The “automobile capital of the world” bred the smooth sounds of Motown and the deafening screams of violence and death that still haunt Detroit, Michigan’s Murder City.
Boosted by Eminem and his stories of 8 Mile, the truth about this Metro city harbors a darker, more grim truth that’s created the terrifying hauntings of Motor City. Join Motor City Ghosts to hear the disturbing details of the tragedy and sinister acts that spawned a curse not even Houdini could escape.
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A trip through Detroit’s past is anything but a Cadillac ride in the countryside. Discover a seedier side of the Motor City that goes deeper than the headlines. From the very beginning, Detroit has been the home of disaster, starting with the Great Fire of 1805 and continuing on in a heinous fashion, earning it the nickname of The Murder City.
You’re about to witness the site of the famous Houdini’s death and where Prince was seen one last time after his passing. From pirates to serial killers, prepare for a night of hair-raising tales and spine-chilling frights you won’t soon forget.
Built in the late 1890s, The Alhambra Building was one of Detroit’s original posh apartment complexes, serving the city’s elite, including Harvey Firestone, the founder of Firestone Tire Company. Residents were surrounded by opulence and even had access to a cafe on the top floor. It wouldn’t take long, however, for the beauty to turn into scenes of horror.
Motor City Ghosts takes to you to the Sweeney Todd-esque building where, in early 1905, residents experienced a mass poisoning of epic proportions. Arsenic was discovered in one of the cafe’s cooking ingredients, and former employee, Rose Barron, was arrested for the event. That’s when the real terror began.
Rose had been linked to several poisoning, including one in which her father-in-law and a baby succumbed to the illnesses. Rose maintained her innocence and was eventually released from jail, though was, and continues to be labeled, America’s first woman serial killer – a title she would make good on in the afterlife.
Uncover the evil that lurked within the walls of The Alhambra. Since cursing her accusers, the building has seen suicides and a fire, but it was the disturbing death of 13-year-old Mary, who was burned alive, that solidified the building’s status as deathly cursed and undeniably haunted. Locals report seeing an eerie light emanating from the building as well as a white apparition flying down the hall, possibly that of poor Mary.
This is only the beginning of your walk on the wicked side, where the nefarious characters from a deranged past lurk in the darkness, stalking the living and unveiling the sinister side that gave Detroit the nickname “The Murder City.”
Visit Detroit’s Most Haunted Locations, Including:
The Whitney – Constructed in 1894, the Whitney mansion was considered “the finest house in a great city of magnificent homes,” according to the Detroit Free Press. The Whitney family, however, was a bit controversial as David Whitney married his sister-in-law shortly after his wife’s death. Flora, David’s first wife, is said to haunt the home, angry that her sister experienced a life she couldn’t.
Masonic Temple – The world’s largest Masonic Temple is complete with lodge rooms, theaters, ballrooms, offices, and several recreational facilities. It also features hidden rooms and secret staircases, not surprising considering the Freemasons are the most secret society on the planet. Combined with its gothic appearance, dark energy, and creepy rituals performed inside, The Detroit Masonic Temple is one of the city’s most eerie and haunted buildings in the city.
The Alhambra Building – An abandoned apartment complex is creepy enough. Add in the fact that America’s first woman serial killer allegedly wreaked havoc here more than a century ago, and you have the makings for a building straight out of a horror film. Even after Rose, the alleged serial killer, died, the body count continued rising, with victims suffering in horrendous ways. The building may be unoccupied by the living, but the dead are there indefinitely.
While some argue that there’s not enough evidence to consider Rose Barron a serial killer, the list of these heinous individuals extends well past Rose. Detroit has the unfortunate reputation of being the home to various serial killers, including Benjamin Atkins, Shelly Andre Brooks, Donald Murphy, and the infamous Oakland County Child Killer.
Motor City Ghosts takes you to Cass Corridor’s Midtown Market, a once-affluent area turned seedy, filled with drugs, crime, and prostitution. The unsavory characters and acts would be but a fraction of what haunted this area. The Cass name alone carries a curse, as Lewis Cass is largely considered to be partly responsible for the Trail of Tears.
Horror reached new heights in the 70s when four children from Cass Corridor were kidnapped and brutally murdered. The amount of tragedy and death that has occurred over the years has made the area infamously haunted, terrifying visitors and locals for decades.
