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Pere Cheney

Ask any teenager what Pere Cheney is, and they might respond to you with stories of ghosts, witches, and paranormal happenings. There are many stories that account of ghost sightings, blue orbs floating in the sky, and mysterious voices and laughter, but there are not many stories about what happened to the small town of Pere Cheney, MI. There is one main story that every young adventurer knows by heart; the town was ravaged by an outbreak of *cholera, diphtheria, smallpox* (choose one), and many people died. From there, each story changes, and the teller will add a little bit of their own imagination to make their story more interesting. Whatever the story may be, nothing that resides in the world of imagination can be as brutal as the truth. Iíve gathered together as much information about Pere Cheney as possible and posted it here for public use and enjoyment. Have fun kids. -JNA

Absolute Facts

Taken from "Pere Cheney was the first settlement in Crawford County and was settled by lumberjacks and sawfill hands who followed the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad north towards Mackinaw City. G. M. "Papa" Cheney built the first sawmill in town and began lumbering operations there. In 1879, the county was organized and Pere Cheney was the first county seat. It was changed shortly thereafter to Grayling. The town, which was located about seven miles southeast of Grayling, had a hotel, general store, three sawmills, a railroad depot, school and post office which operated until 1911. By 1918, the town was nearly abandoned."

The cemetary was established in 1820, with the first recorded death being in 1892. A record of the gravesites is available HERE, but not all graves are marked or recorded. And then, of course, you have the quesion of mass graves.

Fact, or Fiction? In many texts (and we're speaking online texts here) people state that there was a small pox outbreak, or a cholera outbreak, and I've even heard of a diptheria outbreak. Although a few documents mention that many diseases were present, cholera is mentioned more than any other disease in the documents. The town was supposedly burned to rid it of the disease, and it's people fled to nearby towns of Roscommon and Grayling. Then, supposedly 50 years later, the town was rebuilt and it became seat of the new county - Crawford. This new town was also supposed to be smaller than the first. Once again, disease struck the town and it again had to be burned.

An interesting thing to note is that it has been mentioned that Pere Cheney suffered from a massive fire that destroyed most of the town. Nothing about this fire is mentioned in official texts. Maybe this horrible fire is just a rumor.

There are lots of rumors about possible things that caused Pere Cheney to fail. One theory is that it was built on cursed indian ground, and that never could a town prosper. Another is that a witch cursed the land. Whatever the cause may be, people are not so willing to accept a "curse" as a reason why an entire town failed twice.

*Note* There are no witches buried at Pere Cheney. The townspeople would not have buried her in the town graveyard.

Is Pere Cheney haunted?
Most people who visit Pere Cheney go there because they've heard it's haunted. If you go someplace with the mindset that there's ghosts there, you might think you see ghosts. But some people do go there with the intent of proving that there are no paranormal activites there, but leave with a different idea. Some have experienced nothing and don't believe that Pere Cheney is haunted at all. You decide.

Picture - this is a picture posted on ghost towns, it's supposedly a light in the sky. It looked like a moon to me, but opon further digital analysis, I'm not sure.

People usually report the following things about Pere Cheney:
-Laughter of children, giggles
-Crying Children
-Blue orbs of light in photos, videos, and sometimes plain sight
-Ghostly figures, misty outlines of people
-Trees cracking, groaning
-Cold spots in the air, wind blowing and stopping frequently
-Children's voices, whispers
-Problems with electrical equipment, radios etc.
-Bad luck after you leave
-Sand hand prints mysteriously showing up on vehicles
-Intense feelings of fear

What I've experienced/seen
We recently went to Pere Cheney 2 nights in a row. The first night was very scary for me. The moment I entered the graveyard I felt so scared I couldn't breathe. I had to go sit in the car because I was hypervenhilating. I decided to take a nap, and as I lay there, staring out the driver's side window and watching the bobbing flashlight of my cohorts, someone knocked on my window. I was so afriad it was the police that I just laid there for a moment, but when I sat up nobody was there. On my window there were streak marks and a big blob of sand. Was it a bat? Bird? Could be.

The next night our friend Angie and I saw blue orbs dancing in the treeline to the back right of the cemetary, and we swear we saw a shadowy figure crawling by the gates.

We went to Pere Cheney in August last year with a small group of friends. We didn't bring cameras or video cameras, we just wanted to see it. The first thing I noticed was that the trees all around the edge of the cemetary are dead or dying. Just on the edge of the cemetary the trees are brown, diseased, and dead. Most of the tombstones are aged, vandalized, or completely destroyed. The minute I stepped out of the car a wave of sadness hit me. Occaisionally as we walked around the wind would get wild and then suddenly stop, the trees would shake like it was very windy, but there would only be a light breeze, and some areas would suddenly become cold. A friend of mine and I were standing by the decrepit old trailer accross the train tracks from Pere Cheney and we thought we heard our friend Wes say something like "Do you know what time it is?" I started to answer him but she answered at the same time. We turned around and he wasn't even there. He was with the other guys quite a ways away. Finally we decided to leave. The road to Pere Cheney was so dusty that a thin layer of dust remained on our dashboard after we left. After that we got into 3 accidents in that car and then it died on us. I'm not saying Pere Cheney caused it, it's just something that happened.

Some friends of ours decided to go to Pere Cheney after dark to hopefully get some video footage of paranormal activity. They walked around the cemetary and then down the path in the back right corner. The video camera light was on and two people walking ahead of the camera user had flashlights. First there was an image of what appeared to be a floral dress fluttering in one corner of the video. Then a blue orb of light floats around the screen and then vanishes.

Other Sites

Message Board about Pere Cheney
Address book of paranormal places in michigan
Ghost towns- Pere Cheney