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Episode 91: Beneath the Surface


Islands have served a variety of functions for people over the years. They can be a place of safety and privacy, or of simplicity and escape. But islands have played host to other less savory events over the years. And just because they can be small, it doesn’t mean they can’t be dark.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
In a lot of ways. It's just one, more beautiful european setting the land covered in lush green trees. A twelfth century bell tower hovers above a sprawling complex of ruined bill. means, and it has the manicured coastline and manmade see walls that you might expect from a city on the northeastern coast. Italy without beauty hides a darker past. Thousands of plague victims are buried beneath those idyllic green fields. That manicured coastline is actually part of an eighteenth century fort were hundreds of french soldiers were brought ashore and slaughtered, and those old room
Judging from the trees were all that remain of an early twentieth century asylum for the mentally ill you'll, never accidentally stumble into this ancient town. No, because it's an island prevailing island to be specific, and only the people who want to go. There ever do located. Just two miles, south of the grand city of Venice Prevail, is an abandoned time, capsule of pain and suffering, one that illustrates the true power of islands. Unlike metropolis like London or La Santa, There is a limit to how far in island can spread out over time, though, Shorelines act like a sort of wall, trapping whatever happens there side sure they might offer more privacy or safety, but as our back as we can remember communities. Been using islands to contain their diseased and undesirables places like Alan
France and Rikers Island are infamous homes to brutal prisons. Saint Helen, in the South Atlantic was used by the British as the home in exile of Napoleon Bonaparte. Whenever humans encounter a problem, the instant has always been to bundle it up and lock away. Even if that thing is a human life, but just because you can lock something away it mean it's gone. The tragedy and pain that follows humanity always tends to leave a mark. Of course we try to hide it, but it's always there. If you know where to look, even if that mark is on an island, so come ashore with me. If you dare there's something, I want to show you I'm Aaron Maggie, and this is lore
in the early, sixteen hundreds Europeans were obsessed with the idea of a northwest passage tat cut through the northern parts of North Amerika, giving them easy access to the wealth that could be found in the Orient. They were positive. This passage existed to One French explored by the name of Joan Nicolet, actually had a robe me on a chinese fabric that had been purchased from silk traders in Europe. So when he sailed through the waterways that led him to Green Bay in one thousand six hundred and thirty four. He brought that robe along with him, so that he could look presentable when he stood on the shores of China. this passion for finding the northwest passage drove the French to explore much of the air
That is now the border between the United States and Canada. Much of that territory is connected by waterways and lakes, making it possible for ships to sail in from the east. John Nicolet is famous for being the first European to set foot in was content, but he was also the first to set eyes on something else: an island. It's not a large island, less than four square miles in fact, but he. To pass it on his way to what would someday become Wisconsin You ve all seen a map of Michigan before right. It's an ugly shape state with large areas broken up by water. The lower peninsula looks like a mitten, hold your left hand up palm away and fingers together and you'll get the idea across the Tipp of those fingers stretches the upper peninsula running roughly east to west between
right in that narrow gap between the Tipp of the mission and the peninsula. Above it sits in Ireland. John Nicolet didn't stop there, but he made note of it on his way. By a few decades later, a Jesuit priest chose it as the perfect spot to build a mission which he called Saint Agnes. The trouble was very few people actually lived on the island that was by choice to obviously the Europe and warned the first humans in the area. Long before John Nicolet arrived, the Great Lakes area was home to the native inhabitants of the region. The o tribe of native Americans and their ancestors had lived there for hundreds of years, at least as far back as the twelve Jerry. They use this small island as a gathering place for the tribes of the area and as a burial ground for their dead leaders. They referred to the island as Misha Mackinack, a word that means big turtle,
an allusion to the larger Algonquin mythology that tells the story of the entire world being crafted on the back of a great turtle. By doing this, the Ajib wayward declaring this island to be sacred different from the rest of their territory it with special, but at some point around the time the Europeans arrive. The native tribes abandon Those early french explorers took the island's name and shortened it mission mechanism became Mackinaw, and it's been called that ever since over the centuries that followed the ILO, play host to a number of new inhabitants, each with their own purpose. Through the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, it served as a hub for the fir tree and then became british property following the conclusion of the french and indian WAR, they were the ones to build the first fort there on the
Fort Mackinac and never saw action, and once the revolutionary war was over, the british handed control of the island to the Americans. They took it back during the war of one thousand eight hundred and twelve building. A second fourth are known as Fort George but returned the island to the Americans just three years later in of Major Andrew homes who died, leading the final attack on the British. Their fort George was renamed Fort homes. It still bears his name today. after the American Civil WAR, a large portion of and island became a national park, and in american history after Yellowstone, and that seem to act like a beacon drawing tourist from all over with visitors came money and with money came growth. The wealthy elite built extravagant vacation homes along the coastline, while railroad companies built public resorts and hotels. It was moving into the future.
