Fall at Haunted Island


Wow! There are now 2,700  articles on Big Bass Lake and Beyond ! My thanks to Mike and Darlene Reynolds, Dawn, and all our guest authors for all their great work. I don’t know how many more we’ll be able to produce? I had a hard time deciding what would be the 2,000th Post. I’ve never had a picture of haunted island in the fall so here it is. And you get the whole island in the photograph. I’m still searching for pictures daily and Mike and Darlene are infusing Arizona photographs along with Michigan. They will be going back to Michigan this year for vacation for about 2 weeks. I’m sure we’ll get more pictures from them. As I’ve said before, my grandparents initially owned about a half of this island. I wish they had kept it in the family. Aside from using it with various boys clubs I would have liked to do things with the island. Perhaps even setting up a camping area for overnights. It was a great asset on all our camping trips. I’m not sure who owns this island presently but they have a great place. Starting April 30th our March to 3,000 begins .

North Island View Lane


This is Big Bass Lake Road taking in North Island View Lane which is a fancy name for our old driveway. Earlier today, I displayed my grandmother tending to his crops along that same then gravel road. This lane is now paved. Another difference is that there are a lot more driveways upon it as you can plainly see in this next photograph.

One thing that these new homes have with our old cottage, now painted yellow, is that they seem to all display propane tanks. More wells have to be established for drinking water for one sure doesn’t want to consume the water from Big Bass Lake. By the way, our old driveway is now called North Island View Lane because the island it views is that of the Haunted Island.

How many of these folks are using their new homes for year round living at the lake? It sure would be easier to plow this new lane over that of our driveway. However, since the field remains virtually unchanged, the prevailing winds tend to drift that driveway over quite easily which would necessitate plowing that lane nearly every day the snow flies.

Here is how this lane and the properties would look from the air-

Here you can take in the individual properties including that of the red barn home as well as the tree in the midst of the field which is also shown in one of the other photographs. Now that tree seems to have a series of bushes around it. My thanks to Ed Hawks who took the surface pictures and who will be taking more of this area just behind our garage leading into Noreika Road.  Thanks Ed for all the work you do for Big Bass Lake and Beyond!

Haunted Island Sunset


Ethereal haunted island at sunset looks rather foreboding on this day. Like a silent Sentinel the island always stands out the mystical fuel to it. I’ve taken many rides in my rowboat around the island and at each time I listen for whatever sound comes from that Island. what would it be like to live on that island? There is actually an Indian burial ground on the island but I’m not quite sure what shape it is in. It is on the northern half of the island. In the summer the growth is so thick on the island that you can’t see one side to the other. The trees on the southern tip of the island are gorgeous. There used to be a house in that area that one could see back in the 1950s. Currently there is a house on the east side of the island. The haunted house was set in the middle of the island. It’s a great Island to explore especially at night.

Last Hurrah for Winter on BBL


the haunted island at winter time. I think the ghosts are undercover right now trying to stay warm. The bone Pickers are probably warmly Underground. And all is quiet at haunted island. To you get there now, you can just walk across the lake. It will be as desolate as can be. Only the Eerie sound of the Wind rustling through the trees can be heard at this time of year. The haunted island on ice!

Big Bass Lake is an ALL Weather Lake


I already know that big bass lake is an all sports lake But did you know that it is also an all weather lake as well? Examine the evidence. There is fog near the Haunted Island. There is snow and ice covering the lake. The area was just hit with Wind and rain. And what about that rainbow! Thanks for the great picture Ed Hawks. There are even some gaps in the ice. Can Spring be far behind?

Docking Berth at Haunted Island


This is the docking area of the Haunted Island on Big Bass Lake. You might notice a yellow X on the right side of this photograph and that is our wooded beachfront. On this particular trip, the Marion Y kids made their way across choppy Big Bass Lake at dusk for an early visit to the Haunted Island. This time, however, we stayed near the rickety pier until it was full dark. I told the five boys about the island within the boat as ripples beneath the boat lulled them almost to sleep.

A sharp blast of cold air woke them up from their slumber and they noticed it was now pitch black. As we made our way up the short hill and onto the path that led to the Haunted House, I told the boys about the Bonepickers who might reach out from their graves to grab the boys by the ankle. Chris Alexander grew in closer to me so that it was almost hard to walk. And, he was one of the older boys on the trip!

The boys circled the Haunted House twice while some boys glanced briefly at the burial mounds just north of the house. I broke two branches and the boys jumped thinking the Bonepickers were coming up out of their graves. One of the boys glanced upward and noticed the pine trees swaying in the wind. The temperature had dropped nearly ten degrees in the half-hour since they had left the boat.

Jay Smith nervously glanced through the open windows of the Haunted House as another boy grabbed him from behind and Jay jumped away from the house in a panic. The boys own imaginations often scared them far more than any stories I might have told them about the Haunted Island. Add to that the occasional cry of a loon sent them to the ground in a heartbeat. It was such an eerie sound.

On the return trip across Big Bass Lake the boys huddled within their sweatshirts as the wind went right through them and they were most anxious to stir up the fire back at camp before heading for bed. It was another night to remember at Haunted Island.

The Clearing at Haunted Island


During the 1980’s there was NO Haunted House anymore as the old house had been razed. In the late afternoon on a warm summer day, a neighbor boy and I rowed out to Haunted Island to check it out.  Still there on the west side of the island was that same fragile pier that shook as you walked on it.

