Visit These 7 Ghost Towns in Michigan at Your Own Risk


Michigan is a state steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. However, it also has a darker side, as seen by the numerous ghost towns that dot the countryside. These are communities that were previously prosperous but were abandoned for a variety of causes, including economic downturn, natural calamities, or social upheaval. Some of these ghost towns remain open to the curious and adventurous, but they are not for the faint of heart. Here are seven of Michigan’s most creepy and fascinating ghost towns, which you can explore at your own risk.

1. Fayette

Fayette was a thriving iron-smelting town in the nineteenth century, with over 500 people, a hotel, a school, a church, and a post office. It was situated on the Garden Peninsula, overlooking the picturesque Snail Shell Harbor. However, by the early twentieth century, the iron industry had deteriorated, and the town had been abandoned. Today, Fayette is a state park that has 20 of the original structures, including the blast furnaces, machine shop, and corporate office. Visitors can explore the village and learn about its history via guided tours, displays, and explanatory signage.

2. Central

Central, a copper mining town on the Keweenaw Peninsula, was founded in 1854. It housed more than 1,200 individuals who worked in neighboring mines and mills. The village included a school, a chapel, a store, and a tavern. However, by the 1890s, copper ore had become scarce, and the settlement was progressively abandoned. Today, Central is a ghost town that is being gradually reclaimed by nature. Only a few buildings remain, including the church, schoolhouse, and cemetery. Visitors can hike or cycle along the routes that connect the town to the nearby wilderness.

3. Pierre Cheney

Pere Cheney was a lumber town in Crawford County, established in 1874. It was named for George A. Cheney, a railroad administrator who helped build the town. For a period, the town thrived, with a population of over 1,500 people who had access to services such as a hotel, a school, a church, and a newspaper. However, the town was plagued by fires, floods, and diseases, particularly diphtheria, which killed the majority of the children. By the 1910s, the community was nearly abandoned. Today, Pere Cheney is a ghost town said to be haunted by the spirits of the dead. Only a few foundations and gravestones remain concealed amid the trees. Visitors can reach the settlement by taking a dirt road, but they should be aware of the ghostly activity that has been reported there.

4. Singapore

Singapore, a harbor town in Allegan County, was established in 1836. It was situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River. The town developed as a lumber and shipping hub, with over 200 residents, a sawmill, a hotel, a bank, and a school. However, the town faced significant setbacks, including the depletion of its timber resources, the erosion of the harbor, and the Great Fire of 1871, which burned much of the town. By the 1880s, the village had been abandoned and buried beneath the changing sand dunes. Today, Singapore is a ghost town fully submerged in sand. The shore has few relics, such as bricks and nails. The neighboring Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about the town’s history.

5. Glen Haven

Glen Haven, a fishing and logging community in Leelanau County, was established in 1857. It was located on Lake Michigan’s shore, near the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The settlement served as a supply station for ships sailing on the lake, with a pier, a general store, a blacksmith shop, and a cannery. The community also included a school, a chapel, a hotel, and a life-saving station. However, by the middle of the twentieth century, the community had dwindled due to changes in the shipping and timber industries. The settlement was later sold to the National Park Service, who designated it as a historic area. Glen Haven is now a ghost town and part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Visitors can tour the reconstructed buildings, including the local store, blacksmith shop, and lifesaving station, while taking in the stunning views of the lake and dunes.

6. Podunk

Podunk, a rural town in Osceola County, was established around 1860. It was named after a Native American term that means “swampy place”. The hamlet was small but vibrant, with approximately 100 residents, a school, a church, a store, and a post office. The village was noted for its annual picnics, which drew people from nearby towns. However, by the 1930s, the community had diminished due to the Great Depression and the younger generation’s exodus. Today, Podunk is a ghost town, mostly forgotten. Only a few vestiges of the community remain, including the cemetery, schoolhouse, and picnic area. Visitors can discover the settlement by following a dirt road, but they must respect the private property of the few remaining people.

7. Metz

Metz, a rural town in Presque Isle County, was established in 1877. It was named after a town in France where some of the inhabitants originated. The community grew to around 500 people, most of whom worked on farms or in cheese factories. The village included a school, a church, a store, and a hotel. However, in 1908, a fire decimated the village, destroying the majority of the houses and killing 43 people. The community never fully recovered from the disaster and was eventually abandoned. Today, Metz is a ghost town with a historical marker and a memorial garden. Visitors can explore the ruins of the cheese factory, hotel, and cemetery, as well as learn about the town’s history, in the park.

Read More: This Oregon Town Has Been Named the Most Violent Town in the State


Michigan offers many ghost towns that provide a glimpse into the past while also challenging the present. These are places where stories can be spoken, secrets revealed, and puzzles solved. They are also locations that demand prudence, respect, and bravery. If you’re searching for an adventure, you can go to these seven ghost towns in Michigan at your own risk. However, be prepared for what you may discover or what may find you.

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