But on Jan. 14, many visitors of the 131-year-old inn were talking about them.
“Ed” and “Megan” are two apparitions that roam through the lakeside eatery, according to owner Connie McKeown. She confirmed her belief that the inn was haunted through recent paranormal investigations.
Those findings were revealed to the public at a “Haunting Unveiling” event last Saturday and will again be displayed at a second public showing at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20.
“Clifford Lake Inn is haunted, based on our evidence we collected in March and again in October,” said Scott Sheldon, lead investigator and founder of GHOST, a paranormal investigation group from Mount Pleasant.
Of the past 24 places GHOST investigated, Sheldon ranks Clifford Lake Inn in the top five in most active. He said Mount Pleasant’s Broadway Theater is the most active, followed by the Whitefish Point Lighthouse in the Upper Peninsula.
Using highly sensitive equipment that captures the slightest sound, movement or temperature change, Sheldon’s seven-member team was able to capture up to eight EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon) during the team’s March visit.
One EVP captured a little girl’s voice stating her name, “Megan.” Sheldon said one of his flashlights then went dead and another EVP was recorded with a little girl’s voice saying “all clear.”
During the team’s October visit, which was at night when the inn was closed, they witnessed a mirror moving by itself and caught another EVP of what sounded like two men talking in the basement with lights going on and off, said Sheldon.
“We caught at least three different voices during our visits,” he said.
There was never a time where the team felt threatened, according to Sheldon.
“I really do feel like they’d rather avoid people, that they’re just happy hanging out at the inn,” he said about the apparitions.
Another paranormal investigation group, Taunting Whispers of Greenville, captured video evidence of apparitions at Clifford Lake Inn.
“We caught quite a few things during our investigation,” said Sandy Bogart, who, with her brother, Mark Overlin, operate Taunting Whispers.
Bogart said Taunting Whispers will have a monitor with a live feed to the inn’s “cubby” room upstairs, where there’s been a lot of activity, at Saturday’s “Hauntings Unveiled” event.
Owner is a believer
McKeown wasn’t a firm believer in ghosts before she and her husband, Larry, purchased the inn in March 2010. But with experiences of encounters continuously happening with her and her staff, she quickly started to believe in the afterlife.
“What I find the most interesting of all of this is that fact that I’ve never felt scared or nervous with this place or these apparitions being here,” McKeown said. “Any evidence we found was very friendly, which intrigued me even more, especially with the great deal of history connected to this place.”
McKeown believes “Megan” may have been the daughter of a linen keeper at the inn and “Ed” was an employee who may have died in a fire at the inn in 1930. She hopes to find more information not only on “Megan” and “Ed” but the inn’s history itself.
McKeown said a guest — and an apparent psychic reader — visited the inn last summer and informed her and general manager Kim Hirkaway that she could feel many spirits in the inn. She was the person who confirmed “Ed.”
“She told me that Ed was still here, apparently trying to make amends for starting the fire in the 1940s” as an apparition, McKeown said.
She has been trying to locate the woman, hoping to invite her back for more readings, but has yet to find her.
Since news of the paranormal investigations went public, McKeown has had many people and other paranormal investigators contacting her about Clifford Lake Inn’s hauntings.
“It’s been crazy, the response I’ve had,” McKeown said. “One lady sent me a letter warning me that there is a demon coming. I expect there will be a lot of paranormal followers and groups willing to come out here.”
McKeown urges those interested in attending the second “Hauntings Unveiled” event tomorrow night to call (989) 831-5151 for reservations.