HAUNTED MICHIGAN

 RUINS OF AU SABLE
Near Oscoda, Michigan

The city of Oscoda, Michigan lies just north of Saginaw Bay on the eastern side of the state. It looks out over the waters of Lake Huron and has deep ties to the past. Nearby are many legends of death and spirits. Among those are the stories of Lake Solitude. This lake was once connected to Lake Huron, but now only a narrow creek allows the waters to join. Many believe that the passage was closed by the sinking of the Griffin, a ship of the explorer LaSalle, which sank here centuries ago. The ship is said to still be hidden beneath the lake and the ghosts of the ship's crew are still haunting the nearby shores.

Also nearby are the ruins of Au Sable, the region's oldest settlement. It burned down in 191 1 and many believe it to be a very haunted spot. The energies here are said to be so high that local witchcraft practitioners hold their secret ceremonies in the ruins. Although tradition holds that many ghosts still walk here.... there is one that is said to be the resident spirit.

The best accounting of this ghost took place in 1979 when a group of local hunters came to a cabin in the nearby woods for a weekend of hunting. One of the hunters got lost and wandered away from the others, becoming quickly disoriented in the heavy forest. He spent several hours wandering and searching for signs of civilization before, exhausted and hungry, he sat down to rest. He heard the crackling of underbrush and a young woman walked out of the forest. She asked what he was doing there and after he explained, she offered to lead him to safety. She told him that he father owned a farm nearby and she knew the woods quite well. Before long, they had reached the road. The hunter knew his way back to the cabin and he thanked the young woman profusely. She smiled at him..... and vanished.

Needless to say, the hunter was stunned and when he told his friends about it, they at first scoffed but then were convinced by his shock and sincerity. They packed up their belongings and started for home, stopping at a local restaurant for dinner and to phone their wives and tell them they were on the way home, They had a beer at the bar and the hunter told of his experience with the young woman to the bartender. He was not surprised by the tale at all.... he had heard it before.

The young woman's name had been Leona and her family had once had a farm in those woods. Back in 1929, Leona had been shot and killed by a hunter who mistook her for a deer. Since then, her spirit had been seen many times, usually leading lost people out of the forest.

The small town of Oscoda is north of Saginaw Bay and is located on the west central side of the state. The ruins of Au Sable can be found inland from the village.

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor

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