North of Paradise, Michigan
The village of Sheldrake is a ghost town today and can no longer be found on any map. It is located about four miles north of Paradise, Michigan, which in itself is not easy to find. It is located north and about sixty miles west of Sault Sainte Marie on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The French were the first settlers to this area, which had been previously inhabited by the Indians, and they gave the town it's name of Sheldrake after the diving duck which frequents the region. The first settlement was established in the 1800's as a lumbering community and existed for about forty years until the lumber gave out. Several disastrous fires wiped out the town, the last one in 1926, and most of the occupants moved south to start the village of Paradise. Only a few buildings remain in Sheldrake today... but many of the former residents still remain.
Sheldrake once numbered over fifteen hundred people and had over 150 buildings. There are about a dozen left today and all are owned by a local company that manufactures wood products. The scenic area attracts a larger crowd in the summer but there are only handful of year-round residents and they are the ones most likely to see the ghosts.
One of the spirits is that of an old sea captain who has been reported standing on the dock. He has a pipe and a cape and he is usually seen from the lake. As the boats approach the shore, he fades away and disappears.
One house in the town, the Palmer House, is said to have lights that appear in the windows when no one is present and the window shades often go up and down on their own. The Hopkins House is another place where ghosts are reported. In this house, a glowing phantom has been seen walking the place at night. The Smith House is haunted by the ghost of a former logger with a heavy beard and overalls who is sometimes seen sitting on the furniture or standing in doorways.
The Biehl House, which belongs to the family who owns the manufacturing plant and most of Sheldrake, have become the most used to ghosts on the premises. In this house, a number of people have reported seeing a woman in a blue veil walking past or standing near them.
Voices are also heard here, pictures fall off the walls and faucets turn on by themselves. If anything, the ghosts of Sheldrake seem to be a benevolent sort and are perhaps just residual images of the past or at the worst, a few lingering residents from the town that existed many years ago.
The ghost town of Sheldrake is located just north of Paradise on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It can be reached by taking the road north from Paradise toward Whitefish Point.
Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor
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