Clark Lake at Sunset

Read the true experiences of people from Clark Lake that can be described as “unexplained.”  Because of the nature of these experiences, some are presented anonymously on the website.  Identities will be protected and not be revealed unless a person whose story appears here wishes that to happen.

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Don’t think that these stories are fiction.  This website vouches for the credibility of the witnesses who tell of the unexplained.


78 Degrees
By Jim Dandar

My 90+ year old mother liked to adjust the thermostat to 78 degrees in the wintertime. It drove my dad crazy and he asked me to get a thermostat that could be locked. I purchased one, but mom somehow bypassed the lock and changed the temperature back up to 78. I eventually gave up and let her have her way and removed the lock setting.

jd-thermostat-2016-09-19My parents moved out of their home of 60 some years and entered an assisted living center in October. It was not what my mom wanted and she constantly harangued me to take her back home. It was a difficult time for everyone. As their house was now empty, I set the thermostat to 50 degrees.

Mom passed away in late January, and after the funeral ceremonies I went to the old house. The temperature was somehow set at 78 degrees and I figured mom was just getting warm while passing over. It was a sign from her. I again turned the thermostat down to 50.

My sister went to the house a few days later to take care of some of mom’s things and as she would be there for several hours, tried to turn up the thermostat. Only it wouldn’t budge. The buttons would not respond, so she spent a few chilly hours there. She called me and told me about the problem and I went over two days later only to find the temperature in the house at a very warm 78 degrees, just like mom liked it.

I tried to reset the temp back to 50, but the thermostat was somehow locked up. I had to remove the backup batteries, remove the front and rear covers and use a paper clip to push in the recessed reset button.  That was the last time the thermostat “acted up”.

I can only hope that mom is in a warm enough (but not too warm) place where the temperature is to her liking: 78 degrees.

My Mom
By Pam Chmiel

My mom was dear to me.  She loved life and shared that joy with me.  We’d do things together–sometimes as simple as just sitting and looking at clouds.

Pam Chmiel

Pam Chmiel

For a while, mom lived with me.  But there was a point when she needed more help than I could give her and she moved to a care facility.  Late one night, I received a call from the facility telling me my mother had passed.  I didn’t call my daughter because it was late.  The next morning I called Lisa.  When she picked up the phone she said “Mom, don’t say anything.  I already know grandma passed on.”  Lisa went on to tell me that my mother had appeared to her and told her “I can’t do this anymore.”  Lisa reassured her grandmother that it was okay.  Lisa then told me mom had attempted to appear to me, but I couldn’t see her.  Further, my mother was going to see if she could find a way to contact me.

A day or two later, I was sitting outside at the lake, and I noticed a cloud shaped in the image of my mother.  I’d never seen anything quite like that before, and wondered if my mother had chosen this way to reach out to me.  Later that evening, I was outside again, looked up, and there was the same cloud formation, this time with a little streak of pink.  That I should see two clouds in one day that were the were the same, let alone shaped in her image, was like putting two snowflakes under a microscope and seeing the same design.  It just doesn’t happen.  So I’d like to think that was mom coming through to me, telling me she was okay.

Looking back on the night I received the call from the nursing facility, I recall my cats suddenly became alert, then acted strangely.  I have heard that animals sense things humans don’t.  I wondered if they sensed my mother’s presence and her attempt to appear to me.

What do I take away from this experience?  I feel mom did connect with Lisa and me.  It left us with a peaceful feeling–and that mom is okay.

Clark Lake Ghost
By Ann Swain

Hardy house

Hardy house, circa 1890

When I hear someone say their house is haunted, I can relate.  The house I live in has faced Clark Lake since 1890.  You wouldn’t know it by looking at it now, but this house was once a log cabin.  I believe my ghost could be from the era when the Hardy’s owned the property.

How do I know I have a ghost?  Several years ago my daughter and her husband were visiting.  While they were here, one night I awakened to see flashing red and blue lights coming through my bedroom window.  The Columbia Township Police were knocking on the front door.  My son-in-law had called them.  He said he had seen a man walk out of the upstairs bathroom and descend the stairs into the living room.  He thought the intruder was a threat and took action.  Upon investigation by all present, including the police, no man could be found.

Fast forward to the present day.  In the evening while watching TV, I occasionally see a shadow out of the corner on my eye.  The shadow comes in through the sliding glass door, goes up the stairs and then disappears.

