Tales of haunted places in Grand Marais
Rhonda Silence
Community Voices

Tales of haunted places in Grand Marais

As Halloween neared, WTIP reached out to the community about ghostly rumors at two locations in Grand Marais—the Birch Terrace Supper Club and the Cook County courthouse. There have been reports over the years of unexplained noises and activities. WTIP’s Rhonda Silence visited the sites and spoke with two people who have had mysterious experiences.

Silence first spoke to Brian Larsen, who owns the Birch Terrace Supper Club along with his brothers, Dave, Don, and Steve. The restaurant was once the family home of Charles and Anna Johnson, who entertained many distinguished guests—businessmen and politicians. In approximately 1948, the home was converted to a restaurant and has had several owners since then. Brian and his brothers purchased the restaurant 15 years ago.

When they purchased the restaurant, a portrait of Charles and Anna in an attractive, solid wood picture frame, hung in what is now the formal dining room at the Birch Terrace.

A portrait of Anna and Charles Johnson has hung on this wall for more than 100 years. Photo-Rhonda Silence


After owning the restaurant for a few years, the brothers met to discuss possible changes to the décor. When someone suggested moving the Johnson’s portraits to another wall…something unusual happened. Listen to the interview below with Brian Larsen to learn what that was.

After the spooky Birch Terrace conversation, Silence visited the Cook County courthouse to talk to County Maintenance Director Brian Silence about some strange incidents that he—and a number of other courthouse employees—have had in the quiet times at the courthouse. The interview included a tour of the basement of the 111-year-old building and a look into the oldest part of the courthouse—a cold storage area under the courthouse’s imposing front steps. In the days before refrigeration, the hollow area under the courthouse steps served as a morgue.

Reporter Rhonda Silence entered the eerie space to interview Brian about his experience.

Click below to listen to the interview inside the vacant courthouse space that doesn’t really feel vacant.

Happy Halloween from all of us at WTIP. We hope all of your “hauntings” are happy.