This hotel in Michigan is so haunted, they make sure to give the guests a disclaimer that “We do not want you to worry as no demonic presence or other negative experiences have been observed.” If you ask at the front desk to see the “Ghost Files,” the employee might pull out the giant folder stuffed to the brim and containing various experiences guests and employees have experienced. You might even add your own tales to the folder if you’re lucky. A beautiful Inn on the Little Traverse Bay. The Terrace Inn has been welcoming guests for over 100 years, and some say some guests may never have checked out. Can you blame them?
The Terrace Inn was originally built between 1910 and 1911, giving the name to the 1911 Restaurant on the premises. Owners William J and Josephine B. DeVol began the Inn as a place for Josephine to manage, as women could not own property at the time. All three of their daughters worked at the Inn until their father’s death in 1940. In 1926, the Green Lantern Tea Room was established downstairs, switching between tea and coffee depending on what was popular at the time. This room also ran as an ice cream parlor until the 1990s.
During WWI, the hotel had a shift in purpose as it became known as the “House Hospital,” where injured soldiers were brought to be treated and for their recovery after injuries in the war. Volunteers helped wrap wounds and care for injuries until the end of the way in 1918.
Rumors still fly today of the paranormal activity reported in the Terrace Inn, including three prominent spirits that are said to be active in the hotel. The first is said to be a lady in white who wanders the halls and occasionally interacts with guests. Some legends say the woman is looking for a young man in a tweed suit that also haunts the premises, most often spotted peering over the balcony at the guests below. These two apparitions may be connected, but no one is quite sure why the third spirit, that of a young boy, came to haunt the Terrace Inn. Ghost hunters and paranormal investigators have reported that the basement where the boy’s spirit resides is the most active part of the entire Inn.
“One night we were sitting right here with a group of women. We had about 12 people and just as we started to talk, the piano behind me started playing on its own,” said Chris Struble, owner of Petoskey Yesterday tours. Other experiences include doors opening and closing on their own, radios turning on by an unseen hand, and occasionally the perfectly made up rooms may be in disarray when a guest returns from the restaurant or from a walk on the grounds. There have also been reports of a man made of shadows following guests through the halls. Some believe this may be the spirit of the original owner, William DeVol, watching guests to make sure their stay in enjoyable and most of all, memorable.
Today, the Terrace Inn includes apartments, quaint bed and breakfast style rooms, restaurants and parlors, and, of course, the beautiful views of Lake Michigan out of the wide windows and various walking paths on the property. The Inn is very proud of its heritage and even the haunted bits of it. If you check out their website, you will find the section dedicated to the hauntings reported at the Terrace Inn. They even have the most haunted rooms available to rent for the night or longer. “Please be sure to rent room 211 as we have heard there is activity there from time to time,” the hotel’s website says. Next time you’re in Petoskey, MI, be sure to stop at the Terrace Inn and experience the hospitality and hauntings of this turn of the century hotel and restaurant.
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Born in Death Valley and raised on the prairie, Deborah is a Wyoming-based paranormal researcher and a senior at the University of Wyoming, studying Communication. Her interests lie in folklore, history, rhetorical analysis and research. With an obvious love for ghost stories, frequently those interests combine with her work on Ghostlandia.