With a history dating back to the 1630s, Mackinac Island is full of haunted stories. From its forts and battlegrounds to its Native American lands and tourist sites, the legends and lore are never ending.
For the first time in its 128-year history, the Grand Hotel is hosting “Halloween at the Grand,” Oct. 31-Nov. 1. Following an opening reception and five-course dinner, guests will make their way through a “Haunted Trail” that starts at the Pool House and ends at the Gate House. Pumpkin carving, tarot-card and palm readings, a costume contest, scary movies and evening music by rockabilly band Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys make up the weekend festivities. Several other fall-themed weekends can be found at grandhotel.com.
On Oct. 15-16, internationally acclaimed actress Jane Seymour will reunite with cast and crew members of the 1980 film “Somewhere in Time” at the Grand Hotel to celebrate the film’s 35th anniversary. Seymour will join hotel guests, fans and friends to kick off the hotel’s annual “Somewhere in Time” weekend, which regularly sells out.
The entire island celebrates Halloween with festivities Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 30-31. Saturday, Oct. 24, kicks off with the 5.7 mile Great Turtle Run starting at Mission Point Resort, followed by an afternoon of trick or treating at Windermere Point. Make sure to pack a costume and gear up for grown-up Halloween fun at the downtown pubs Oct. 24, featuring costume parties and live music at most venues.
Haunts of Mackinac Tours (hauntsofmackinac.com) offers “haunted history tours” throughout the fall season. Tours include: Downtown Haunted History Tour, Haunts at Mission Point Resort, Dead of Night Tour and a special paranormal exploration called The Hunt. Visit the website for schedules and prices and to make a reservation.
Halloween weekend is the last hurrah for Mackinac Island businesses as they prepare for their winter respite. Visitors will find retail discounts and off-season rates at area hotels.
While on the island for the fall season, be sure to visit one of the four cemeteries, all located in the center of the island. You’ll find graves of both British and American soldiers dating back to the War of 1812 at the Fort Mackinac Post Cemetery. This is one of only four National Cemeteries in the country where the flag continually flies at half-mast. Of the approximately 108 burials inside the white picket fence, 69 are unknown.
For more information about Mackinac Island, visit mackinacisland.org.