Rick and I then climbed the short hill that led to a pathway that took us directly to the opening you can see here in the area of sunlight.  Even in brightest day the island still has the effect of night-time as the area is enshrouded by trees.

Rick still felt uneasy as we approached the area where the Haunted House once stood.  Though it was gone, the burial grounds remained just north of us.  Without the house, it no longer carried the spooky significance it once hold.  Yet at full night I’m sure it could hold its own.

We didn’t stay long that day as there was not that much to see.  Without the house the island was somewhat diminished to me.  Still I was taken aback as to how dark that island was with the sun still out.  I wonder if eerie cries still exist during the night hours there that we heard in the 1970’s? 

The Errie Stillness at Big Bass Lake


As each oar sank deep into Big Bass Lake our boat lurched forward on this slightly foggy morning. Our goal was an early morning trip to the Haunted Island but not to land. I wanted the kids of Salesian Boys Club to experience an entire trip around the Haunted Island. There were many comments that morning as to how dense the forest was completely surrounding the island. Tim Flannery expressed the thought that perhaps daytime would be a better time for our visit to Haunted Island. He was hushed down by the other boys whose bravado was showing in the broad daylight. Would it be the same later that night?

As we passed the rickety pier where we would be landing that very night at midnight, the boys saw the small hill that led to the path to the Haunted House.  But all they could see was the dense forest that awaited them that evening.  One of the kids offered, “I’ll bet it really gets dark in there“, cautiously.  I could see the boys eyes just riveted to that pier as we passed it.  I then showed them the place where the first Haunted House stood in the 1950’s on the southern tip of the island.  One of the boys thought that might have been the better venue seeing as how close it was to the water. 

But I then told them the pathway was just a quarter mile from the haunted house.  Somehow that didn’t seem to make much difference to their scared little bodies.  To them a quarter mile seemed like five.  Yet as we completed the full cycle of the Haunted Island, I could sense some relief to that morning excursion.  At the same time, I could also make out the apprehension of making that same trip out there at midnight.  And, the errie stillness of Big Bass Lake that morning added even more suspense to what was to come that night.

Haunting Spirit of Big Bass Lake


It always happens that first night of any camping trip. I call it “The Haunting Spirit” of Big Bass Lake. It seems to permeate each and every boy. It commences on our first night hike and thoroughly invades each boy when they return from that hike and observe the Haunted Island enshrouded by darkness.

It accelerates itself on a visit to that island as the boys near the Haunted House or the burial grounds where the bonepickers are said to dwell.  It further stretches itself on hikes down the Bloody Antler Trail on that hike at night. 

Even after dark visits to our commode area heightens that spirit as those walks are often taken by the boys alone.  Yet that same “spirit” keeps the boys most aware of their surroundings thus keeping them safe.  Never did they venture outside camp by themselves at night.  Might there be a bear out in all that darkness?  That “spirit” kept them safely in their tents until morning. 

In effect that haunting spirit kept the boys far safer than they might have been without it.  It sure made my task easier on every trip.  So was it really a haunting spirit or a protecting one?

The Burial Mounds on Haunted Island


I’ve heard it said that the burial mounds near the old site of the haunted house are sacred Indian burial grounds. More than one person in the Big Bass Lake area has claimed that to be true. I know for a fact that my Aunt Beth once told me a similar thing about the area just behind our barn.

Had I known about all that back in the days I took boys club trips out to the haunted island at midnight, that would not have occurred. But is there FACTUAL evidence that anyone knows of for sure in regard to that area having sacred burial rites? One can’t deny that there are burial mounds on that island just north of the central part. But who’s buried there?

Maybe some local residents, more learned than I in this regard, can enlighten us all? By the way this Photograph was taken from the Big Island.

Icy Edge at Haunted Island


Grab the ice skates! The ice is perfect for ice skating and there’s nothing to shovel off it. Time to do a few figure eights or maybe even grab some guys for a hockey game. How about some speed skating? Or find a good Hill on the lake for sledding. Can you imagine how far you’ll go once you hit the ice? And you’ll go even farther if you use a saucer. But if you’re going to try to walk on the way be careful because you could go back one season and have a fall. One other thing you can do is look below the ice and watch the fish swim in the largest aquarium that you’ve ever seen.

Snow Burst at Haunted Island


This morning even the ghosts are in bed this morning at Haunted Island. The bone Pickers bones are shivering this morning. The island is a frigid one on ice with snow-blowing making the windchill even colder. You can barely see the island even from the Big Island which is right next to it. From my window I’m not far from a nice warm fireplace and my easy chair. And that’s where I think I’ll stay today.

Motoring Around Big Bass Lake


I used to enjoy taking out our motor boat for a spin on Big Bass Lake.  From our dock I used to head due east toward the bridge to the Big Island.  But as soon as I passed the tip of the Haunted Island I turned due north and motored between both the Big Island and Haunted Island.  This is what you see here between those two islands. 

I moved close in to shore to the Big Island (right) and proceeded past their inlet on the north side of the island and then turned due east again until I passed that island.  I then made a sharp turn south and headed toward my destination, that being the Big Bass Lake Store docking area.  Enroute to that location I would pass by Grandma’s Hat Island on my left.  Just a few yards south of that, on my right, was the entry way to the bridge under the road to the Big Island. My route covered basically the entire south side of Big Bass Lake from southwest to southeast.

 The entire course of the trip took about 15 minutes.  Just north of the Big Island is the corridor to the north side of the lake through the narrows and past the other two islands on the lake.  I’ll describe that for you another time and that area also includes the channel between Big and Little Bass Lakes.