Haunted, haunting, haunts: a look into Sault Ste. Marie’s paranormal history

With over 350 years of history as a European establishment, and more than 10,000 years as a Native American settlement, there is bound to be something spooky in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

When the 10th annual Michigan Paranormal Convention (MiParacon) begins Thursday, Aug. 22, attendees can be certain that the Soo is a worthy host to the Midwest’s largest convention of its kind. In addition to being home of the Upper Peninsula Research Society (UPPRS), the city has seen its fair share of paranormal activity in recent history.


Three of these Sault Ste. Marie-based accounts are detailed in the UPPRS’ debut book, Yoopernatural Haunts: Upper Peninsula Paranormal Research Society Case Files, a breezy retelling of investigations done by the research society.

One section of the book looks back on the hair-raising paranormal history of the Museum Ship Valley Camp. The retired freighter, now a maritime museum, may be the perfect place for everlasting memories, but it may also be a place for, well, the everlasting.

Spooky Water Street

Located off historic Water Street and near the Anishinaabek Indian burial grounds, the Valley Camp lends itself well to the paranormal. Accounts in the book detail a haunted coal bunker, unrest along Water Street and unaccounted shadows in the freighter itself.

Edmund Fitzgerald life boat

As history buffs know, the Valley Camp houses two lifeboats from the Great Lakes’ most famous doomed vessel, the Edmund Fitzgerald. These crafts have been known to conjure emotions across the scope, and the UPPRS takes an investigative look at them in one portion of the Valley Camp chapter.

MiParacon attendees will have an opportunity to explore the Valley Camp Friday evening with Adam Berry and Amy Bruni along with other convention presenters.

Other Soo locations highlighted in Yoopernatural Haunts include a historic Sault Ste. Marie hotel haunted by a former owner named Beatrice, as well as a favorite dining experience for locals and visitors alike, the Antler’s Restaurant.


Members of the UPPRS share stories Antler’s employees passed on to them, such as unplugged jukeboxes playing Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner as the night crew prepared to exit the building for the night and  a shivering, but hilarious, audio playback incident with a UPPRS member. More case files can be read in the UPPR’s debut book, available here.


The UPPRS, founders of MiParacon, will be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the event this year. To top off a decade of investigating Yooper-centric paranormal cases, the UPPRS will be holding a panel and discussing their debut book this Thursday at 6 p.m.

Did you miss the online window to purchase tickets for MiParacon? Come to the MiParacon ticket booth located at   to buy weekend or single-day tickets beginning at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22.

As always, if you’re traveling to the Soo for MiParacon or to enjoy the natural (and supernatural) beauty of the area, don’t forget to tag your photographs with #ilovethesoo on your social media so we can share in the adventure. For more stories about the Soo follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest