You know how in every town, there are stories and/or rumors about one particular house being haunted. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to investigate that house. I got a chance to check out the Willis House Inn. It's thought to be one of the oldest houses in Willis, Michigan. The home was built in 1856 and sat vacant for quite some time before the current owners, Sherry and Don, purchased it and turned it into a B&B. Previous history of the home includes being owned by the Martz family (owners of the Detroit Brewery) and the Catholic church. It was also home to an adult foster care as well as a place for people with closed head injuries.
When I first drove up to the house, I thought "yep, this house is haunted" not because of a gut feeling I had but because of the way it looked like from the street....it just looked haunted. However, when I walked inside, my thoughts changed immediately. It was so warm and inviting. There was Sherry, in the kitchen, baking apple crisp, and having a counter full of cheese, meat, crackers, vegetables, dip, etc. for us to devour. Both Sherry and Don were so friendly and were more than happy to share some of their personal paranormal experiences. One story Don shared was the time he was waiting for someone to pick up a piece of furniture. While he was waiting, he decided to walk out to the orchard. When he came back, the person who was picking up the furniture, asked where the woman went. They saw Don walking toward the orchard with a woman walking right behind him. Needless to say, he was a bit confused because he was the only one home at the time.
Other experiences that people have reported while at the house include equipment failure, a feeling of heaviness, disembodied voices, shadow people and seeing the ghost of a nun. Another spirit many people have seen is that of a boy by the name of Larry. He has been seen, running across the lawn, and peeking from behind the trees. And in the basement, people have encountered Ed who is believed to be associated with the bootlegging that happened during the prohibition era. It is also said that he loves the ladies. And then, there is the "Ghost Room."
The "Ghost Room" was originally the kitchen that was added back in 1872. The reason this room got its name was because when repairs were made, the mason took photos of the finished work and images of ghosts appeared in the picture. This is the only room in the house where I felt uncomfortable. While we were investigating, I felt my right side get cold.
As I was trying to figure out if it was my imagination or what could be causing it, someone said there was a large, dark shadow to the right of me. Then, as I sat on the bed, I got the overwhelming feeling I needed to bring my feet up off the ground. Kind of like when I was a kid and I needed to have my feet tucked in the covers as if something was going to grab them. This was that same type of feeling. Shortly after, two people said they saw a dark mass forming at the bottom of the bed that I was sitting on. And as soon as I left the room, the feeling of uneasiness went away.
Even though not a lot of paranormal activity happened that particular night for me, I can't wait for the chance to go back. As every investigator knows, things don't happen on cue. Some nights are quiet and some nights, the spirits want to be seen and heard.