joseph’s death that year, which took place in the bedroom upstairs. Some say they catch faint whiffs of burning cigars, which Joseph smokes in the afterlife as he enjoyed before his death. People have said Joseph’s wife forbade him to smoke in the house, and now he does so out of spite. Others have claimed his spirit rearranges furniture, and turns forks upside down at their table place settings, which was his preferred position for them while he ate.

Haunted or not, these chilling stories are sure to spook your friends and family this Halloween. Comment on Facebook with your own scary Great Lakes experiences!

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