Most Haunted Places in America: Lake Huron
One of the most famous ghosts of the north-eastern United States is that of Minnie Quay, a young teenager who has been haunting the shores of Lake Huron for over a century. Michigan is known for a lot of things – its automotive industry, its lakes, its professional athletic teams – but there are few who haven’t heard mention of Minnie Quay’s name.
Minnie Quay was the daughter of James and Mary Ann Quay, proprietors of a local Tavern in Forester Michigan built in 1852. In those days, there were two major industries on the eastern seaboard of Michigan; lumber and shipping. Sailors were constantly coming in and out of port, and the tavern was a frequent stop for all of them.
At just 15 years of age, Minnie Quay fell victim to the charms of one such sailor who came regularly into port at Forester. Being from an upper-class family, the Quay’s were not very accepting of their daughter being courted by a young seaman. It was not considered a classy situation by any means.
Already saddened by her parents disapproval, Minnie Quay’s heart was broken when she found out that the vessel her fellow worked on was caught in a storm, drug to the depths of the water, taking her lover’s life with it. She was only further distraught by the fact that the last time she had seen him alive, she did not get a chance to say goodbye.
Hysterical at the loss of her love, Minnie made her way to the shore of Lake Huron and gave the ultimate sacrifice – her own life. She committed suicide, drowning in the lake near the family tavern in 1876. She was just 16 years old at the time.
The ghost of Minnie Quay has been reported in the area for well over a century now. Her apparition has been seen on the shore, as if searching the high seas for her lover’s ship to come ashore. Quay’s ghost has also been seen many times out in the water. Many who claim to have seen the ghost say she beckons to them, as if attempting to draw them into the same frigid demise that she suffered.
Some even claim that one young lady was summoned by Minnie Quay into the waters, and though she did not actually enter the water at that time, her body was found a few days later under peculiar circumstances. We’ve tried to verify this report, but have yet to find any evidence supporting the claim.
The old tavern is still there, but is little more than a dilapidated hull of a building; far from operational. It makes a perfect landmark, though, for those who wish to walk the shoreline where the ghost of Minnie Quay is most often seen.
The Quay’s gravestone can be found in the Forester Cemetery, reading left to right – Minnie (1860 – 1876), Mary Ann (1834 – 1932), James (1824 – 1882), James H. (1870 – 1910). So it would appear Mary Ann Quay outlived them all; her husband and two children. Flowers, coins and other tokens of respect are always found on the gravestone, weather permitting.