Ghost Stories

Traverse City Insane Asylum Hippi Tree


Recently a group of friends and I visited the Traverse City State Asylum and the surrounding area. (Yes the woods behind the asylum)We had done a little research on the asylum, as well as the "Hippie Tree". When we got there the men's ward was being renovated and Stellas the restaurant was open for business. We met the hostess, along with hearing her stories; we were given exact directions to the "Hippie Tree". We immediately set out on foot for the tree.

I must tell you that I am a devout skeptic, but what I saw I will never forget as long as I live. It was about a 15 min. walk to the tree. As we ventured out it felt as if that people were watching us. The closer we came to the tree the more it felt like someone or something DID NOT want us there. We kept hearing the sounds of crashing branches and scuffles in the distance. The closer we got the more strange things became. At one point one of the people that I was with "Bob" was allegedly struck by a rock in the back. That was enough for Bob and he immediately returned to the car.

In our research we had come across some of the asylum's lore about 2 young boys (William A. Schmidt and David J. Guigar) from the asylum community back around the 1940's or 1950's somehow got into the underground tunnels that connect some of the buildings. The story goes that while the boys were in the tunnel they were confronted by a patient that had been missing for close to 2 months.

(His name would not be disclosed) When confronted the children became scared and began to run. When Guigar reached the end of the tunnel he realized that he was alone. Guigar, terrified of what had just happened, found a staff member to report the incident. A short time later a group of the staff members, along with Guigar, went back into the tunnel to locate Schmidt. When they arrived, the only thing that was found was the medal of St. Raphael that his parents had given him 3 weeks before he arrived at the asylum. 6 weeks later parts of his remains were found at the source of an underground spring near the "Hippie Tree".

After Bob had left we found what we believed to be the beginning of the underground spring. Upon arriving at the tree we saw nothing out of the ordinary but we kept hearing strange noises or the sound of faint voices. While I was carving my name (OZ) in one of the branches pointing towards the field, my friend Aaron let out a horrible scream. When I looked over in the direction of the scream I saw a shadow where Aaron had stood on the tree only moments before.

The shadow, which was around 4 ft tall, seemed to look over at me and they quickly descended into the surrounding woods. At that point we immediately collected Aaron and returned to the car. When arriving at the car we found that Bob had locked himself inside. When Bob opened the car he informed us of what he had heard while he was there alone.

Bob said that he was standing outside the car having a cigarette and was startled by screams that came from the woods and a strange howling noise. We left the area NEVER to return. When we returned to our cottage, Aaron discovered what appeared to be hand print welt on the small of his back. Upon closer examination we noticed that instead of hand print with 5 fingers there were only 3 large ones. I strongly discourage anyone from exploring anything in the surrounding areas of the asylum. There truly is some form of evil that is attached to the forest and the asylum.