Michigan Urban Legends

Blood Road, Metamora
According to this urban myth, if you drive down the road at night & look back, the road behind you will turn red. Some drivers say they’ve been chased down the road by shadowy figures.

Popular legend claims cultists fled to Metamora in the 1600s so they could practice their rituals without fear of witch hunts. The blood spilled in their ritualistic sacrifice is said to stain the road to this day. Another legend says the road was so named after a man murdered his wife and left her body in the swamp that borders the road. Skeptics say the legend arose because there’s a high red clay content in the dirt.

a pictograph of Mishipeshu at Lake Superior Provincial Park

Mishipeshu, Lake Superior
An water creature primarily of the Ojibwa tribe, “Mishipeshu” is directly translated to underwater panther or water lynx. Legend says Mishipeshu creates fearsome waves, rapids, & whirlpools, and breaks ice on the lakes. Most Great Lakes tribes regard Mishipeshu as the protector of copper, with copper scales covering his back & tail, and copper horns on his head. Sometimes, the monster is described as furry. Sightings along Lake Superior continue to this day, though some believe the sightings are of giant sturgeon or eels.

The Melon Heads, Allegan County
As legend has it, a mansion in Allegan county was used as an insane asylum for hydrocephalic (water head syndrome) children, who were tortured with experiments until the hospital closed. In some versions, they attack and kill the doctor who tortured them, forcing the hospital to close. The children were then left to wander around the woods, where they sometimes attack visitors wandering on Wisner Road near Felt Mansion. While there are no records of an insane asylum in the area, historians suspect fears surrounding a local prison account for the myth.

Michigan Dogman (“Loup Garou” or wendigo“)

This creature of Michigan folklore is a tall two-legged dog-like animal with the torso of a man. Its howl sounds like a human scream, and it’s said to appear every ten years on years ending in 7, usually in the north of the southern peninsula. The first recorded sighting was allegedly in 1887 by two lumberjacks, but the creature is similar to the “Wendigo,” an evil spirit of Algonquin lore. Lower in the southern peninsula, the creature is known as the “Loup Garou,” a French werewolf creature.

Dogman sightings continue to this day. Like Wisconsin’s Beast of Bray Road, some skeptics believe it is an unknown wild dog or wolf breed, while others believe it may be a bear with mange.

Pressie (Lake Superior) & Bessie (Lake Erie)

In a state surrounded by lakes, we have our fair share of Loch Ness-type monsters. Two named monsters include Pressie and Bessie, whose sightings go as far back as the 1800s–longer still if you think they’re related to the Algonquin Mishipeshu. Even Lake Michigan has its own alleged sea monster, recorded in June 2019. Skeptics believe the monsters may be large sturgeons, giant eels, or a strip of silt fencing.

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