Have you ever lived some where or visited a place where you felt like you could live there for the rest of your life? What about a place that you would gladly haunt for the rest of your afterlife? The folks featured in today’s post felt that way about a home they built but didn’t get much of a chance to live in but none the less still call it home. Of course, if I had a chance to live in a home as beautiful as the Henderson Castle Inn, I wouldn’t let a little thing like death keep me from my beautiful home.
The Henderson Castle Inn is located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It was built by a successful businessman by the name of Frank Henderson. Frank owned the Henderson- Ames Company which made uniform regalia for secret societies, fraternal organizations, and even the military. His wife, Mary, had inherited the land that the home was eventually built on. The home was built in 1895 and when construction was finally done, the Hendersons had an elaborate housewarming party to celebrate. The home was comprised of 25 rooms, seven baths (one of which has a 13 head shower, an elevator, a ballroom on the third floor, heated marble floors, crystal chandeliers, stain glass windows, a sauna, and steam room. The home cost $72,000 to build and was 11,000 square feet. The house was called “The Jewel of Kalamazoo”.
Sadly, the Henderson didn’t get to live very long in their home. Frank passed away in 1899, just four years after the home was completed. His lovely wife, Mary, followed him in death in 1907. Their children inherited the home but eventually sold it in 1919. During the 1920s, the stable on the property was converted into a four car garage. In 1945, that garage was turned into apartments. The home was sold again 1981 and turned into a bed and breakfast.
Since becoming a bed and breakfast, the home has become known as one of the top ten haunted locations in Michigan. The bed and breakfast leans into this title by hosting Haunted History dinners that include a ghost tour of the property, visiting Frank’s grave in the cemetery across the street, and dinner talking about the history and hauntings of the home. In addition to Frank and Mary haunting the home, there is Claire Burleigh, an unknown little girl, and dog that are encountered on the property. Claire Burleigh served in the Spanish American war with Frank and Mary’s son. During an investigation, a dusty framed picture of a woman in period clothing was found with the word Clare written in the dust. During investigations, the most common EVP is someone saying “Hey” in a cheerful voice. Mary Henderson has been seen often standing at the top of stairs. She has also been seen in what is now the Victorian Room. The Victorian Room use to be Mary’s changing room. Frank has been seen in various parts of the house as well.
But there as been other activity as well. Guests staying in the Dutch Room have said that they are awoken in the middle of the night by someone tapping repeatedly on their arm. When they wake up, they hear “go away” coming from an area by the bed. This was experienced by several people including Ellen Creager, a travel writer. Doors have a tendency of opening on their own. Odd noises are heard. A presence can be felt on the stairs as people go up or down. In the maid’s scullery, the upper cabinet doors will open by themselves. These cabinet doors are 15 feet up in the air. Footsteps can be heard upstairs. Faces appear in the stain glass windows in photos. Voices can be heard coming from radios that are turned off. People say that time seems to slow down in the home. In a room that connects Frank’s and Mary’s bedrooms, the door to a cabinet in that room would open often of it own accord. That is, until a jewelry box was found under the flooring. Since then the cabinet door has remained shut.
A few mediums have been out to the home. Many of the mediums that visit say that the Henderson’s are the guardian angels of the home. They protect it and those that are either working or visiting the home. Another medium said that in the dining room, a little girl was on some scaffolding to write on one of the beams when she fell off and died. The writing is still visible on the beam despite the dining room going through several renovations over the years.
Other guests to the bed and breakfast have reported even more activity. One guest said that he and his wife heard and felt growling coming from under their blankets while they laid in bed. It was 3:30am and they could feel the growl reverberate through the bed. Other guests have reported foul smells in the rooms occasionally. The toilets will flush themselves sometimes. Cold spots can be briefly felt. A few guests have also mentioned feeling a dog jump onto their bed with them. They could feel the paws and legs of the dog as it walked around on the bed but there wasn’t anything there for them to see.
While this home definitely seems haunted, it doesn’t seem like the spirits mean any harm. It seems like most are either going about their day to day afterlife while it seems Frank and Mary are just watching over their family home. Even without the paranormal aspect of the home, it would a gorgeous getaway or a beautiful backdrop for a wedding. Have you heard of the Henderson Castle Inn? Have you been able to visit it? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments down below!
Don’t forget a new episode of Paranormal Housewife Podcast dropped yesterday. In the episode I talk about a local paranormal experience that was shared with Jeremy and myself. I also talk about the haunting activity taking place at the Greyhound Bus Museum in Hibbing, Minnesota. It was a fun episode to research and record. I hope you enjoy listening to it as well. If you have listened to it, let me know in the comments below.