The Legends of Seven Gables Road
S omeone started it, then they told it to someone, then that someone told another friend of a friend…who had already heard it from a friend three months ago….
Seven Gables Road is an excellent example of urban legend at its finest. This was a story I was reluctant to post for years, but seeing this website is a collection of the “strange and unusual” in Michigan, it should be here. This story has been circulating the dark shadows of late night campfires and midnight tales for a long time and it can safely be classified under gold ole’ fashioned Michigan urban legend. It’s the sort of tale that seemingly has no basis in fact, but nevertheless, leaves thrill seekers spooked. This is definitely one of those areas where people go with the intent of finding something “scary” and anything that happens; whether it’s a twig snapping or an owl hooting is a sure sign there’s a ghost nearby.
Supposedly, and according to existing stories, there used to be an old house at the end of Seven Gables Road, a road that dead ends off of E. Dexter trail in Dansville, Michigan, Ingham county. There is now only walking trails and a rusted old gate where this “home” used to be. At some point, a story got started that is told exactly the same way on each and every webpage out there, thanks to everyone’s perfected use of the cut and paste technique
Now here’s where the legend gets really dumb. This was the only curse the “witch” could come up with. The story is your classic “witch” who lived in the old home and cursed Seven Gables Road. The really lame thing about this version is the witch’s actual curse, which makes me believe this story got started not with an old house that used to sit on the property, but with the old gate/fence itself at the end of the road. If the only thing that has existed near that property for decades is a lonely, rusted old gate that leads to apparently nowhere, it needs a story to illustrate why you shouldn’t cross it right?
::Poorly written reenactment of the witch::
“I will curse this road because I am a witch! Therefore, anyone who hears a scream, and then jumps over this here fence….will DIE!”
Really? That’s all she had? Because if it’s a remote, fairly quiet area, the odds of hearing someone scream and then immediately crossing this fence seem unlikely, but hark! It was the witch who was foiled by her own curse! She was outside, heard a baby scream, felt the need to be nice, and ran in the direction of the sound, therefore jumping her own fence of doom! She died two months later. It wasn’t a very fast acting curse.
So naturally, twenty five years later, a family moves into the home of the witch. As if the events were inspired from the Amityville Horror, the man of the house goes insane, kills his family, burns the house down and then kills himself. Most stories say he hung himself. One story out there even goes on to say each dead family member was hanging from one of the gables of the house.
The second version is a little more “short and sweet,” and is more in the classic style of ghostly legends. There was a “witch” who lived on Seven Gables Road. She of course hated the world and cursed her land and naturally haunts the property to this very day. If people dare to venture onto the land and hear a scream, it’s a warning to get out of the area or death will follow.
Now this photo was displayed on a public Facebook group page dedicated to Seven Gables Road enthusiasts who have a love of the story. It was supplied by the head of the Ingham County Genealogical Society, Rodney Jewett. But this photo displays a house worthy of a better ghost story then the one that’s told. It’s lovely and has all the great embellishments of the perfect creepy and haunted house. So is this truly the house that inspired the legends? Who knows. Here’s a link to the Facebook group where this photo can be found.
In her book, Paranormal Lansing, author Nicole Bray talked to a local who had stated the area had once had a Michigan “rattlesnake infestation” which was a theory as to why there were numerous stone foundations on the road as people were forced to abandon their homes and move elsewhere. Naturally, there seems to be a constant argument as to which foundation belonged to the “witch’s home.” A story like this could also generate a “cursed land” vibe that over time, mutates into something totally different.
We here at Michigan’s Otherside have gotten a few emails about Seven Gables Road over the years. Mostly from people who had heard about the legend and decided to go out and check it out.
**Of course, the above are the versions I am familiar with and like all legend and urban legend, it changes from area to area and person to person. If you grew up with a different version of this story or have had an experience in this area, please feel free to write and share your story to be on this page.
MORE URBAN LEGENDS TOLD ABOUT SEVEN GABLES
A friend of mine heard the legend and went to check it out with a group of people. Everyone was arm in arm as they stepped over the gate and began to walk down the path. About 10 minutes later, they heard a scream and ran back to the gate. Once again, stepping back over the gate arm in arm all at once. When they got into the car and drove off, they looked at some of the pictures and only one really stood out. It was of one of the friends posing for the camera but it looked as though he had wings…. and it wasn’t windy or too cold outside.
Later in the week, after I saw the picture, I decided I wanted to check this place out for myself thinking they messed with the picture. When we got there, it was like any other creepy place. We stepped over the gate and walked a little bit and began to take some pictures. Everything around seemed very calm. The only thing we heard was heavy breathing that could have been from an animal or from one of us. To me, the only thing that I thought was interesting was that we were the only car tracks in the new snow but over the gate, were so many footprints and they were not just on the path. The footprints were going down into the wooded area and up into the fields.
So I was just wondering if you guys have checked this place out or are going to and what your findings were or if in fact it is just legend?
At the end of seven Gables Road,(found off Dexter trail and Meridian) there is a gate that leads to an old home said to have been burned down with the family of six hung by the gables of the house. The killer than killed himself and set fire to the house. A young girl is said to be playing in the trees. It is also said that someone was mysteriously choked by a force unseen. Many have drowned there do to the hidden lake that is on the way to the ruins of the home.
Hey all, After hearing about this place about 2.5 years ago, I ventured out on a nice summer day. There’s not really much to see in this area, but there is some beautiful state land just behind the “gate”. I walked all around this area and had no experiences, but I am not particularly “sensitive.”
If you live in the area (Dansville off of I-96) it is a nice place to visit, but probably not worth a long drive.
Having lived next to Dansville Game area when I was a child, I played and walked this area since the early 1960’s. Seven Gables Road was a graveled dirt road starting at Ewers Road, passing nearby Ewers Lake out to Dexter Trail Road. All that is left of this road since the mid-sixties ends at that gate on Seven Gables Rd. The entrance on Ewers Road is one of the parking areas for hunting on the state owned land managed by our Department of Natural Resources. Many farmer’s sold out to the DNR before and after it was closed. Up until the 1970’s it was a trail you could drive until the DNR blocked it off. Now and today, there are Bobcats in the area. When they snarl, the sound going through the trees will remind you of a women’s scream. The Boy Scouts from the Lansing and Kiwanis chapters use to camp in the summer in this area walking the trail of the old road and camping near the lake. As a teenager who passed for 21, I used to bring alcohol to the scouts who were classmates of my neighbor who attended Resurrection grade school and Lansing Catholic Central. We as locals could not resist the temptation of telling ghost stories that we made up of our local area. – Vaughn R.