Speed ahead: well, almost you see right around the turn of the century. There was a bustling industry of horse drawn carriages that transported tourists around the island in eighteen. Ninety six cents The threat from the newly arrived horseless carriages, otherwise known ass, automobiles, the carriage drive managed to get their motorized competitors banned from the island, and it still in effect today. while it might seem like Mackinaw Island has transformed itself from an abandoned frontier camp into a safe destination for families. Looking for a nice getaway olive that polish and shine hides a collection of dark shadows
over the centuries. Events have taken place there that most people would like to forget and there's a good reason why, wherever human settle down, they leave their own special mark, a horrible mixture, a tragedy and pain. it's easy to assume that such a small island couldn't possibly contain enough tragedy to fill the story. Books like I said you're Makin Island has less than four square miles of land, but that's not how darkness works wherever people go. The shadows seem to follow. Death has always been a part of life on Mackinaw Island from its earliest days centuries ago, as a burial ground for
most revered and sacred of the ojibwe leaders to its time as the centrepiece of conflict between the british and french. This tiny island, as seen at all, if the stories are true that even includes the execution of witches. The legend says that the late seventeen hundreds, the community that grew up around the military fortifications, their included at least one brothel. We don't know exactly who made the accusations, but at some point people became upset at the presence of these women you'd them as temptress lowering the noble men of Mackinac Island against their will into illicit activities. True, two hundred and eighteen Jerry Reform, seven of these women were arrested and accused of witchcraft. Then they were subjected to the same sort of trial.
so many others had been in the centuries before maybe each bound securely to a large stone and then dropped into the deep waters of the lagoon on the South Eastern Tipp of the island. If they floated they would be executed as witches if they drowned well, they would still aye, but with their name cleared that somehow made better in their eyes, despite the complete lack of common sense, regardless All seven women were said to a parish that day giving the load as a new name for the lagoon. Even today, it's Refer to as the drowning pool in eighteen sixty the Post hospital was built on the island to treat the soldiers station there, while a lot of the care was based on the typical things you might expect to find in any hospital. They were also records of deadly outbreaks of disease like typhoid fever and tuberculosis, and the suffering wasn't limited to the soldiers either
Their families often found themselves meaning the same. Medical care and records show that death didn't discriminate between any of them. Most of the suffering to take place on the island, however, seems to have involved the two separate military bases in four mackinaw, the older of the two forts there's a legend about the death of at least one prisoner in a dungeon, referred to as the black hole. A murder took place in eighteen, twenty eight in the fall mess hall when a private named James Brown shot another man in the heat of an argument, Brown claimed it was an accident all the way to the gallows, but in the end it was hanged. For the crime. The only hanging on record on Mackinaw Island later an incident occurred that left its own mark on Fort Mackinaw, a dozen or so soldiers had gathered outside on Christmas night when their commanding officer, Lieutenant Ephrem Psmith discovered
one of the men had brought alcohol into the fort known for his quick temper and taste for violence. Smith proceeded to beat the young soldier in front of the others. Now, maybe it was the Christmas Spirit or perhaps they had just reach their limits of patients with Smith. Whatever the reason All of the other men jumped Browns defence Pauline him away and then giving Psmith a taste of his own violent ways when another, officer, arrived help. Smith ran away like a coward, and then the list of all the men who had attacked him he made to have six of the men sentenced a hard labor for their actions. Others, though he tracked down one by one liveries severe beatings to them in retribution. As a result, Smith was courtmartialed and discharged. One final tail from mackinaws history might just be the most powerful example of darkness contained in a small space
At one thousand, eight hundred and twenty three Reverend named William Ferry, arrived on the island with his wife Amanda. They came with a mission to care for the growing population of orphaned children that seem to have slipped through the cracks of society there. Most of them were of mixed descent with European. Native american parents, which somehow made them undesirable to the community. So Reverend Fairy built a boarding school called the mission House abroad as many of these orphan children, as he could under his a few years later, though, an outbreak of tuberculosis put the school in a panic MAC still. They know how to properly care for those who had contracted the disease. So the most common solution was simply to isolate them according to the store, Reverend Ferry and his wife locked dozens of children in the dark damp basement. Maybe he was hoping they would get better, but he was more than likely just trying to save the ones who are not yet sick
result. Many of the isolated children died there. Perhaps it was the rumors of this tragedy or the pain of knowing he played a pivotal role in the deaths of so many children, but by one thousand, eight hundred and thirty, seven Reverend Fairy had closed the schools doors for good and then moved away Everything can be forgotten. In fact, the buildings are Mackinaw Island, with the darkest stories turn out to be the most difficult to avoid you see. Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists flocked to the island for a chance to get away. They bring their children, their luggage,
and their walking shoes and then stay at one of the islands. Many resorts or hotels. They aren't alone now, because that dark past is right. There waiting for them. The shadows might have checked in a long time ago, but they ve never really checked out
it's a tale, almost as all this time a building or location place, hostess, so much tragedy and suffering that for centuries, afterwards, people who visit that location claim to experience echoes of the past. Some people see or hear things while others just sort of have a feeling about it, as if they aren't alone, even when they are, but that's the trouble with Mackinaw and so much bad stuff has happened there that it's almost impossible to find a building there that doesn't have a story or to tell take the drowning pool. For example, Visitors there have seen shadows drift up from the water while others have heard the sound of large stones being dropped in stones, perhaps like the ones used to weigh down which Fort Mackinaw has become a popular tour.