The sliding glass door

Some people who know me might ask if the apparition had anything to do with my husband who passed away in 2006.  No.  Both the visitor in the night my daughter’s husband reacted to, and the shadow figure that I have noticed, occurred before his passing.

My husband, Jim, was well known at Clark Lake.  There is one thing I must tell you about. Within a day or two of his passing, my twin sister was sitting in the living room.  She looked up and was shocked to see Jim walking through the house, entering from the sliding glass doors at back.  If that weren’t enough, there was a repeat performance the next day when Betsy saw him again.  I asked her “did he look okay?”  She said, “yes, he was smiling.”  That’s all I needed to know.

So are there ghosts at Clark Lake?  I do know the answer to that question—I have experienced the phenomena close at hand.

The Stake and the Spike
By Laurice LaZebnik

Note:  This true story is shared by Laurice LaZebnik.  She, and her husband Bob, purchased the Graziani cottage that once stood on Kentucky Point.  They lived in it there but eventually donated the house for use as the Clark Lake Community Center.  The house was floated from Kentucky Point to its current location in the Jackson County Park at the east end of the lake in 1997.

Many people do not believe in ghosts or spirits. Count me as one of them. There is no realistic way to definitely prove if a house is haunted or if the spirit hovering in the shadows is there to scare us or is hanging around to have fun.

At Kentucky Point before the move to east end

At Kentucky Point, before the move to east end

When Bob and I bought the Graziani property our realtor told us a person had died in an upstairs bedroom. This fact gave the property a “psychologically impacted” status, which didn’t bother us at all.

Research revealed it was Eliza Graziani who died in that room. She died of natural causes. Eliza was the wife of Ben, a lawyer from Covington, Kentucky who purchased land from Mr. Hitt in 1896, built the homestead and developed what came to be known as Kentucky Park. The couple had several frail children and found the fresh air and laid-back lifestyle at Clark Lake healing for their girls. Eliza was particularly smitten with summers at Clark Lake, calling the lake winds “magical.”

Ben died in 1923. Eliza’s granddaughter, Rae, managed to hold on to the Kentucky Homestead after Eliza died in 1933, throughout the great depression and until 1985 when we purchased the property–99 years.

This same bedroom where Eliza died was where Bob and I chose to sleep. I immediately noticed the room had a hole in the wall blocked by a rough stake held in place with a spike. The aggressive craftsmanship and raw materials told me this was a middle-of-the-night operation by a sleep-deprived person on the edge of self-control. It had a foreboding quality, so I left it alone, and Bob and I slept peacefully in that room for over eight years.

The spike held the stake in place as the future community center was being floated across Clark Lake, pulled from the water and set onto it’s current foundation in the Jackson County Park.

Someone removed the stake.

WR hole 2016 03-05

Photo: Walt Reed

Icelandic psychologist, Dr. Erlendur Harddsson, in a study of 337 cases of people who had reported encounters with the dead, found that many of the apparitions appearing to people unrelated to the dead were of males who had died violently. On the other hand, female spirits appearing to their friends or family were more likely to have died of natural causes.

Dr. Harddsson investigated the cases in the 1980s by conducting interviews with the people who reported the encounters, as well as any other witnesses. He also checked official records to verify the details of death for the apparitions. The cases he studied were all from Iceland, but he cites other research in his study that shows encounters with the dead are reported by as many as 25 percent of Western Europeans and 30 percent of Americans. Click here for the complete study.

Thomas Edison attempted to invent a device in 1870 that could record voices from beyond the grave. Less well known than his phonograph or electric light bulb, the “spirit phone” amplified the sound from one of his phonographs. According to a 1949 French edition of his original diary, Edison was so certain it would work he made a pact with one of his engineers, William Walter Dinwiddle, that the first to die would contact the other from the afterlife. Whether Edison ever picked up any evidence of spirit communication remains a mystery.

The last Graziani to summer in the homestead was Rae, Eliza’s granddaughter. She married a Swedish lawyer from Covington, Kentucky, Helge Ragnar Albrecktson. He was the last male to live on the property before we purchased it. He was a private pilot, flew a Piper Aztec and owned a company across the river from Covington, Kentucky in Cincinnati. The company was called System Controls Inc. Rags, as his friends called him, was also an inventor.

I have no hard evidence Mr. Albrecktson was experimenting with Edison’s “spirit phones.” I never met the man. When we took possession of the cottage, included in the sale was the furniture and lots of old china, silverware and linens. Stacks of scientific magazines, electrical contraptions and unexplainable artifacts filled the attic, all of which I junked.

