First and foremost, let it be known that anyone caught within the Old City Orphanage in Marquette will be arrested and charged to the fullest extent of the law. It’s illegal, and most of all dangerous. The building has been neglected for a long period of time. It is presently for sale and for those interested may wish to contact the Marquette Chamber of Commerce and inquire with the Lake Superior Community Partnership.
Located at the corner of Altamont and Fisher Street, looms a foreboding six story building that stands with half of its windows boarded up and an over-growth of trees and wild foliage that seems to be melding with the dilapidated structure.
This building is presently referred as to the ‘Old City Orphanage’, formerly known as the ‘Holy Cross Orphanage’, run by French Catholic nuns. The building allegedly has a sinister past involving sinful deeds by the sisterhood operated orphanage. This alleged dubious checked past also comes with a paranormal and phenomena present.
Some neighboring residents adjacent to the orphanage claim that wayward and orphaned children were beaten, and even killed in the orphanage at the hands of the strict and stringent nuns.
As one story has it, a little child that was lodged at the Holy Cross Orphanage once wandered off to play in the snow during one of Marquette Michigan infamous winter blizzard and got pneumonia. The little girl died shortly there after her affliction of pneumonia. As a lesson to the elementary student body, the nuns held a “private” funeral in the front lobby, attended only by the students, staff and nuns, where the remains were displayed in full view of the children of what the results are for their wrongful doings.
And as a result of this act, it is said by some that the sounds of children sobbing can be heard outside on the grand staircase that leads to the improvised funeral parlor in the lobby.
An “accident’ death by drowning is yet another story about the Holy Cross Orphanage. Supposedly the nuns hide the body in the basement of the orphanage from the suspicious eyes of the children and staff. Some of Marquette’s more daring “explorers” make claims of a strange glowing orb of green light surrounding the medical like table where the boys body was waywardly laid to rest.
There are many other accounts of light being seen in the windows by the local Marquette residents and curiosity site-seekers. A particular area of question would be a window fitted with a fire escape that leads down to the lobby’s front porch. The story goes that the children would use this fire escape to get out on the roof on hot summer nights or risky play and the nuns would ambush the children as they retreated inside from their fun and frolics.
There have been many paranormal experts that have researched the building, including Northern Michigan Universities paranormal research department and have come up with interesting results indicating paranormal phenomena.