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Octagon Barn And House


Before I begin, I know that I was in the wrong in parts of this account. I know that I should have not just followed suit with what my friend wanted. At the same time, however, she could have practically told me to stand in a fire and I would have done it, I was so smitten by her. I mention this not as an excuse but to give the state of mind I was in. This in mind, this is my account at the Octagon Barn and its associated house in a small town in Michigan.

The Octagon Barn is a former homestead from many years ago, well before even my mother's time, and at the time of the account was being turned into an historic site. At first, things went fairly normally. Both Lori and I loved the place, we'd both grown up on small farms, me with horses, and I can't remember what her dad raised. We'd go every weekend I was up, and beyond the occasional impression of a horse or cat only one large event took place. We'd left the barn door open as we walked the circuit the octagon shape laid out. As we got back to the main portion of the barn, we both noticed that the door was closed. There were no other cars as we would have heard them. We sorta laughed about it, and apologized for leaving the door open.

As time went on, and we visited the barn more, Lori met one of the renewal crew. She asked permission to check out the house, and was told if the door wasn't locked to go ahead and go in. She was told they couldn't give her express permission, but that the house hadn't been started on yet but was in good enough condition to walk through.

Well, the next time we went, she decided to check the door and of course it was unlocked. We walked through it, and the whole time we were, I could feel someone walking just behind me. Close enough in fact, that it felt if I had to stop quickly, it'd bump into me. It didn't like that we were there, but again, as I was quite taken with Lori, I just followed behind her. The one time I mentioned it, she replied with a "I know, just keep walking."

After that, she'd check the door every time we went there; if it was unlocked, in we went. After that first time, I never felt quite that way, but it also was never a normal walk through of an empty house.

The final time we walked through the house, we were with a friend of Lori's named Darwin. Her and I both felt what we took as a baby in one of the upstairs rooms, and we decided to as we called it, "play with the baby". Lori for some reason couldn't feel it, so she quickly got bored and started exploring. She went up in the attic and was gone only for about 5 minutes when she came back down.

"We're going now!" she demanded to Darwin and I.

Of course neither of us wanted to go, as we were enjoying spending time with the baby. Her response to this was to demand that I go up in the attic if I was so wanting to stay.

To appease her I did so. Walking up the stairs was normal, but once turning at the top, I felt something that felt like a "caged tiger". It felt like it couldn't get at us, but if it could it would basically want to just rip us apart. Needless to say, I was done with the baby, and I too wanted to get out asap.

We argued with Darwin about it until she finally decided that she could always come back later. We both said our goodbyes to the baby and then Lori and I didn't quite run, but it wasn't much slower than that, down the stairs while Darwin looked at us like we were looney.

We stopped going in the house, but still, the barn felt as inviting as ever, and Lori even started trying to check it out as a possible site for a Halloween party. We kept going there several times. She once sent me up into the loft to see if we could safely hang decorations in the rafters using that as our access point. While up there, I got a definite "I'm not alone" feel, but it wasn't hostile so much as curious so I just lightly mentioned it when I came back down out of the loft.

Minor stuff happened like this until again, I went away from the barn. I figured no one would mind me looking around the land, as I planned to stay far from the house, and somewhat near the barn. I looked at the creek that ran past the barn, and went over to the tree line and kind of just looked in. Everything was quiet and normal until after Darwin and Lori left the barn. Now, I've never had anything like this happen before, and am not fully sure what was going on, but as they called me, I tried to go back to them. I couldn't do it for little bit.

I'd start to, and as far as I could see, the area was completely clear, other than a couple minor things like gopher holes and such. However, as I'd get close to them, it'd feel for the world like something was in the way. I turned and tried to walk around it, and would find myself further from them. The feeling would pass and I'd try again only to have the same experience.

I'd estimate this to have gone on for about 10 minutes at least. I never really felt the time, just sheer frustration at not being able to get to them. Lori had to go to work later that day, so she was really getting impatient, and Darwin was just getting confused. Finally, I was allowed to get to them, and then everything felt normal again.

I don't know if that experience was the ghosts telling me they were still upset we went in the house, or that they didn't appreciate me going anywhere but the barn, but after that I went to exactly where I was welcomed and only there.

As a closing, the funny thing is that now, the land, barn, and house are used in class trips from Elementary through High School. It makes me wonder exactly what the ghost (s) think about all these kids coming in and out of the house after it took the time to chase us out.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, teneki, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
10 years ago (2012-03-15)
That part has me stumped as well. The only thing that comes to mind is if they kept horses there, and you being familiar with horses, means they are familiar with you. In that I am thinking they could have been attempting to keep you from whatever is in the attic that is giving off bad vibes.
Just a guess, but horses are large enough to create a barrier, and they would have been kept in the barn. Which is where you felt at home.


I like trying to figure yours out, they are fun to work on. 😊
teneki (10 stories) (140 posts)
10 years ago (2012-03-15)
That very well could be, especially since we'd be coming there for about a 2 weeks to a month beforehand plus however many times Lori went and the times the renovators came too. That could also explain the whole practically stepping on the back of my feet thing too, interesting thought that.

That's one of the things I like about talking with you about my experiences Jav, you tend to think of things I hadn't even considered.

Main thing it doesn't really explain, and of course we can't explain it all, is the feeling something was in the way outside.
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
10 years ago (2012-03-14)
What you said about the squatters made me think. What if the spirit in the attic was afraid you guys were going to become squatters as well? I mean, you did keep coming back time after time. Maybe that's how it started with the squatters.

teneki (10 stories) (140 posts)
10 years ago (2012-03-14)
Some historical facts are that it was modeled after a barn in Iowa only larger, the original owner was also responsible for bringing electricity to the Thumb of Michigan at high prices, and that some squatters lived there in the 1970's.

There were a total of two families that owned it, so the things I experienced could have been from any of the groups living there.
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
10 years ago (2012-03-14)
I found it very interesting that you had a hard time making it back to the girls. That is very strange. Are there any legends that go along with the property? It would be an interesting study I think. Very curious happenings in that attic as well.
I wonder what the history of that is too.
Thanks for sharing this one, it has many things to wonder over.

teneki (10 stories) (140 posts)
10 years ago (2012-03-13)
Hmm... Never heard of that legend, interesting.

Yeah, the Octagon Barn does have a web site now, and sounds like it's way over used now with things like community garage sales on top of the school trips.
Argette (guest)
10 years ago (2012-03-12)
This is an interesting story. Isn't there a legend that round barns were built the way they are to keep ghosts from lingering the corners?

BTW, I Googled "round barn" and "Michigan historic site" and I am pretty sure I found your barn and house. Interesting place. Maybe I will tour there someday, as I'm just across Lake Michigan.

Teneki, I always enjoy your posts.

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