Ghosts and legends author presents at CMPL

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published October 30, 2019

 Amberrose Hammond has been interested in the strange and unusual since she was little, reading and watching everything that had to do with ghosts, mysteries and legends. She spoke at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch Oct. 22.

Amberrose Hammond has been interested in the strange and unusual since she was little, reading and watching everything that had to do with ghosts, mysteries and legends. She spoke at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch Oct. 22.

Photo by Alex Szwarc

 About 60 people attended Hammond’s pres entation on Michigan’s haunted lighthouses, ghostly restaurants and hotels, and other locations that are steeped in legend and ghostly lore at the library.

About 60 people attended Hammond’s pres entation on Michigan’s haunted lighthouses, ghostly restaurants and hotels, and other locations that are steeped in legend and ghostly lore at the library.

Photo by Alex Szwarc

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A Michigan author with a passion for the paranormal recently presented just in time for Halloween.

Amberrose Hammond took particpants on a journey through Michigan’s haunted lighthouses, ghostly restaurants and hotels, and other locations that are steeped in legend and ghostly lore during an Oct. 22 presentation at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch in Macomb Township.

“Hammond has been interested in the strange and unusual since she was little, reading and watching everything that had to do with ghosts, mysteries, legends and all things weird,” CMPL North Branch Librarian Phil Skeltis said.

Thanks to her love of the history behind why something may be haunted, Hammond, who grew up on the west side of Michigan, began writing books.

She is the author of “Ghosts & Legends of Michigan’s West Coast,” “Wicked Ottawa County” and “Wicked Grand Rapids,” with more books in the works.

She believes that public interest in the paranormal increases after calamities with a large loss of life, like 9/11 and previous wars.

“People are looking for alternative answers and want to communicate with loved ones they’ve lost,” she said.

Hammond has actively researched legends, ghost stories, haunted places, old true crime and other mysterious topics in Michigan since 2000. In 2006, her pursuits into the paranormal led her to develop Michigan’s Otherside, a website exploring the mysterious worlds of Michigan, past and present.

Hammond, who works at the Bloomfield Township Public Library, explained how ghost hunting began, citing spiritualists, who by 1897 had 8 million followers.

Famous spiritualist converts include William Lloyd Garrison and Horace Greeley.

In Michigan, she said Jackson, Battle Creek, Vicksburg and Detroit were large meccas for spiritualism.

One haunted Michigan place she recommends folks visit is the Traverse City State Hospital.

“It was abandoned for a long time,” she said. “It’s a massive place built in 1885 as an insane asylum. Between 1885 and 1985, 15,000 patients died there.”

Recently, the site has undergone a historic redevelopment project, adding shops, restaurants, offices and condominiums.

“There’s always been reports of ghostly apparitions and hearing phantom sounds,” Hammond said. “People would report their car radio suddenly turning to static by certain buildings and hearing voices coming through.”

Since Michigan is the state with the most lighthouses, Hammond said there are plenty of lighthouse and ship ghost stories.

“The first ship vanished on the Great Lakes in 1679,” she said. “They are still looking for that sunken ship.”

One supposedly haunted lighthouse is White River Lighthouse in Whitehall, north of Muskegon.

“Captain William Robinson died at the light,” Hammond said. “He was the oldest living lightkeeper on the Great Lakes, in his 80s, and was told to retire. He died the day he was supposed to leave. The story has always been he never had to leave.”

Hammond also discussed haunted Michigan restaurants, like the Kirby Grill in Grand Haven, spooky happenings at the Whitney in Detroit, and electronic voice phenomena — sounds found on electronic recordings that are interpreted as spirit voices.

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