I was born in Michigan and recall back in November, 1975, when the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a violent storm in Lake Superior. All hands were lost during the sinking and no bodies were ever recovered because the ship sank so suddenly. The sinking was about 15 miles from Whitefish Point where the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum currently resides.
In September of 2018, I was in Northern Michigan on business. I had some time to kill and decided to visit the museum. After crossing the Mackinaw Bridge, I began the 1 1/2 drive the museum. What once a sunny and warm day had turned cold, gray, and rainy. I experienced uneasy feelings as I drove the desolate upper peninsula roads. I could not understand why, but I dismissed the feelings to overwork and stress.
I finally arrived at the museum in a downpour. I ran inside and paid the admission fee to a friendly middle aged woman. I was the only one there. The museum was laid out well with exhibits and artifacts; from shipwrecks starting in the 1800's and ending with the Edmund Fitzgerald. By the time I reached the Fitzgerald exhibit, I learned very little was recovered from the shipwreck because it sank so quickly. However, a lifeboat broke free during the sinking and was recovered the following day. With the lifeboat was a case which included a flare gun, lantern, first aid kit, and other items. Those items were displayed in a glass case. As I studied the items, the earlier feelings of anxiety returned. Within seconds, anxiety turned to fear and after that turned to pure terror. I was so light headed, I thought I was fainting. I was able to collect myself and bolted for the exit. I went right by the front desk where the lady was and went back outside. My heart was racing, my breath was short, and I thought my head would explode. I soon collected myself and asked, "What just happened?"
I decided to go back inside to confront what just occurred. I walked right past the lady again and into the museum. Within seconds the same emotions of anxiety, fear, and terror swept over me. There was no negotiation and I exited the museum again with no intention of returning. I spoke with the lady and told her I just had a paranormal experience by the Fitzgerald exhibit. She admitted to being a sensitive herself and said the museum is highly active. She also said once or twice a week, visitors will have an experience similar to mine, or see apparitions, or even hear voices calling for help. This was reassuring because I thought I was going nuts. I have had my share of psychic or paranormal experiences in my life but this by far the most intense.
During the drive back to my motel, I thought about the anxiety, fear, and terror I experienced and realized that is what those doomed crew members felt. Anxiety during the storm, fear when the ship was losing control, and terror when they realized it was sinking.