destination, but visitors there have seen much more than historical exhibits and guided tours of the old building down The old dungeon people stopping by the black hole have reported cold spots and unusual of light on the near my rifle range, the ghost of private James Bond has been seen by multiple people how they know it's him, though. I'm really not sure. like I mentioned earlier, though it's in the most public places that the majority of these experiences have taken place in the places where visitors feel the most safe, where they let down their guard right in the very same buildings they unpack settling, And spend the night Mackinaw Island has alot of hotels and ends, and inside them are just as many unusual stories. One of the popular places to stay is called the Inn at Stone Cliff it's one of those picturesque buildings at the top of the cliffs, overlooking the water and because of the view
tends to be a popular wedding destination, but visitors there have seen more than formal attire and flower arrangements. Local legit, says the long ago a woman travelled to the island to marry her true love, one of the british soldiers station there Sally he said to her tragically died before their wedding day and now her ghost wanders around the Inn at Stone Cliff doing her best to disrupt the joyful so. abrasions there, the three Story- Pine Cottage, is a large bed and breakfast that place host to its own dark story in the form of a brutal murder that took place there. In the nineteen forties two decades later, the building was purchased by man, imbibe Huey and from the very beginning of his time there the past did its best to make itself known over the years the followed he and his wife witnessed everything imaginable from a floating disembodied torso. The shadowy fig
there's that would stand over their bed night, but if you ask around the island most of the locals will point you to one place in particular, that is renowned for its unexplainable activity, the grand hotel, it's a massive structure deserving of that name with the longest front porch in the world, at nearly seven hundred feet and close to four hundred guest rooms, there's a theatre, a tea in an casino their notable guests at the grand hotel over the years have included five. U S president's one russian dictator, countless entertainment, star. And even the well travelled author Mark TWAIN, Thomas ETA, and also stayed there and it was outside on the massive front porch of the hotel at the first public demonstration of his phonograph took place. Like I said, this place is grand, but there are darker stories. One legend says that during the construction of the hotel in eighteen, eighty six.
Workers digging the foundation uncovered a number of native american Burial sites, but rather than Move the remains to a new location. The builders simply poured concrete over the graves and moved on. It's a mistake that, according to some invited more than just guests to the hotel, Visitors have frequently reported seen a woman in the area used by staff as a living space she's, always dressed, including from the late eighteen hundreds and while she sometimes has interactions with the employees. No one has ever fell threat by her others have claimed to see a man in a top hat in the bar on the second floor, he's always did beside the piano, but after a second glance, he vanishes, leaving behind the distinct smell of his cigar. the most frightening story, though, took place in the hotels theatre years ago to employees
hotel were alone on the stage one night, most likely cleaning up after a performance or event of some kind, but with all of the guests. Finally, after their rooms, the vibrant energy of the theatre had been replaced with silence The two men were working beside each other when one of them was overcome with the feeling of being watched. Glancing up, you look toward the back of the stage and noticed some odd. There were shadows everywhere, as you might expect, for a theatre at night, but hidden among them was something else I seen it described as a black mass, as if a dark cloud had gathered together into one specific spot and at the centre of the shadowy form the man reported. There were two red eyes he froze, I try to process what his eyes were seen, look for some logical explanation that would wash away the fear that was quickly creeping over him but before he
rationalize away the dark, shape and glowing red eyes. The mysterious form began to move towards him. A moment later? It collided with him, knocking him backwards office age to the main floor below. According to the story, he awoke in a hospital bed. Two days later, he never set foot in the grand hotel again. Mckenna Island is one of those places that defies logic at first blush, it seems like nothing more than a tiny island, far up north between Michigan two separate peninsulas, almost out of the way and forgettable. On the other hand, though, so much has happened there to keep it alive and active, and not all of it has been
everywhere you go on the island, it seems there is something else beneath the surface sure the hotels and tourist attractions or nice in the abbey of automobiles lends a sort of old world charm to the place where you can't help notice the shadows. Do almost as if the modern version of Mackinaw is Nothing more than a shiny veneer that hides a rotten foundation from the darkest corners of Fort Mackinaw to the bright halls of the grand hotel. Countless visitors each year have seen the cracks in that pretty facade. Whether or not you believe in ghosts. Mackinaw Island is haunted by the past. That includes the place that are off limits to tourists. Remember the old mission house that boarding school or native american children. I mentioned a while ago after changing hands and functions a number of times over the years. The mission house,
