WARNING! There was a gunman loose at this place! It's probably not advised to be checking this place out at night. The world is filled with too many odd people. Like we always say..."there's more to fear from the living than the dead!." Read about the shooter at this link.
Pere Cheney, now a ghost town not found on any map, was once a small lumbering town in Crawford County, west of Grayling. Pronounced “pair-a-shaney", the town got its start in 1870 when lumbermen following the railroads set up camp. Soon, the town had a school, grocery store, post office and much more. Thirty years later, the timber industry in the area moved on and the area didn’t offer much in the way of supporting a thriving town. In the early 1900’s, only eighteen people were living in Pere Cheney. It was declared a ghost town in 1913-14. The only remnants left of this town are a small cemetery and some old holes in the ground where buildings once stood. Sicknesses such as scarlet fever and smallpox took the lives of many people, including children, during the few decades Pere Cheney was in existence. This fact has given fuel to the legends of Pere Cheney.
Over the years, vandals ruined what was left of the town. According to the book “Ghost Towns of Michigan,” as a teenager, a Crawford County sheriff vandalized the cemetery and was said to have driven around with “a human skull in the back window of his car”as a teen.
Pere Cheney Legends and Ghost Stories
No ghost town is short on actual ghost stories. One Pere Cheney legend says a witch lived in the town and was hung in a big oak tree in the cemetery where she is buried under. People say she wasn’t a witch, but a woman who had a child out of wedlock.
Some say the town was cursed from the start because it was built on Native American land or the classic, “a witch cursed it!” is another popular reason. In an online posting I found, one person stated, “There are no witches buried at Pere Cheney. The townspeople would not have buried her in the town graveyard. (Hah! I love this little quip. It’s so matter-of-fact.)
Everything that’s paranormal has been reported coming out of Pere Cheney. I think a large part of this is because Pere Cheney is remote, spooky, been heavily vandalized over the years and is also the last remaining piece of a ghost town. It has all the classic elements that make up some good breeding grounds for legends!
Throughout the years, I’ve heard tons of stories about Pere Cheney. People have reported all the usual paranormal occurances such as cold spots, apparitions, disembodied voices, ghost trains and everything else under the sun. So is Pere Cheney really haunted? Being that the ghost town is the perfect breeding ground for legends, most of the stories circulating are nothing more than urban legend and over active imaginations…but you never know. You’ll have to visit Pere Cheney to find out for yourself.