Not surprisingly, most of the experiences people have had were in the one building that allows overnight guests: the Crew Quarters. The rest of the buildings are locked up tight against the cold winds of Lake Superior. In the Crew Quarters, one guest saw an apparition of a man in a blue uniform. Several have reported that their locked doors opened around 6am. People have also reported a gentle, stroking sensation from a phantom hand while they slept.
*note for ghost hunters: The crew quarters IS available for overnight stays. This is one of the few light houses where you can actually spend the night.
In the Museum and Light Keepers House, EMF (Electro Magnetic Frequency) spikes have been recorded, as well as disembodied sounds that defy explanation.
And of course, there is the tale of “3-Fingers Riley” that Coast Guard members used to tell rookies as they set out on their cold, lonely walks along the beach at night. Apparently, it’s not uncommon for shipwreck fatalities to become encased in ice by the time they can be pulled from the water. One unfortunate victim named Riley had to be cut out of the ice with an axe, and had a couple of his fingers chopped off in the process. Coast Guard rookies were told that they might heard the footsteps of “Three-Fingers Riley” come up behind them as he puts his bloody hand on their shoulder. You can walk along that same stretch of coast at Whitefish Point.
Whitefish Point is located on the northern edge of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on the eastern edge of Lake Superior. It is the oldest active lighthouse on Lake Superior having been first lit in 1849 and the current structure was built in 1861 at the beginning of the civil war. The site is on the national register of historic locations. It is also a major flyway for avian species. Over 300 species of birds use this area as a rest stop on their migration route.
It includes several historic buildings 1) Shipwreck Museum: includes artifacts and history of many shipwrecks from the Great Lakes. 2) Light Keepers House 3) Boat House: includes artifacts, re-creations and history of life-saving equipment and techniques 4) Crew Quarters: only available for people who book an overnight stay in the quarters. 5) Gift Shop and 6) Theater: watch a short video about how the bell was raised from the Edmund Fitzgerald. There is also a monument to the Edmund Fitzgerald on the beach that visitors can explore.
Please visit the official website of Whitefish Point to find out more about the history, cost of attending the Museum, hours of operation & policy for reserving a room in the Crew Quarters.
Whitefish Point is known as the Graveyard of Ships as more vessels have been lost here than in any other part of the lake. Hundreds of vessels, including the famed Edmund Fitzgerald, lie on the bottom of the bay.
At 4:30 pm on November 10, 1975, as the Edmund Fitzgerald struggled towards Whitefish Bay, forty-eight miles to the south, the light and the radio beacon at the remote navigational station at Whitefish Point suddenly clicked off. The Fitzgerald, already crippled by non-functioning storm damaged radar, was now without homing capability from the automated system at Whitefish. The Fitzgerald was left to fend for itself in unbelievable weather conditions.
Captain McSorley, a 44 year veteran of the sea, described it: “We are taking heavy seas over our decks; it’s the worst sea I’ve ever been in”. At approximately 7:15 P.M., November 10, 1975, the 729- foot ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald and her crew of 29 sailed into history.
Investigators: John, Sue,, Curt, Eileen, Nan and Patti
Weather: Clear 50s
Investigated: Shipwreck Museum, Light Keepers House, Boat House & Fog Horn Building. We also stayed two nights in the Crew’s Quarters.
BOAT HOUSE: Curt and John started in the Boat House doing EVPs and getting responses with the Mel Meter and K-II meter. Curt actually could track movement around him by drastic temperature changes as well as EMF activity fluctuating very rapidly, John also had experienced battery drain of his flashlight, and his video camera shut off and turned back on by itself.
MUSEUM: John said both motion sensors tripped for no apparent reason. They were set on different sides to cover the back of the museum,
LIGHT KEEPER’S HOUSE: Upon arriving in the house, John & Curt heard footsteps heading up the front steps. Curt followed the sound to the second floor but found no one in the house. Later in the evening, while Patti sat on the porch steps just outside the building, she got an unusual spike on her EMF meter. When she first sat down, only 1 light was lit on the K-II meter. After about 10 minutes, 4 lights came on and stayed consistent. When Patti moved the K-II meter around, she found that the area of the high EMF was about 1 foot wide and 2.5 feet tall; from the ground to the 2nd step, as if someone small were sitting on the stair beside her. After about 15 minutes, the meter went back to one… then came back about 10 minutes later and only stayed a couple minutes the second time. She was next to a basement window and if something electrical turned on down there, it could possibly account for the high EMF spike… or perhaps someone joined her in her silent vigil on the steps for a little while.
FOG HORN BUILDING: John felt they were being watched and thought he heard a voice.
PROPERTY IN GENERAL: Susan and Eileen both mentioned the feeling of being watched.
CREW QUARTERS: Susan’s pajamas were moved from her pillow to the foot of the bed. The cleaning staff said they had not been in the room yet, so there was no one around to move them. While sleeping one evening, John felt like someone kept touching his face and right arm, then he was awoken at 3:00am after feeling his foot being grabbed.
Audio Evidence Obtained During Paranormal Investigation
These were recorded on the 1st floor of the light keeper’s house. All investigators were upstairs on the 2nd floor while these were recorded. Sound carries; so the sniffles, creaks and footsteps could be the sound of the floorboards shifting overhead. But they do sound eerily close to the microphone. We’ll have to visit the building again sometime and see what the first floor sounds like while people are moving around upstairs. From these sounds, we got the impression that someone with the sniffles was hanging around the microphone. Not *hard* evidence, but definitely interesting!
“Inaudible voice” EVP Class C: Sounds like a breathy voice close to the microphone
“Inaudible voice” EVP Class C: Another breath close to the microphone
“Unknown” EVP C: Several “sniffles.” Could it be a creaky floor?
“Lost in here” EVP Class B: Sounds like a voice whispers, “Lost in here.”
“Shhhh” EVP Class A: Loud “SHHHHH”
Video Evidence Obtained During Paranormal Investigation
This video of a possible K-II meter interaction occurred in the Boat House. K-II meters measure spikes in the EMF field and are often used as a communication device. We were attended by a Whitefish Point staff member who said that he installed the electricity in the building and could confirm that there was no electricity or wires in the vicinity of our K-II meter.
There are some artifacts from the Edmund Fitzgerald in the building. But most of the displays are recreations. Claims of paranormal activity there are very recent and the one new addition to the Boat house, besides the recreated displays, is Bill. Whitefish Point now has a staff member who was aboard the USS Anderson the night the Edmund Fitzgerald disappeared and, because his ship was following the Fitz and in communication with it until it disappeared, he is one of the few people alive who can tell you first-hand what it was like that November night.
Is the Boat House showing activity now because of Bill’s lively narrative and how he recreates the story many times a day for tourists at Whitefish Point? They say that re-enactors can often stir up ghosts. Perhaps we’re not alone when we seek out Bill to tell his story yet another time.
K-II Interaction in the Boat House