Holidays

Creepy Road Trips

by Colleen Clark

Paulding to Mackinac Island, Michigan

Dearly departed: The mysteries of Michigan lurk amid the frozen expanses of the Upper Peninsula. Each night in Paulding, mysterious lights appear in a valley. Some say the lights relate to a railroad brakeman who died trying to stop a collision. Others claim it's the ghost of a Native American dancing on the power lines that run through the area.

Spooky stops: You'll bed down for the night two hours east along M-28 in Marquette, but we can't promise that the ghosts of broken-hearted lovers at the Landmark Inn will let you get much sleep. Phone calls come from unoccupied rooms. Locks jam when men try to enter. And the spirit of a prostitute killed here in a fit of jealous rage is said to call out from the basement, where her body was hidden. You'll find little comfort on the road the next day as you drive three and a half hours north, into the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula, to the Mystery Spot in St. Ignace. This small plot of land said to defy the normal laws of gravity may look like roadside kitsch, but even skeptics have been known to feel queasy.

Final resting place: Thrown off balance by your adventures in St. Ignace? Best not to operate heavy machinery. Instead, take the town's ferry across Lake Huron to Mackinac Island. Phantom ships sail the strait at night. And the spirits of Native Americans rise to haunt guests at Mission Point Resort, a 242-room hotel built over an ancient burial ground. Rest in peace.

See a map of this road trip itinerary

Photo: Craig Sterken

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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