Cranbrook House and Gardens

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1999

I came here as a student in high-school. One of the traditions for the graduating class was a dinner and tour of Cranbrook House. During the tour, my friends decided to hang back behind the group to check out what was behind a closed door at the top of one of the stairs landings unnoticed. The room was a long, hallway length closet with windows that overlooked the driveway and another door on the other end. Now I’m generally a stickler for the rules so the whole thing made me uncomfortable to begin with, but it was my friend group so in I went, just to get them to move on and rejoin the tour before we were missed. I was the last one to go in. The moment I crossed into the room, night had become day. In the room with me was a sandy haired blond boy between 6 & 8 years old wearing a schoolboys uniform from the early 1900’s. The open door was now closed behind me. I could sense the boy was panicked, though he didn’t seem to see me. He tried to open the far door and it became clear that he was locked inside this room, crying for help. This went on for maybe 10 minutes before I started to worry about how I was going to get back. As soon as I registered that I’d slipped into a different period, I was shunted back to where and when I came from. When I asked my friends how long I’d been in the room, they said I’d only stepped in and stepped out again, a matter of a few seconds. I felt so sad for that little boy. It was as if I could feel all of his panic as he tried to get someone’s attention to rescue him. I know that one of the Booth’s sons (the original owners and founders of the school and museums on site) Henry Scripps Booth wrote a book about the ghosts of the church across the street called “Cranbrook  Boasts a Ghost; or the Skeptic’s Tale.” Perhaps there is, just not the one he thought.

Submitted by T.H. Gregory