Spirits flood the area, possibly outnumbering the living. Cass Technical High School is believed to be haunted by Charles Lindbergh, while the Detroit Public Library is said to be plagued with poltergeist activity, with books flying off the shelves and a ghostly couple making a shocking appearance from time to time.
But it’s the sub-basement of the library that harbors the atrocities of the 70s, as it’s believed the spirits of the dead children reside here. One employee reported hearing the eerie sounds of child-like running, followed by seeing a figure standing three feet high, darting past her before vanishing. Keep close because the image you see in the corner of your eye could be any of the spirits that are forever tied to Cass Corridor.
Just as a captain never leaves their ship, a conductor never leaves their orchestra. Such is the case with Ossip Gabrilowitsch, a musical prodigy who would become the husband of Mark Twain’s daughter, Clara. It was widely known that Clara and Ossip were firm believers in the spiritual realm, with Ossip proving its existence following his death.
Uncover the otherworldly side of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Building, the renowned symphony hall that Ossip continues to lead from the afterlife. Staff members have reported the creepy sounds of disembodied footsteps and mysterious odors. The petrifying sight of apparitions keeps the staff looking over their shoulder.
One such employee had a rather terrifying experience. Hear the true story of Mario, a former employee who, one fateful day, was taking a nap in the projection booth when he heard someone walk in. He opened his eyes to see someone walk past him. Wide awake, he followed the individual only to discover there was no one there. It appeared that Ossip was simply making his rounds.
A landmark of pure grandeur, the mansion that you’ll visit with Motor City Ghosts will pique your interest and haunt your memories. Built in 1894, The Whitney was designed and constructed by Detroit Millionaire David Whitney, Jr., specifically for his wife. Playing out like a modern-day soap opera, though, Flora Whitney would not live to experience her home. It would be her sister that would receive that honor.
Following his wife’s death, Mr. Whitney married his wife’s sister, Sarah, leading to speculation that their relationship may have started before Flora’s death. David Whitney would eventually die in the house, and though it serves as a restaurant today, it’s still home to David and Flora Whitney.
The gut-wrenching sobbing of Flora can be heard in a restroom on the third floor. The disembodied sounds are both painful and haunting and believed to be Flora mourning the loss of the life she didn’t get to live.
As you stand in front of the mansion, keep your eye on the windows on the second floor. David Whitney’s apparition has been seen staring down at passersby. Staff members have also witnessed the bone-chilling sight of Mr. Whitney strolling the property, scaring one employee with his presence before vanishing into the floor.
Many of the unsettling happenings that have occurred in Detroit are shrouded in mystery, but there’s one place that thrives in it, designed to purposely keep people guessing. As secretive as this society is, their existence is anything but. Prepare for an unforgettable journey to The Detroit Masonic Temple, the world’s largest Masonic Temple.
Most everyone has heard of the Freemasons, and while some believe it to be nothing more than an all-boys club for the elite, the truth will quench the thirst of seekers. As you stand in front of the brooding, gothic-style building, you’ll uncover the secrets that the members worked so hard to keep hidden.
Hidden below the buildings are underground pathways connecting rooms, allowing for scandalous acts. Hidden rooms and secret staircases are spread out throughout the building. And the ghosts are as mysterious as the Freemasons themselves.
Both security guards and visitors have reported seeing an older man heading to the roof, disappearing before he reaches the top. Cold spots can be felt throughout the building, and the creepy sighting of full-bodied apparitions is not uncommon. Everything from disembodied voices to doors slamming on their own only exasperates the tales of dark rituals and the evil energy that was born from them.
Since its inception, Detroit has been leaving its mark on evolving industries and an ever-changing world. Though it’s known nationwide for being a leader in the automotive industry and being the birthplace of Motown, locals know it for its gruesome murders, sinister characters, and harrowing hauntings that were bred from the darkness.
Motor City Ghosts takes you through the dark underbelly of this innovative city and introduces you to Detroit Medical Center Campus, the site of Houdini’s final disappearing act. Following his show at the Gerrick Theater, Houdini collapsed, gravely ill from appendicitis. He would succumb to the illness on Halloween in the former Grace Hospital.
Hear more about Houdini’s strong presence in room 401 and, prior to the building being demolished and rebuilt, how one man captured a scene from that fateful Halloween on his camera years after the escape artist’s death. You’re about to see a ghostly alternative side of Detroit Rock City, and you’ll never look at it the same again.
