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HAUNTED MICHIGAN: The Ghosts of Children Who Haunt the Deserted Orphanage in Marquette

One of Michigan’s most famous haunts is the Old City Orphanage in Marquette, formerly known as the Holy Family (sometimes called the Holy Cross) Orphanage, construction began in 1914 and was finished in 1915. The first occupants were 60 Native American children and eight nuns.

It sounds like a plot for a horror movie…but former occupants – now grown up – claim the nuns were mentally and physically abusive to the children, administering cruel and extreme punishments.

One such tale that gets passed around recounts the story of one of the little girls who went outside to play during a fierce northern blizzard. Because she stayed out too long, and maybe wasn’t bundled up properly & warm enough, the little girl caught pneumonia and died. As a lesson and warning to the other orphans, the nuns put the dead girls’ body on display for them all to see – much to their shock and horror.

According to, most of the children – now senior citizens – say the treatment they received was fine but knew of abuse that happened to other children. They have heard the rumors about kids being beaten to death or left out in the cold Michigan winter to die but didn’t acknowledge any actual occurrences.

Built in 1915 and abandoned sometime around 1965, plans of reconstruction were discussed in 2015 but it still stands deserted & boarded up in Marquette as an eerie, gothic structure; …a reminder of the cruel goings-on that were rumored to have taken place within all those years ago. It even looks creepy in the daytime.

It is said that on a quiet night, you can hear the moans and crying of the lost souls of the children who are now gone…some who have entered reports ghost sightings as well.

It’s located at 600 Altamont Street in Marquette; and as with any creepy place you investigate, always be respectful, don’t litter, vandalize or spoil the surroundings with graffiti. Don’t spoil it for others or even yourself in the future.

Wanna read more ‘Haunted Michigan’ locations?
Click here for more of John Robinson’s Haunted Michigan!

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