The best books exploring the strange, unusual, and paranormal from Michigan

Amberrose Hammond Author Of Mysterious Michigan: The Lonely Ghost of Minnie Quay, the Marvelous Manifestations of Farmer Riley, the Devil in Detroit & More
By Amberrose Hammond

Who am I?

I got my start in paranormal investigation when it was a popular fad around 2000 and joined a ghost-hunting group. I became obsessed with the history behind hauntings and why ghost stories and legends persist over time. This love of the ghostly combined with my love of books and literature led me down the path of writing. I enjoy sharing strange and spooky history because it puts people in touch with their state's history in a fun and interesting way. So many people think history is boring facts and dates, but share a ghost story or a true crime mystery, and you have people’s attention. When that story happened close to home? Even better!


I wrote...

Mysterious Michigan: The Lonely Ghost of Minnie Quay, the Marvelous Manifestations of Farmer Riley, the Devil in Detroit & More

By Amberrose Hammond,

Book cover of Mysterious Michigan: The Lonely Ghost of Minnie Quay, the Marvelous Manifestations of Farmer Riley, the Devil in Detroit & More

What is my book about?

Enigmatic mediums, murders, monsters, and more are all part of Michigan's mysterious and sometimes supernatural history. The will of Detroit's first millionaire, Eber B. Ward, was hotly contested because he took the financial advice of spirits. Marian Spore Bush, Bay City's first female dentist, moved to New York City, where she became a psychic wonder—and a secret philanthropist. Old witchcraft superstitions drove a Mount Morris family insane and caused another man to murder his godmother in Trenton. Researcher Amberrose Hammond brings to light strange and unusual tales from Michigan's colorful and exciting past.

The books I picked & why

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Weird Michigan: Your Travel Guide to Michigan's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

By Linda S. Godfrey,

Book cover of Weird Michigan: Your Travel Guide to Michigan's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Why this book?

If you love the strange and unusual in Michigan, this book is a wonderful addition to your book self for all ages. Linda Godfrey delivers a lively and fun collection of ghosts, UFOs, monsters, and other oddities. Plus, many fellow Michiganders lent their own experiences and spooky encounters with the paranormal to the book making it much more personal than just a list of paranormal locations.

Weird Michigan: Your Travel Guide to Michigan's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

By Linda S. Godfrey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Weird Michigan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Is it weird that the Wolverine State may never have had any wolverines in it? We think so, and that suits us fine. The weirder the better, we say, and Michigan falls perfectly into that category. Oh, sure, big-time heroes like Charles Lindbergh and Madonna hail from here, and so does President Gerald Ford, but do they compare to superhero Captain Jackson, who strolls around town in a purple cape doing good deeds? Well, yes, maybe they do, but the captain, in our opinion, is more representative of our fine state. Because, let's face it, Michigan has a great big…


The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch

By Miles Harvey,

Book cover of The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch

Why this book?

A fantastic, in-depth look at James Strang, the man who declared himself a “King” on Beaver Island and believed he was the “real” leader of the Mormon faith after Joseph Smith was killed. Strang established a colony on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan and was most likely assassinated, possibly by the U.S. government. I first discovered Strang while doing research about the haunting associated with his print shop on the island. Once I read how bonkers the story was, I had to include his story in my book. Through Harvey’s well-researched book, it was great to sit down with the bigger story.  

The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch

By Miles Harvey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The King of Confidence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The "unputdownable" (Dave Eggers, National Book award finalist) story of the most infamous American con man you've never heard of: James Strang, self-proclaimed divine king of earth, heaven, and an island in Lake Michigan, "perfect for fans of The Devil in the White City" (Kirkus)

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
Longlisted for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
Finalist for the Midland Authors Annual Literary Award
A Michigan Notable Book
A CrimeReads Best True Crime Book of the Year

"A masterpiece." —Nathaniel Philbrick 

In the summer of 1843, James Strang, a charismatic young lawyer…


Michigan's Haunted Lighthouses

By Dianna Higgs Stampfler,

Book cover of Michigan's Haunted Lighthouses

Why this book?

One of the most iconic paranormal things in Michigan is the haunted lighthouse…and we have plenty! A lighthouse isn’t complete without its resident ghostly lightkeeper. Dianna Higgs Stampfler collected the best stories about Michigan’s lighthouses in this must-have book for any Michigan paranormal enthusiast. The book doubles as a tour guide to take with you on the road as many of the lighthouses written about are historic locations open to the public. The perfect summer road trip! 

Michigan's Haunted Lighthouses

By Dianna Higgs Stampfler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Michigan's Haunted Lighthouses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Travel Michigan’s coast—and into the state’s history—with otherworldly tales of the spirits of those who sought to keep its waters safe. 
 
Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state, with more than 120 dotting its expansive Great Lakes shoreline. Many of these lighthouses lay claim to haunted happenings. Former keepers like the cigar-smoking Captain Townshend at Seul Choix Point and prankster John Herman at Waugoshance Shoal near Mackinaw City maintain their watch long after death ended their duties. At White River Light Station in Whitehall, Sarah Robinson still keeps a clean and tidy house, and a mysterious young girl at…


Haunted Lansing

By Jenn Carpenter, Erica Cooper (photographer),

Book cover of Haunted Lansing

Why this book?

A haunted capital building, spooky cemeteries, the infamous Legend of Seven Gables Road, true crime, and more are all featured in this excellent book on ghosts and haunted places around our state capital and surrounding cities and towns. Carpenter has a very entertaining style of writing that makes this book hard to put down.   

Haunted Lansing

By Jenn Carpenter, Erica Cooper (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Haunted Lansing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A tour guide for Demented Mitten Tours shares chilling supernatural tales from the history of Michigan’s capital.
 
Hastily dubbed the new capital in 1847, Lansing overcame derision and setbacks to become a booming metropolis. Yet its rich history hides chilling legends…
 
Bertie Clippinger plays tricks on the unwary at the Capitol Building, where the teen accidentally fell to his death when a game went horribly wrong. One of Lansing's founding families keeps a spectral vigil over its homestead, the Turner Dodge House. Malevolent spirits stalk the derelict Michigan School for the Blind. A witch's vengeful curse follows those who trespass…


Michigan Haunts and Hauntings

By Marion Kuclo,

Book cover of Michigan Haunts and Hauntings

Why this book?

This is the very first book I ever purchased when I became interested in all things paranormal in Michigan. This 1992 classic was one of the first popular books published that focused on Michigan’s ghosts, legends, and hauntings. The author, Marian Kuclo was a well-known storyteller around southwest Michigan and her collection of chilling tales introduced me to Michigan's paranormal world and inspired me to look deeper into some of the stories she wrote about. 

Michigan Haunts and Hauntings

By Marion Kuclo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Michigan Haunts and Hauntings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you believe in ghosts? You will after reading this compilation of tales of the supernatural from Michigan's rich oral history! Some stories, such as the North American Indian legends and a few of the older accounts are from the author's personal folklore collection. Each was carefully researched from interviews with witnesses whenever possible. This permits many obscure and fascinating details in these tales of haunts and hauntings which in turn illuminate our local cultural heritage. Also contains a map of the haunted sites for readers who want to do a little research into Michigan's enthralling past on their own!


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Michigan, the paranormal, and ghosts?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Michigan, the paranormal, and ghosts.

Michigan Explore 44 books about Michigan
The Paranormal Explore 157 books about the paranormal
Ghosts Explore 155 books about ghosts

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Song of Solomon, Detroit's Cold War, and The Virgin Suicides if you like this list.