During the month of October, one of the most commonly asked questions at the Charlevoix Historical Society is about haunted buildings in Charlevoix. After all, there have been rumblings through the years about numerous haunts around town, from the Weathervane Terrace Inn and Grey Gables to the Society’s own Harsha House and Historic Train Depot. However, if the stories are true, the most haunted building in town is easily the Weathervane Restaurant.
The Weathervane Restaurant is supposedly haunted by not one, but THREE different spirits! Two ghosts are reportedly rather peaceful. There have been numerous sightings over the years of a shorter man with a top hat, staring pensively over the water in the lower channel. His sightings have become so common that Weathervane staff members simply go about their business whenever he appears. Another ghost, a lady in a veil, hangs out mostly in Earl Young’s old real estate office on the bottom floor of the Weathervane.
The most common (and mischievous) specter is known as either Frank or Charlie, depending on who you ask. Frank’s presence has been felt most often downstairs in the Pine River room, where a distinct smell will mysteriously appear; however, Frank will always leave if and when the staff asks him to. There was one incident where a round banquet table rolled out from inside a storage room all by itself. This unusual event frightened a staff member so much that she had to go home for the day. There is another story about the door to the boiler room slamming shut without anyone touching it. When the door mysteriously reopened, everyone present felt a big wave of cold air rush over them. These hauntings were attributed to Frank (or Charlie).
One night in the 1980s, customers had left for the evening after enjoying a night of musical entertainment. As the staff was cleaning up for the evening, the two waitresses still working the cocktail lounge s saw a man sitting at a distant table apparently enjoying the music. Since they had already confirmed that the restaurant had been empty, they immediately suspected something unusual was happening. As they moved toward the figure, he became more and more transparent, until finally, he vanished altogether. But perhaps “Frank/Charlie” was called back by the music. The last song on the set list that night was “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.” The last few lines may appeal to a ghost without a real place to call home any longer:
Sittin' here restin' my bones
And this loneliness won't leave me alone, yes
Two thousand miles, I roam
Just to make this dock my home
Now I'm just gonna sit, at the dock of the bay
Watchin' the tide roll away, ooo yea
Sittin' on the dock of the bay