During the years Bob and I spent in the summerhouse I sensed an apparition lived there too–a good spirit. The cottage had fallen into disrepair, yet its walls seemed to be holding in a joyful ambiance. It seemed to me the structure had a history of laughter, good food and good times and that warmth was being generously passed on to us.

Spending time in that old green building was an uplifting, comfort-filled experience for me. Many of our guests commented on how peaceful they felt while visiting the clapboard-sided structure on Kentucky Point. There was something about the pine bead board walls and ceiling, the worn wooden floors and that sturdy center staircase that pulled stress from everyone. The wood was bronzed with age and generations of use. Guests didn’t mind the groans of the wood as it expanded from the sun or the wind whistling between the walls, and even attributed the sounds to a pleasant ghost.

I can’t explain why I couldn’t bring myself to remove the stake–call it intuition, clairvoyance, or silliness. I never saw shadows or felt frightened about the “presence” while the stake was in place. I don’t know what the stake was fencing in or blocking out.

There is little or no hard evidence that anything supernatural ever occurred at the Clark Lake Community Center, yet unexplained events occurred when I summered in that building. Such diabolical fiends as rats or squirrels may have caused the hole in the wall, but I don’t think so. I have a sense it was the gleeful ghost of Eliza Graziani.

I think someone should put the stake back in the hole. If there is such a thing as a spirit in the Clark Lake Community Center, my guess is she would be less troubled if she were tucked away between the walls as her former home fills with laughter, good food and good times.

CC moving day0001 meta

Moving day

To read the history of the Graziani’s on Kentucky Point, please click here.

Unexplained Night Sight November 2, 2015 at Clark Lake

It’s hard to know what to make of this.

Last night (Monday 11/2), my husband and I glanced out our balcony at about 11:10 pm only to be jolted by what we saw in the southern sky. A bright light, a combination of red and orange, hovered low. We live on the lake, and from our perspective, it appeared to be over Jefferson Road. This intense light seem to flicker for a while, became very bright, then faded drastically and suddenly disappeared without a trace. The whole episode lasted only about 45 seconds.

Whatever this was did not act like a typical aircraft. It didn’t glide across the sky like an airplane, but rather seem to stay still. The light was unlike anything associated with normal aircraft. And its altitude was much lower than what you would expect from a plane. We opened the door as it was disappearing and heard no noise.

What was it? We don’t know and can’t explain it.

A Clark Lake Resident Witnesses an Incredible Sight

It was late August 1953. I had just returned with my family from Arizona following my father’s discharge from the Air Force where he had been a jet fighter instructor during the Korean conflict. My grandfather and grandmother’s farm in Tecumseh was a welcome relief from the hundred plus degree days of hunting gophers with my buddies behind the base housing complexes.

I had volunteered to help grandma gather the eggs at dusk after the chickens had been put in the coop for the evening. I was diligently sticking my arm under the nesting hens while avoiding their pecking to gather as many eggs as possible as quickly as possible. It was a game to an experienced hunter of five whose goal was to show as little fear as possible.

Grandma was checking outside the coop for any stray chickens when I heard her scream for my grandfather, “John, come quick there’s a fire in the north field.” Not knowing what to make of her frantic yelling, I ran out of the coop to the edge of the field where hovering at an estimated altitude of about a thousand feet was a huge flaming object. The sun had just set completely in the west and the object was ten times brighter than the last rays of sun against the clouds. The object truly had flaming rays coming from its perimeter and the actual shape of the thing was somewhat like a cigar.

About that time, my grandfather who had been in the main barn arrived and to this day I remember his saying “Edith, it must be a dirigible on fire!” I had never heard the term dirigible, but to elderly folks at that time who had no doubt seen the Hindenburg catastrophe, it logically provided the only rational explanation for what we were witnessing. The craft remained hovering above the field for about five minutes, then, just vanished. I remember my grandfather asking the only close neighbor about a quarter of a mile to the north, if he had seen anything in the sky the previous evening. He had not. That encounter stays as vivid in my memory as anything that occurred this morning.

Had I just imagined the encounter? No. I remember the word “dirigible” and how it would have been an unknown word to me at that age. I also remember asking my grandfather some ten years later when he was in his nineties if he remembered the sight that night in August, 1953. He would only smile and nod.

