The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (a.k.a. Michigan Soldiers’ Home) was built soon after the Civil War. While no battles were fought in Michigan during this war, an estimated 90,000 men from the Great Lakes State enlisted to fight for the Union. More than 15,000 of them never came home.
The Michigan Soldier’s Home was created for the wounded and sick soldiers that could no longer take care of themselves. Adjacent to the home, the state of Michigan set aside five acres of land to be used as a cemetery/memorial to the soldiers who passed on.
Today, 4,000 soldiers from other wars lay buried beside the 214 Civil War soldiers who went before them. As soon as the home opened, reports of paranormal phenomena began, and they continue to this very day. The West Michigan Ghost Hunters Society (WMGHS) continually receives e-mail from people visiting or working in the home.
They include accounts of unexplained cold spots, strange electrical disturbances, footsteps and other unexplained noises, and the intense feeling of being watched. In the cemetery, ghostly apparitions in full uniform have been seen around the Civil War gravesites. Common occurrences that cannot be explained include moaning noises, sudden chills, and flashlights that suddenly quit working.
In November 2004, WMGHS investigated the Soldiers Home Cemetery. We experienced intense feelings of being followed and had constant unexplained equipment malfunctions. The home itself has never been investigated for paranormal activity because it remains in full use today, home to almost 300 veterans.
Written by — Nicole Bray Founder, West Michigan Ghost Hunters Society
GRAND RAPIDS HOME FOR VETERANS
3000 MONROE AVENUE NW
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN 49505
TEL: 1 (616) 364-5300