Believe it or not: Harrison’s ghost story

June 1, 2017

The Wilson State Park in Harrison has pleanty of things to see, even a ghost or two.

The Wilson State Park in Harrison has plenty of things to see, even a ghost or two.

By Jenn Bomorra

Many towns and cities all over the US have their own interesting or creepy quirks, sometimes, it’s haunted happenings around the area, and Harrison does happen to have a couple of them, one story in particular came from a Facebook post shared from the Ghosts Of America site page for Harrison Michigan. The Ghosts of America site has ghostly hauntings stories, mysteries and ghost legends of all kinds, but sometimes when you start talking about the paranormal field and paranormal experiences, a fine line usually gets drawn between the true believers and non-believers.

Harrison Michigan itself has a lot of old history built up behind it. From way back to the 1800’s, and its past of being a booming lumber town then, many old preserved buildings and properties are still standing and remain open to the public, even some with past stories that want to be told, like the property known as Wilson State Park that used to be owned by the Wilson Brothers Sawmill and Company Store during the thriving late 1800’s lumber era.

The alleged story of the ghost of a young woman like presence who was said to have walked along the beach at night by the Wilson State Parks beach house has been a story that’s been with Harrison’s history for a long time, the 1930’s to be exact.

The specters photograph, captured by the camper on his night time “rescue” mission.

The specters photograph, captured by the camper on his night time “rescue” mission.

Per the words and recollection of a camper from 30 years ago, who held onto his words and experiences all this time, added their story to the Ghosts of America site page. The story and sightings he wrote about, have been told and been seen by others, some whom have grown up in Harrison and who have managed to back up this Wilson State Park paranormal presence story.

The history and the occurrence of the story took place back in early 30’s. As the campers were on a tour with the Park Ranger, the Ranger went onto tell the campers at the time, to stay out of the water and not be tempted by taking a “midnight dip” when it was too hot and sticky to sleep in the tent, that there were no lifeguards on duty and usually no one around that late to help if they had found themselves in trouble, plus that they might come across the ghost of a young woman that was alleged to walk along the beach at night. The Park Ranger was said to be smiling as he told them about the ghost woman.

The story was of a group of teens that went out drinking back in the early 1930’s, and while paddling, the boat suffered a capsize, being it was dark and no one could hear their cries for help, no one came to their aid. All the teens had drowned and sank to the bottom of the dark murky lake except for one, a young teenage girl who made it to the beach shore of the park. She was found the next morning by some fishermen, wrapped in a blanket and sitting on one of the carved sandstone benches that lined the old beach house. She was found dead.

No one knew how she got the blanket, how she got out of the water or why she was soaking wet. It wasn’t until her friend’s bodies washed up on shore a few days later and they had solved the mystery. The Ranger told the campers that the ghost of her will hang around the boathouse looking for her friends.

So one night several years ago, this camper and his family went on a camping trip and stayed at Wilson State Park. Per the Park Rangers for-warning of the story, the camper did what was told to him not to do.

It was one of those hot and sticky summer nights, his family was asleep in the tent, but he couldn’t sleep, so he got up around midnight, grabbed his instamatic camera and took a stroll down to the beach, the camper sat on the beach for a little bit looking at the bright stars shinning above in the sky on a quiet dark Michigan night. After sitting for some time on the beach, the camper realized he was getting tired so stood up to return back to his tent when he heard footsteps behind him up by the boathouse. Expecting to see another camper, he prepared himself to say hello. Suddenly without warning, he heard a woman yell “Where are you?”, it was not a loud yell, but one of subdued and muffled yell. The camper said nothing and again heard more footsteps and another muffled yell “Help Me”. The last yell made the hair on his neck stand up and he began to jog across the beach sand to the boat house to see who needed the help. He grasped his small one shot camera as to not drop it in the sand. As he neared the cement patio of the boathouse that overlooked the lake, he heard the muffled cry for help again.

At that point, the camper suspected something off as the voice and yells did not seem right, as he took his last quiet steps in the sand, he rounded the corner where he could see the stoned walled walkway. There standing in the walkway stood the image of a young woman who appeared to be soaking wet from her head to her toes. “Oh My Gosh, you’re soaking wet, what happened?” the camper exclaimed. The woman turned towards him as if she were going to say something, she looked surprised to see him, but as she turned at him, he could see she had no facial features, he could make out the outline of her face and hair but in the place where her eyes should have been was just blank.

It shook the camper terribly as he figured he was looking at a ghost, he pulled up his camera that he had been clutching onto and snapped a photo of her, at that moment, she shrunk and faded into a small bright dot, the dot stayed for a few more seconds and then flew away. As the camper ran back to the tent, scared, he tripped over his wife trying to get back inside which woke and startled her, he told her he had seen a bat outside that had made his heart pound. Weeks passed and the camper’s wife had the photos from their family vacation developed, and came across the photo the camper took of the ghost at Wilson State Park. The camper’s heart stopped, realizing what he was looking at from the picture, trying to forget that night, the hairs on his body stood up, he told his wife it must have been just a bad picture.

He stashed the picture away and kept his story and experience to himself for 30 years until he shared it to Ghosts of America site.

“I’ve heard this story many times growing up near Wilson Park. This is exactly how i imagined the girl to look like. We used to go to the beach at night trying to see or hear the ghosts of these kids, It’s a kind of thing high school kids do when we drink and are bored”, Wrote Margie.

“I don’t know anything about cameras or digital images, but i do know this story to be true. We grew up hearing this story and would often go down to the lake to hope to catch a peak at this ghost. This photo is (or used to be) in the Rangers station at the park. It’s what teens do on a hot summer’s night. I also know of some people who have seen this ghost, and this is exactly how they described it. Their experience creep’s them out as they don’t know what to do or help” Wrote Amy.
Some comments to the campers story that were left on the site were of those denying that could of happened and some comments were backing the story coming from people who have lived in Harrison or who have visited Harrison years ago reminiscing growing up in the area hearing of this haunting story. This story/experience was submitted to The Ghosts of America website page for Harrison, Michigan. So, there’s no knowing of the proven truths of it being a real or fabricated story.

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