Another Michigan haunting to remind us that Halloween is just a scream away...
The house is gone now and the people in the nearby houses are grateful. They didn't like the overgrown grass, the broken windows, or the tortured look of the old brick and leaning foundation. They didn't like the cars that slowed down in front of the old brick mansion. They didn't like that teenagers trespassed on the property; that they broke into the house to vandalize and find a quick thrill.
The house is gone. The ghosts?
The house was built in the eighteen hundreds by Gilbert Hatheway, a smart New England businessman who came to New Baltimore to capitalize on shipping in the Great Lakes. According to accounts he was a stern man, with a strong sense of tradition. He was also a philanthropist; he shared his wealth with the community and became a welcome fixture in this growing town which was the halfway point between Port Huron and Detroit.
According to the legends, Gilbert had a daughter named Mabel who met a young man named Oren from Paw Paw, a town on the west side of the state, now famous for its grape harvest and wineries. Gilbert Hatheway disapproved and made his disapproval known. Still, headstrong Mabel went ahead and married in November of 1833. She was dead by March and some say the circumstances of her death were mysterious. One legend was that she fell down the stairs of the mansion and broke her neck.
Eventually the Hatheways left the old house and it passed through several hands, becoming in turn a bed and breakfast and a rest home or sanitorium. Through the years people began to hear things within the structure and to see shapes or forms. Whether it was the spirit of Mabel or perhaps the ghost of one of the unfortunates reputed to have died in the structure while it was a sanitorium, who can say? People believe what they want to believe.
One woman I spoke to, who considered herself a ghost hunter of sorts, related this story to me: "The former owner of the house let us explore. As soon as we entered we felt something wrong. Something cold touched me. Maybe it was her, Mabel, trying to communicate, to let us know the truth about her death. I looked up the stairs and knew that the heart of the house was its cuppola. Up there. Although I had been to the cuppola before, I couldn't go further. I was overcome by the fear. I couldn't go further. We had to turn around. We had to get out of the house."
At times other people have said they saw the figure of a child. Some have seen the apparations of a young woman and an older man, either on the front porch or moving about the grounds.
Legend has a way of feeding itself. The Hatheway mansion became the stereotypical haunted house and the legend made it impossible for any owner to renovate the old thing. Nearby residents wanted the house torn down. They got their wish. It's gone. The lot will be parcelled. New homes will be built.
But the ghosts?
If you want to see more pictures of the Hatheway House...go here:http://www.deadrelatives.com/24mile/house.htm
tags: halloweenhaunting ghosts Michigan