Detroit’s Most Haunted – Get Creepy At Elmwood Cemetery
HAUNTED MICHIGAN HISTORY
Search any list of the most haunted locations in Michigan, and you’ll find the historic Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit. You can also often find it mentioned among the most haunted cemeteries in the United States. Dating back to 1846, Elmwood is the oldest non-denominational cemetery in Michigan. In 1890, legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was brought in to improve the layout and flow of Elmwood’s grounds. Olmsted is famous for co-designing New York’s Central Park, and also had a hand in the design of Detroit’s Belle Isle.
“THE BATTLE OF BLOODY RUN…”
One of the most haunted areas of Elmwood can be found at “Bloody Run”. Some 250 years ago, a battle was fought between the British and the Indians. According to Elmwood Cemetery this is what happened…
In an attempt to break Chief Pontiac’s siege against Fort Detroit, British Captain James Dalyell urged Major Henry Gladwin to authorize a surprise attack on the Indians. Gladwin reluctantly agreed. • At 2:30 a.m. on July 31st 1763, Dalyell began his intended surprise attack on the Indian encampment. However, Pontiac had learned of Dalyell’s plan (perhaps from his French allies) and gathered more than 400 men to fight the British. Pontiac ordered nearly half the men to hide on the opposite side of a narrow bridge below the Indian encampment. As the British troops, some 200 soldiers, attempted to cross the bridge over Parent’s Creek, they were themselves victims of an ambush. • Gunfire erupted from all sides devastating the British. Dalyell realized his plan was destined to fail and called for a retreat. Unfortunately, the call came too late. The only hope left for the British was to charge their way out of the battle. Dalyell and about sixty of his men were killed as a result of the fire fight. • There was so much blood spilled in the battle that the water in Parent’s Creek ran red. The Creek became known as Bloody Run. This battle marked the height of Chief Pontiac’s siege of Detroit, which he was forced to abandon three months later.
The only portion of Bloody Run Creek that is exposed today lies in Elmwood Cemetery.
THE VEILED LADY (RANDOLPH RODGERS)
The haunted hits just keep on comin’.. Say hello to “The Veiled Lady”. (covers eyes) ..This ghostly headstone was carved by Randolph Rogers, a sculptor who grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan and then moved overseas to Italy. Rogers’ works include the bronze doors of the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC, and the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in downtown Detroit. Sometime in the 1870’s, Randolph Rogers was commissioned by wealthy Detroit attorney Joshua W. Waterman to create a sculpture for the Waterman family plot. The end result was a huuuuge creepy lady draped in a robe carved into Carrera marble. Rogers finished up the work at his studio in Rome, then loaded the sculpture onto a ship bound for Detroit. But ohhhhh, the ship sank off the coast of Spain, and the twenty ton monument spent TWO YEARS underwater before it was recovered. Rogers’ work was loaded up a second time, only to sink AGAIN in the Hudson River. WHAT?! Once again, it was brought up, and fiiinally made it to Elmwood. Then in 1919 it was toppled by a windstorm! The battered sculpture was patched with cement and put back in place.
It is said that upon viewing The Veiled Lady, some people are consumed with a feeling of unease or dread. She still stands at Elmwood Cemetery today.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, Elmwood is just beautiful. I even saw some adorable wild foxes while I was there. It’s serene and peaceful in an area where you might not expect that. So set aside an afternoon, and take a stroll. Trust me, it’s a must-visit. ..and October is right around the corner. ♥
INFO TIME ↓
Elmwood Cemetery • 1200 Elmwood Ave • Detroit, Michigan 48207 • www.elmwoodhistoriccemetery.org