A Mother and Her Daughters Wonder about the Unexplained

My husband died quite a few years ago, but there have been moments when I wondered if he were still with us.
Not long after his passing, on one occasion my two daughters and I were in the house together on the first floor but in different rooms. Suddenly our activities were interrupted by the sound of a throat clearing. We all heard it and headed towards the direction of the sound. We met in the hallway and looked at each other in amazement. They said “Dad”, and I said his name. The throat clearing was almost a signature of my husband. No one else ever cleared his throat like that; and when he was with us, he did it often. The three of us took that as a greeting from someone we were already missing a lot–and would always miss.

Something else has occurred repeatedly over the years, and I have no explanation for it. My husband use to have migraine headaches. For relief he would rub Ben-Gay ointment on his forehead and lie down. The ointment has a very distinctive minty smell to it. I haven’t had any of it in the house for years. But every so often for a brief moment as I pass through the halls, I catch the scent. Is this a greeting, also? I don’t know. But I sure cherish the flashback of memories whenever it happens.

An Unforgettable Trip between Clark Lake and Jackson

by Rick Belcher

It was a sunny and warm Sunday afternoon sometime during the summer of 1972. I was living at Clark Lake, and it was my habit to leave the lake for a few minutes on Sundays to go to Jackson to pick up a New York Times.

At about 3 pm one Sunday I was driving toward Jackson. My route was Jefferson Road, north on Hyde, west on Reed Road and then north onto 127. Before reaching M-50, there is a section of 127 that branches into 4 lanes. It was at that point that I looked up through the windshield and saw something that I will never forget. There was an enormous black triangular craft flying silently and traveling north at about the same speed as my car. It was at low altitude and I could see details. The three sides of the craft were identical. The sides were beveled and I could see oval shaped designs that looked like portholes spaced equidistant around all three sides. There was no evidence of any means of propulsion on the bottom, attached to the sides or coming out the back—no jets, no vents, just portholes. I was traveling in the right lane and there was another car immediately to my left. I tried to motion to the two women to look up, but they were apparently so engrossed in their conversation that they neither noticed my motioning nor showed any reaction to what was flying above. I turned my attention to above. It was still there. So I decided to pull over to the side of the road so I didn’t have also to think about driving. I got out of my car, looked up–and there was nothing. nothing but clear blue skies, not a thing!

I estimate that the craft was in view for at least a minute or two. I did not see it leave, it just vanished. I had never experienced anything like this before, nor since. I have never seen or experienced anything else that could be described as paranormal. But I am certain of what I saw that Sunday afternoon on 127.

A Mother Departs, but What Happens Next Is Unexplained

My mother loved birds. At one point she employed an art student to come to her home and create a mural on one of her walls. Of course the painting included many birds. Because of my mother’s love of birds, I will be forever grateful to my wife for something she did for my mother in her last days. My mother had been bed ridden for quite a stretch. But near the end, she asked my wife and me to help her out of bed and into her wheel chair so she could go the front door that looked out over the trees and foliage. She then asked my wife to go outside and create a commotion to get the birds to fly about. My mother loved it and watched with fascination. Even after so many years and in the throes of her final illness, my mother held her interest in birds.

Only a few days later, my mother passed on. Not long after the funeral, a coworker asked if I would drop her off at a shop where her car was being worked on. I did this, and she asked me to wait just in case the work had not been completed. I was driving a new Buick Park Avenue at the time. It was a beautiful day early in May, and while I was waiting I rolled down all the windows to enjoy the fresh air. Then it happened. Out of nowhere, a bird flew into the car and settled on the back seat. I didn’t want it there and reacted instantly to scare it off. My fear was that this bird would leave droppings on the upholstery of this new car. I waved my arms. Surely this bird would get the message and take off. But it didn’t. So next I opened all four of the doors and attempted to shoo it out through the open back door. That surely would scare it off. That didn’t work either. So then I slid into the back seat next to the bird thinking it wouldn’t want anything to do with my being that close. Yet it remained. Then it suddenly it occurred to me. I turned to the bird and said, “mother?” Believe it or not, the bird nodded its head as birds do, and I took this motion to possibly be a “yes” to my query. I paused and then asked, “mother, are you trying to tell me that you’re alright?” Again, the bird’s head seemed to nod “yes”. After this went on for few minutes, my coworker signaled that her car was ready and it was okay for me to depart. I turned to the bird and said “I have to go back to work; it’s time for me to go.” And with that, the bird took flight, never to be seen by me again.

Was my mother somehow trying communicate with me through this bird? I never had believed in such things. When tales like this were presented to me, I either mentally or verbally dismissed them. But this event brought new light to the topic. And regardless of what others might think, I’m glad it happened.