‘Haunted Lansing’ Tells The Story Of Capital Region’s Spookiest Places – WKAR

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Halloween is just around the corner, and many people are looking to get a good fright with a good ghost story.

Jenn Carpenter wrote the book, “Haunted Lansing.” In it, she recounts the history and paranormal occurrences behind some of the Capital Region’s spookiest places.

WKAR’s Sophia Saliby spoke with her about the book.

Interview Highlights

On How She Found And Researched The Stories In Her Book

I got to know people in the true crime community and the paranormal community … And so, then they would tell me, “You know, what? Have you checked out this place? This crazy thing happened when we went to this place.” And I really like to focus on stories where, yes, there are hauntings, but you can also attach history to it as well.

On Her Favorite Local Ghost Story

A younger woman beheaded her mother-in-law during a fight. She set the head on the table for her husband to see when he came home for lunch that day. So, the first time that we went there, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. You know, we went there on a Demented Mitten tour more to just tell the story about the haunting, but we have had so much interaction with the spirit of Martha Haney, the murderess. Things that can’t be explained. Our psychics have had experiences. I’ve had them, and so that’s kind of one of the places where it’s the strongest presence.

On How To Get Started With Paranormal Investigating

You don’t have to buy a bunch of expensive equipment these days. You know, take your phone, be open, go somewhere safe. A good place to start is the site of the Bath school bombing out in Bath. That’s an open park that you can visit. You don’t need any special permissions or anything like that.

Interview Transcript

Sophia Saliby: This is All Things Considered on WKAR. I’m Sophia Saliby.

It’s the spookiest time of the year as Halloween is just around the corner. Many people are looking to get a good fright with a good ghost story.

Here to tell us about some local phantoms and specters is Jenn Carpenter. She’s the author of Haunted Lansing. Thanks for joining me.

Jenn Carpenter: Thank you for having me.

Saliby: From reading your book, it seems like you’ve been interested in ghosts and ghost stories since you were a child. Can you tell me about some of your first experiences with the paranormal?

Carpenter: Yes, so I’ve lived in Lansing my entire life, in the Lansing area, and as far back as I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with the macabre, be it true crime, the paranormal [or] things of that nature.

One of the earliest stories that sticks out to me, which I write about in the book … It was the 80s, so it was a waterbed store around the corner from our house when we all had waterbeds. So, my dad and I were there at the store, and I was wandering around. I started to go up the stairs, which the upstairs was not part of store, and he stopped me, you know, caught me.

And on the way back home, he said, “You know, you don’t mess around there. When I was a kid-” because he lived in the same neighborhood growing up, “-when I was a kid, there was a murder there.” And so, I became kind of obsessed with this story of murder, and every time we would drive by, I would imagine that I saw someone in the window.

I actually wrote about it for school projects. So, that was kind of my introduction to ghosts in an establishment that I was visiting.

Saliby: You do a good job of explaining the local lore, historical events and supernatural occurrences behind each haunting. How do you go about finding and researching ghost stories?

Carpenter: There’s so many out there, you know? There’s so many different platforms on which people can share their personal ghost stories. I moved into a house back in 2012 in the Grand Ledge area that we believe was haunted, and that was my first personal experience living in a house where there was activity.

So, I got to know people in the true crime community and the paranormal community. We had investigations done of the home. And so, then they would tell me, “You know, what? Have you checked out this place? This crazy thing happened when we went to this place.” And I really like to focus on stories where, yes, there are hauntings, but you can also attach history to it as well.

Saliby: Do you have a favorite story from the book?

Carpenter: I do. My favorite story, it’s also my favorite spot to go when we do the Demented Mitten tours, which of course, we’ve had to cancel for this year, but hopefully next year we’ll get back to them. It is in Williamston, and it is the site of the Haney home.

There’s a book that local author, Rod Sadler wrote about a horrible murder that took place there in the late 1800s. A younger woman beheaded her mother-in-law during a fight. She set the head on the table for her husband to see when he came home for lunch that day.

So, the first time that we went there, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. You know, we went there on a Demented Mitten tour more to just tell the story about the haunting, but we have had so much interaction with the spirit of Martha Haney, the murderess.

Things that can’t be explained. Our psychics have had experiences. I’ve had them, and so that’s kind of one of the places where it’s the strongest presence. And it’s not a spooky-looking old house, there’s nothing there. It’s just a field. So, that’s kind of one of my favorite places to go.

Saliby: What do you think is the most haunted place in the capital region and why?

Carpenter: That is hard. I would say the place that we’ve gone where people have had the most experiences would be Seven Gables Road out in Dansville. And that’s a hard one because that one actually doesn’t have any real history attached to it. There’s, you know, the story of the witch and the cursed land, but then that’s obviously all silliness. But there definitely is something to that location.

Saliby: Do you have any advice for any would be paranormal investigators this Halloween, this October?

Carpenter: First and foremost, make sure you have permission to go where you’re going. There are places, you know, there’s Blood Cemetery out in Laingsburg that is supposed to be very haunted. You can’t go there after dark. The neighbors watch. They will call the police. You know, just make sure it’s somewhere that it’s safe to go.

There’s apps that you can download on your phone. You don’t have to buy a bunch of expensive equipment these days. You know, take your phone, be open, go somewhere safe. A good place to start is the site of the Bath school bombing out in Bath. That’s an open park that you can visit. You don’t need any special permissions or anything like that.

Saliby: Jenn Carpenter wrote the book, Haunted Lansing. Thank you for joining me.

Carpenter: Thank you for having me.

This conversation has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

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