The Haunting of Seul Choix Point Lighthouse

October 23, 2007

Seul Choix Point Lighthouse; Schoolcraft County

Seul Choix Point Lighthouse; Schoolcraft County, photo courtesy Archives of Michigan

Dave Wobster has an excellent article on Seul Choix at boatnerd.com that begins:

Hundreds of years ago, moving the across this region was a different story. Native Americans and French explorers were traveling in canoes and later small ‘Mackinac’ boats. It was readily apparent that along the 75 mile stretch, from the Straits of Mackinac to today’s Manistique, there was only one place to seek refuge from the storms that often sweep up Lake Michigan. Realizing that the bay near the present day Port Inland was their only choice, the French named the place Seul Choix, the French name for ‘Only Choice’. The French pronunciation is “Sel-Shwa”, while locally the name is spoken as “Sis-Shwa”.

He goes on to document the history, touching upon a ghost story that is fleshed out in The Keeper of Seul Choix Point by Ken Rudine:

Joseph Willie Townsend was the keeper there from 1902 to 1910 when he died in that upstairs bedroom. His body was drained and prepared for his wake which was held in the basement. He lay in state in the parlor until his relatives could assemble from other locations. He was buried nearby in a cedar coffin. Joseph was a cigar smoker in life, but his wife refused to let him smoke in the house. Now cigar smoke is often smelled in the house, as if Townsend now enjoys what his wife forbade.

The article tells other tales about the haunting, and you can get more information about this lighthouse (including an aerial view that shows the setting) at the Seul Choix Point Light web site. Beware! The site is “haunted” as well – by a song you cannot shut off … mu-hu-hahaha! There are a couple of children’s books based on these stories (well, probably minus the embalming part) called The Captain & Harry by Jan Langley.

You can also see more historical photos of Seul Choix Point Lighthouse at the Archives of Michigan and view modern-day photos of Seul Choix Light on Flickr (slideshow). Since I’m not sure that anything I linked to has good directions to the lighthouse (which is located near the ghost town of Fayette about 10 miles east of Manistique), here’s the Seul Choix page from Exploring the North.

24 Responses to “The Haunting of Seul Choix Point Lighthouse”

  1. domenica Says:

    thats creepy know i want a tour of the house

  2. C.H. Says:

    Just for the record, his name was Joseph Willey Townshend.

  3. audrey Says:

    it’s in gulliver, right off m2 theres a large sign… left to the haunted lighthouse… then another left when you’re really close. there’s signs everywhere. the road out is pretty eerie at night. it’s all true.

  4. Lindsey Says:

    I live 10 miles from it. I’m trying to find out more about the joseph guy. All the times i have been there i have never had a scary expirence

  5. bj Says:

    watsup everyone i was there and it is definetly haunted and i have seen things happen you so if you don’t believe you should see it for yourself

  6. bl Says:

    hey, me again, if youd like to see more pics on the lighouse or other haunted places around the upper peninsula of michigan go to http://www.myspace.com and search for the UPST

  7. Linda Says:

    Hello

    My relatives lived there, I was there as a small child with my Grandmother. We have a cabin near there and it is a magical place!

  8. tyler Says:

    hey i’m doing an english paper on the light house ghost story. is there any good cites that i could find more info on all of this???

  9. kirstin Says:

    i have been there and it was really scary and i know it was haunted when i got there!!

  10. lori Says:

    we are planning to visit the area in a couple of weeks- how scary is it?

  11. me Says:

    yo peeps mai famly livs in MI and i think day shud hav told mii bout da hanted litehous…

  12. chrissy Says:

    We have a cabin in Gulliver and have been to the Lighthouse numerous times. Most recently, we went after midnight and got some funny looking pictures. Which we later took a look at and found some strange things. Streams of smoke that looked like it was coming out of my sisters mouth! She wasn’t smoking!!! More than a few pictures were freaky. I’m not a ghost hunter but I was nervous after that!!!!

  13. Brad Says:

    I’m with a paranormal team, UPPRS, who have done several investigations of the property. We’ve been in the business for 11 years and this is one of the most active locations we’ve done. Always come away with something unexplainable!

  14. victoria blanchard Says:

    its not that scary, my great grandpa was the light house keeper, i have never seen anything but my aunt and uncle has, things like
    a bible slamming shut
    smelling smoke
    silverware moving

    • Claudia Perry-St. Andre Says:

      Victoria, Captain Willey is my great-grandfather. I wonder how many relatives I have among the people posting here

  15. Brittany Says:

    I’m related to Joseph Townshend. He would be my great, great, great, (maybe another great) grandpa. I’ve been wanting to go up to his lighthouse but it’s so far away from where I live. It’s very interesting tho, knowing I’m realted to a ghostie. lol


  16. [...] of lighthouses. The light is also reputed to be haunted, and you can read a lot more about that in The Haunting of Seul Choix Point Lighthouse on Michigan in [...]

  17. Paula Brown Says:

    I was there a few years ago and was taking pics of outside windows and caught an image of an older man looking out the window

  18. michelle Says:

    my family visited this past saturday I and 2 of my kids went into the museum. While we were in there my other 2 kids stayed outside they were sitting on a bench in the yard area and heard footsteps in the grass while no one was around. they also caught what looks like a person looking out from behind a curtain. Also there is a house just down the road from there that as i drove by there and back my wind shield wipers just randomly came on. i didnt touch then nor did anyone else. it was in the same exact spot both times


  19. […] covered the Haunting of Seul Choix Lighthouse on Michigan in Pictures. Dave Wobster has an article on Seul Choix Light at Boatnerd.com. He […]


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