To some, staying in a haunted hotel or house is a bucket list experience, but when I found out my friends booked an Airbnb in a building that used to be a psychiatric hospital, all I could think was that some ghosts were going to visit me at night.
I was heading to Traverse City, Michigan, to attend the wedding of a friend from high school, and I was staying with a group of friends.
My friend who booked the accommodations slyly told me a week before the wedding that the condo was in an old psychiatric hospital that was renovated -- and that it may or may not be haunted.
As someone whose heart rate goes up when I even think about going inside a haunted house for fun, I immediately started to panic.
All I could think about was the season of “American Horror Story” that took place inside an insane asylum.
For those who love watching paranormal TV shows, this would be such a fun place to stay. The place used to be called the Traverse City State Hospital, but is now called The Village at Traverse City Commons.
I didn’t do too much research on the place because I didn’t want to go down a rabbit holes and freak myself out, but when I pulled up on a gloomy late summer day, I couldn’t help but feel like I was walking into a very haunted building.
As you can see in the photo above, this place just looks straight-up creepy!
The tall towers, the big windows and the faded brick all make it seem very ominous.
On the inside, however, you would have no idea the building used to serve as a hospital. Sure, the walls are all bricks on the basement level, but it’s full of cute little shops, coffee shops and restaurants.
The condo we stayed in was absolutely gorgeous, too. It was on the top floor, it had giant ceilings and was completely renovated. I actually wanted to move in when I first got there.
After having an incredible dinner in the basement of the building (if you’re ever in Traverse City, you’ll definitely want to eat at Trattoria Stella), it was time to go to bed, which was the moment I’d been dreading ever since arrival.
I’m not ashamed to say this, but the first thing I did when I got in my room was burn some dried sage. I was probably overreacting, but whatever! I wanted to let any bad spirits know that I was not messing around.
My room was basically a loft, so it kind of felt like I was in the attic of the condo, which spooked me a bit. My room was also pitch black, and once I heard a creak after I shut my eyes, I of course slept with the lights on for the rest of the night. It sucked, but it was the only way I was going to get some rest without freaking myself out.
I did the same thing the second night -- mostly knowing that there wasn’t going to be a scary spirit coming to haunt me in my sleep. When I got home, I finally did some research and learned that the hospital was a very positive place and wasn’t something out of a horror movie.
But still, the thrill of knowing that there could be any kind of supernatural spirit is still pretty enticing for those who live for these kind of things.
So if you need somewhere to stay (or just visit and take a tour of), I could not recommend The Village at Traverse City Commons enough.
If anything, you’ll have a fun story to tell about how you stayed in a haunted hotel.
This article was initially published in 2021. It has since been updated.