HAUNTED MICHIGAN: The Ones Who Lie Within the Lone Crypt of Niles
WOW. This is a weird one. And the story seems to be more true than not.
In Niles, Michigan, there sits an old mansion that was built in 1847 and thanks to all who occupied the house over the years, it looks almost as gorgeous as the day it was built. It was constructed by a local whiskey distiller who sold it to attorney Strother Beeson; to this day, it is referred to as the Beeson Mansion.
Across the street is the family's private cemetery, with the old family crypt dead-center. No other graves (that we know of, anyway) are here...just a stone-fenced area of land dotted with trees that surround this lone crypt (see picture).
Strother built the tomb across the street as a final resting place for his mother, complete with exquisite marble, in an area that was well-kept - almost like a small park - with flower urns and fine grounds-keeping.....and it wasn't too long afterward another family member joined mom in the crypt.
Strother's son & daughter-in-law, William and Harriet, had a son, Job Withrow Beeson, born in 1869. One year later, the baby died...he was placed inside the crypt alongside his grandmother.
End of the story? Not by a long shot...
Harriet Beeson was so overcome with grief, that her mental state took a nosedive. Every night, she would go into the crypt and treat the deceased infant as if he were still alive: she would put clean diapers on him every night, give him baths, rock him and somehow even feed him. She believed he was afraid of the dark, so she would leave a lit lantern in the crypt to keep him from being scared.
There wasn't much Strother could do about this and he didn't try to dissuade her from her nightly rituals..in fact, he installed a carbide gas plant connected to a pipeline that ran into the crypt to keep the lantern flame continuously burning.
Harriet kept this behavior up until the inevitable happened.....one night, after feeding and bathing the lifeless baby, she proceeded to rock him. But by this time, the body had decomposed so much that as she rocked him, his eyes fell out of his head, much to Harriet's shock & horror.
Her severe state of shock led her to be put into an insane asylum where she eventually died at the too-young age of 28. She is also buried within the crypt, making a total of 12 relatives buried within the walls of the tomb.
The entire area - the mansion and the private cemetery across the street - are said to be haunted. Female sobbing has been heard, believed to be the heart-wrenching wails of Harriet, grieving for her lost baby. Some think the ghost of the infant himself haunts the grounds.
This is one of the more bizarre tales in Haunted Michigan lore, and it seems to be more true than usual...although relatives of the family attempt to downplay it to keep trespassers away.....and who can blame 'em?
The mansion and cemetery are indeed privately-owned but you can still drive by and take pictures. It's located at 1507 Bond Street in Niles and is easily seen from the road, as you can see in these pictures. Who knows? Maybe at night you can capture an image on camera...