now acts as a dormitory for the seasonal workers who take care of Mackinaw Stay Park, which means it's off limits to most people. That does mean there isn't darkness there. it's just that you and I will probably never experience it for ourselves but, of course, These have a way of leaking out, don't they it said that, Many of the people who have stayed there over the years have seen dark shapes moving through the halls of the lower levels. It's the sort of thing: it's usually cod in the corners of your peripheral vision, just out of reach. Whenever people have trying to get a better look at them, though they vanished into the as others have heard, the sounds of distant footsteps and creaking floorboards objects being drawn in the rooms above them and occasional sound of strange voices from empty parts of the building alarm clocks have a tendency to go off on their own. At times, no one was expecting despite the multitude of reports that would seem too
and at something nefarious and evil. The unusual activity in the mission, how seems to have been limited to things we might think of as pranks, which actually makes a lot of sense. When you look at the pattern, people have noticed between them all according to everyone who has seen them. All of these. Shadowy figures have one very specific thing. In common. They are small like children, hey there. I hope you enjoy this guided tour through one of America's most haunted resort tones depending on your world view. There is a lot to love about Mackinaw, island or to be afraid of, but I'm not done just yet
stick around after the short sponsor break to hear one last tale of tragedy and loss, I know you're going to love it. If you ever decide to travel to Mackinaw Island for a little vacation time, there are a lot of places you can stay and have covered a few of them. They won I haven't mentioned yet. However, is the mission Point Resort Mission point gets name from the old Jesuit mission that was built there in sixteen seventy one He look at a map of the island, there's a whole southeastern corner called mission point, and it's right there that you'll find mission point resort. What you might not know is that before they function,
as a resort. Many of the buildings were part of a complex built in the nineteen. Fifty by a religious group known as the moral rearmament a decade later, the buildings were turned into Mackinaw College. They changed hands. A few more time is before finally becoming part of the mission point Resort in nineteen. Seventy Do the resort inherited a lot more than just buildings, though with them came a dark tail, one that has its roots in the resorts days as a college campus According to the story, a young man made a very public marriage proposal to his girlfriend, but she turned him down devastated the student rushed off into the woods between the school and the cliff that overlooks the water where he used a gun. Kill himself. They say his body was found. Six months later the year since had been filled with stories of a ghost that most locals have taken to calling Harvey whether or not that,
was the real name of the student is a mystery, but what we do know is that multiple people have had unusual encounters with something in and around the modern day resort voices in the dark, the feeling of being touched by something invisible lights that turn on in the middle of the night or furniture that seems to rearrange itself guests in the resort. Have reported items missing from their locked luggage only to find them hidden elsewhere their room later. It all feels like a lot of pranks something college students are sometimes known, for perhaps Harvey is just a bit more playful than most ghosts But there are also darker rumours, one state police. Officer told the reporter, shortly after the students death, that circumstances were more than a bit suspicious. First, no gun was ever found at the crime scene ensure. Perhaps someone stumbled upon it and kept it for themselves.
That would also mean that they found the young man's body and simply ignored it. The other detail is more intriguing because it points to a very different story than the official explanation of a desperate suicide. When the medical examiners finally had a chance to study the young man's body, they found something shocking. There were two bullet wounds, not one. This episode of law was written and produced by me, Aaron, maybe with research, help from our sex rocket and music. My Chad Lawson, I make another podcast called errand, maybe cabinet of curiosities, and I think you'd enjoy it. It's a twice weekly podcast that X, Laura some of the most bizarre events, objects and people in history. Each episode is a bite, sized collection of two short tales that show you just how unexplainable are
Old really is learn more about it over at curiosities, podcast, dot, com. More exists outside this pine cast as well. There's a book series bookstores around the country and online and the Amazon Prime Television show is out there for prime members check them out. If you want more and more in your life, and you can always learn more about everything going on over in one central place, the world of Lore Dokken Slash now and finally, you can follow the show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram just search for law upon cast all one word and click that follow button. When you do say hi, I like it when people say hi and as always, thanks for listening.
Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.