The Whitney is haunted and we have a picture of the ghost.
Check out the shadowy figure of a woman on the left.
The SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters looked for that ghost and others when it recently filmed an episode at the restaurant. The episode, Phantom for the First Course, debuts August 17 and you can see it at the haunted grounds.
The Whitney is holding a “Restore the Floor” viewing party that day from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. The Ghost Hunters show starts at 9:00 p.m.
For $75 a person you get a three-course dinner, outdoor theater style seating with Ghost Hunters on the big Screen (rain or shine), and valet parking. Beverages, tax and gratuity are additional and $10 Witching Hour Cocktails are available all evening.
Arrive between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. for dinner. There will be snacks in the garden while you watch the show.
Fifty percent of the proceeds for this event will be earmarked to restore the handcrafted ceramic floor in the mansion. The floor is a 125-year old, hand-laid mosaic tile. After 125 years, including the past 30 with probably 2,000 people a week on average walking on it, it’s coming apart and the owners want to save it.
“That costs money over and above the huge overhead this place normally carries,” says owner Bud Liebler. “We’re simply earmarking half of that night’s revenues to help us address the problem. We had the floor ‘treated’ at a cost of several thousand dollars several years ago, and we think the ‘treatment’ actually loosened the tiles and caused them to start breaking off.”
It’s a floor the original owner lumber baron David Whitney Jr. and his family walked on … and maybe still do.
Here are very spooky facts about The Whitney.
It was built between 1890 and 1984 at an estimated to have cost $400,000 or about $9.5 million today. Both Whitney and his wife Sara died inside the house – David in 1900 and Sarah 1917, which might account for the ghostly occurrences reported by past guests and staff. Reports of supernatural activity started when the house was restored in the mid-1980s.
That gives some credence to the Ghost Hunters suspicion that “deceased family members could be haunting its halls, stirred to life by renovations and construction around the property.”
Others have checked out ghostly occurrences. On Halloween it’s not uncommon for groups to hold a séance in the basement. In one case, those attending swear a child named Sophie spoke to the group through the medium. Who’s Sophie? No one knows for sure.
Then there’s the Ghost Bar on the third floor of this 21,000-square-foot mansion. There’s more there than just the spirits behind the bar. Some say Mr. Whitney, Sara and others sometimes visit and patrons say they’ve seen the ghosts.
On one occasion, as the restaurant was closing a staff member saw an older gentleman looking out of the second floor dining room window. When he asked him to leave the figure simply vanished into the floor. Was it David Whitney?
To top it off the staff says they’ve seen strange things such as shadows passing by, lights going on and off, objects moving for no reason, the sounds of utensils being stacked and table settings being moved all on their own.
If you want to know even more, while you’re there you might ask them to show you the secret vault in the original dining room and the elevator.
The viewing party should be a hauntingly interesting time.
The Whitney is located at 4221 Woodward in Detroit. Website.
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on DetroitUnspun and used here with permission of the author.