Detroit’s perseverance through its darkest hours is just one of the reasons the city is so special and significant in American culture. Through tumultuous times, the city made strides that would alter the face of various American industries, particularly music. In 1959, the music scene was turned upside down when a man named Barry Gordy launched Motown Records.
Musical legends produced from the label, such as Diana Ross and The Supremes and the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and their presence would turn venues into historic landmarks, such as The Majestic Theatre. Some would make them otherworldly. Walk with Motor City Ghosts to The Majestic Theatre, where it’s not the superstars or music that’ll give you goosebumps.
The venue has been a hotspot for unexplained activity, including phantom applause and cheers. In 2018, it was the sight of Prince’s ghostly sighting. Hear the story of a concertgoer who attended his tribute concert and captured Prince’s image standing in front of his temporary memorial.
Subjects on various aspects of the mystical have always been a hot topic, growing in popularity over the years. Every city has a story, and the more we pull back the layers, the creepier and more mysterious a place becomes. Detroit is no different. Whether you’re new to the ghost world or are a seasoned vet, a ghost tour with Motor City Ghosts will introduce you to fellow lovers of the otherworldly and the sites that will connect you.
The spirits of the Automobile Capital of The World beckon, ready to tell their morbid stories to prove their existence to the living. They might just prove it to you tonight on your ghost tour with Motor City Ghosts.
* This is a walking tour and we do not enter privately-owned buildings or private property *
Constructed in 1894, the Whitney mansion was considered “the finest house in a great city of magnificent homes,” according to the Detroit Free Press. The Whitney family, however, was a bit controversial as David Whitney married his sister-in-law shortly after his wife’s death. Flora, David’s first wife, is said to haunt the home, angry that her sister experienced a life she couldn’t.
The world’s largest Masonic Temple is complete with lodge rooms, theaters, ballrooms, offices, and several recreational facilities. It also features hidden rooms and secret staircases, not surprising considering the Freemasons are the most secret society on the planet. Combined with its gothic appearance, dark energy, and creepy rituals performed inside, The Detroit Masonic Temple is one of the city’s most eerie and haunted buildings in the city.
An abandoned apartment complex is creepy enough. Add in the fact that America’s first woman serial killer allegedly wreaked havoc here more than a century ago, and you have the makings for a building straight out of a horror film. Even after Rose, the alleged serial killer, died, the body count continued rising, with victims suffering in horrendous ways. The building may be unoccupied by the living, but the dead are there indefinitely.
True Crime is bigger than it’s ever been, with more and more people finding interest in the macabre subject. There’s a little bit of everything in Detroit, including its own set of serial killers. You’ll learn about “The Murder City’s” most notable serial killer, the Oakland County Child Killer, and visit the site of his disturbing crimes. You’re about to receive some firsthand, gruesome material for your True Crime podcast. You’re welcome.
Detroit is known for so many things, including an art scene that’s one of a kind. Art lovers have much to choose from, such as the Heidelberg Project and the street art of Eastern Market. But when the sun goes down, the ghosts of Detroit paint their own pictures full of death and despair. Take in the art scene of the afterlife with Motor City Ghosts tour tonight!
Rapper Eminem’s ascent to stardom helped put 8 Mile on the map, particularly after his critically acclaimed film of the same name was released. Though it continues to be a pop culture phenomenon, there’s a side to Detroit that hasn’t gone mainstream – the otherworldly side. Book your ghost tour with Motor City Ghosts tonight and discover a side of Detroit you won’t see on the big screen.
There’s nothing like a good adrenaline rush; if it’s something you’re looking for, getting out of your comfort zone is the best way to experience it. Do something that’s not your everyday activity and really puts your courage to work – take a ghost tour with Motor City Ghosts! There’s nothing like a night of scares and frights to get the blood flowing and the heart pumping!
We couldn’t understand this more. We love being spooked and shocked, and the grimmer the stories, the better. If you love seeking out the odd and the creepy and love the thrill of discovering new terrifying true tales, Motor City Ghosts has just the tour for you. From stories that could double as horror films to murder mysteries that will keep you guessing, what you’ll hear on our ghost tour of Detroit will leave a lasting and haunting impression on you forever.