Ghost Tour at the Old Mill

By Susan Bromley

Staff Writer

Ortonville– Just in time for Halloween, search for ghosts at the Old Mill, as well as hear about the ghosts paranormal investigators said they found at the 160-year-old landmark building at two special events this week.

“Investigations of the Paranormal,” will be presented by Michigan Spirit Quest from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Oct. 20 at the Brandon Township Library, 304 South St. The next day, take part in a “Ghost Tour of the Old Mill,” with one session from 8-10 p.m., Oct. 21 and the other immediately following from 10 p.m.-midnight at the Mill, 366 Mill St.

Steve Wood, paranormal investigator with Michigan Spirit Quest, said his library program is a follow-up to one done last year, but the highlight this year is the discussion of evidence they collected at the Old Mill.

“We caught lots of stuff, it’s kind of amazing,” said Wood. “There was a lot of activity in the Mill, we caught voices on every floor in there.”

Michigan Spirit Quest was invited to the Old Mill last December by the Ortonville Community Historical Society to check for paranormal activity in the facility. This was the first time Wood, who has been conducting paranormal investigations for six years, was ever invited into a building where no ghosts had ever been suspected, but he was excited for the opportunity to inspect a historic structure and he was not disappointed.

“Why are places haunted?” he pondered. “Usually if they died there, or were emotionally attached to that place… There was never any deaths there, so maybe someone who worked there and is hanging around, or spirits are attached to display items. There are a lot of items donated from folks all over the area there.”

Wood will explain during the library program about the equipment he uses, which is mostly audio, to capture communication from spirits. He asks questions and said many times, spirits answer with knocks. He has never caught an apparition on camera, but said he captured about 15 audio recordings at the Mill. They also visited the Mann Schoolhouse, but had a more difficult time hearing anything extraordinary due to noise from the furnace, although he said they did pick up a little girl’s voice who answered “Abe,” when they asked her the first name of President Lincoln.

The ghosts at the Mill are friendly, said Wood, who adds he had never found anything demonic in any of his investigations, which he conducts for free and as a hobby, not as his full-time job, although he spent three hours at the Mill, and then an additional nine hours listening to audio recordings and interpreting the data.

He knows there are likely plenty of skeptics.

“I’m not there to make anyone a believer, I’m there to give insight in what happens with investigations and people can make their own decisions,” said Wood. “If they walk out and think it’s baloney, that’s fine, but you can make of it what you will… I just want people to be open-minded and take it at face value. Maybe there is something out there. We don’t try to push it on people. This is where we went and this is what we captured and we will share it with you.”

The program at the library is free. Register at

The Ghost Tour at the Old Mill is $10 per person and reservations are required. Visitors will be led around the museum by a docent, and allowed to use small electronics to try to view or hear paranormal activity. All lights will be on and all visitors will be asked to be silent during the tour, which includes the Mann Schoolhouse. Beverages will be served after the tour.

To make a tour reservation, contact Judy Miracle at 248-884-8585 or June King at 810-217-9532.


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