The Not-So-Scary Cemetery in the Legendary ‘Haunted’ Ghost Town of Pere Cheney, Michigan
This infamous Michigan ghost town has been written about endless times. If you’ve read any of the online articles about Pere Cheney, then you practically know all there is to know about it….truth, legends, and rumors.
This time is mainly focused on the cemetery itself, which is the only thing that remains in the whole town. The graveyard is often called “The Most Haunted Cemetery in Michigan”...but that’s a buncha BS. The ‘haunted’ stuff comes from the legend…otherwise, it’s a unique cemetery that is very well cared for.
Sure, there have been vandals that have ruined headstones, stolen monuments, and ripped off the cemetery sign…but someone makes sure the grounds are maintained and looking nice. In fact, in spite of its creepy legend, the cemetery grounds look rather peaceful. However, there are a few things you notice when you walk thru the grounds.
I visited there a few years ago and noticed some rather unique, homemade headstones: some with no name or dates, others just big rocks, and a few with words hand-scrawled into the rock. There are even one or two plots that have caved in, possibly due to a wooden casket that has rotted and crumbled from dampness. The cemetery grounds are also overrun with lichen, a white plantlike organism.
The town of Pere Cheney was established in 1874 as a lumber town, with a peak residency of 1,500. The post office packed up in 1912 and thanks to those waves of plague, the population was just 18 by 1917.
A few of the gravestones reveal the fate of Pere Cheney, especially one grave monument that depicts the deaths of three children who passed just days apart, thanks to the plague that swept thru the town in 1893 and another in 1897. There were only 90 people buried here, and current family members keep a vigil on their ancestors’ final resting places.
If you know the tale about Pere Cheney, then you will be hesitant or even slightly scared to visit…for someone not aware of the legend, it’s just another old cemetery that makes for a good walk. If you visit, do so before it gets dark; entrance is forbidden when the sun goes down. Also, if you’re there after hours and for some reason your vehicle won’t start and your phone doesn’t get any reception, then you’re screwed. You’ll have to start walking quite a way down that dirt road before you come to any dwelling with people that may – or may not – help you.
ALWAYS BE RESPECTFUL WHEN VISITING ANY FINAL RESTING PLACE. DON'T RISK THE BAD LUCK THAT HAPPENED TO THOSE WHO DISOBEYED...
The Cemetery of Pere Cheney
MORE MICHIGAN CEMETERIES:
Bell Cemetery, Presque Isle County
Forgotten Cemetery in Salem, Michigan
Duck Lake and Cemetery