McNally Cottage – the first stop on the Haunted History Tour
Since I started working on Mackinac Island over a year ago, I’ve always wanted to do the Haunted History Tour of Mackinac Island – especially after seeing Mission Point appear on Ghost Hunters.
So you are aware (I wasn’t) the tour is pretty much fleshed out segments of the book Haunts of Mackinac by Todd Clements. If you’ve read it you have pretty much seen the tour but the Guide added his spin on the information and was able to point out the rooms that are haunted at some hotels. Sometimes history is more interesting looking straight at it, right?
The Downtown Tour started at 9pm in front of the Island Bookstore. There were 40 people in my group (sold out) but the Guide made it manageable by sitting us down to tell stories in front of the hotels. They gave us glow sticks and since my friend and I are not Americans we had no idea we needed to “crack” them to make them work so we walked around in the dark wondering why we couldn’t see each other. The only time I’ve ever seen a glow stick was at rave when I was 21. Americans love them – they’d light up Christmas with them if they could.
Our guide did a good job of bringing the haunted history in the book to life by starting at the McNally Cottage opposite Sheplers which is now used as employee housing for Good Fellows and Sheplers, then down to The Murray Hotel, Harbor View, St Anne’s Church, the corner of the Butterfly Museum, Mission House, Mission Point Theatre, The Island House Hotel, Marquette Park and a few others sprinkled in.
Some interesting things also thrown in: The son of the murder victim from The Murray Hotel took the tour two years ago and appreciated the fact they were still talking about his mothers murder which remains unsolved. (She was strangled, sexually assaulted and killed) Other tidbits include the bed and bed head in the haunted room at The Island House (built 1852) was bolted to the ground and the wall due unexplainable violent “shaking” in the room a man committed suicide in. There have been (apparently) 7 murders on the island and one of the most notable tidbits (for me anyway) was the rarely heard evidence from a police officer about the ghost “Harvey” at Mission Point. The Legend is he was attending Mackinac College (now Mission Point) and he proposed to his girlfriend who quickly rejected it and him quite cruelly in front of their friends. Supposedly he went up behind Mission Point and committed suicide by jumping off the cliff/or hanging himself. A Police Officer from Mackinac Island took the tour a few years ago and told the guide that story was not true and he had the police report to prove it.
Harvey never jumped off the cliff nor did he hang himself. According to the police report, he was found with two-gun shots to the head. One entered from his chin, exiting the top of his head and then a secondary shot temple to temple. It is debated whether he committed suicide and was instead murdered as he apparently survived after being shot from under the chin through the top of the head. If he did commit suicide he survived the first gun shot and then shot himself again from a different angle. Or he was murdered by being shot twice. A story (unconfirmed) has circled the island that since his girlfriend said no to his proposal; so cruelly and openly, she may have cheated on him and the “other man” killed him. But it is all speculation other than the gunshots on the police report.
The tour ended at Mission Point ticket Office about an hour and a half later after a short preview of what’s in the midnight tour. The downtown tour is $13. They also have a midnight tour which allows a little more freedom to be left alone in the Theatre Harvey apparently haunts.
Have you ever done the tour? What did you think?