A Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge & Restaurant was built at 2699 M-139 in Benton Harbor in 1962. In the early 2010s the restaurant and motel lobby were torn down so it could be turned into a Cosmo Extended Stay Motel.

Then in 2018, tragedy struck. According to Mlive, a fire broke out and soon filled the building with smoke. 27 rooms were occupied and most everyone escaped...except for a 26 year old mother and her five kids. The father was able to escape, but his wife and five kids – aged 2 thru 10 – became trapped in a hallway.

The fire took the lives of the man's family; when they were found, they were huddled in a hallway and had died from smoke inhalation.

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Ever since, the motel has been abandoned, deserted, empty.....whatever term you prefer. It would be easy (and cheezy) to say that the grounds were haunted by the family's spirits but that is not the case. It still sits on the grounds, vacant, decaying, and waiting.

Thanks to Ruin Road, the gallery below shows images inside this burned-out, barren motel, sitting along I-94 in Berrien County...

Burned & Abandoned Motel, Benton Harbor


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