Spooky Stories, Part 4 of 4


Inverness Inn, circa 1942. Image courtesy of Dave Scriven's relative.

By Michelle Colby, STN Reporter

Article appeared in issue 43, October 26, 2022.

Inverness Inn at North Lake was the first community established in Dexter Township. The property upon which the Inn stands is part of a land grant to John Glenn, signed by President Andrew Jackson in 1836. Mary Wright, Glenn’s granddaughter, established the site as a trading post of sorts in 1907. The original building still stands, housing the tavern. Moose’s log cabin was added to the original structure in the 1920s. The large dining room was later added in the 1970s. Many improvements were made inside and outside in 2008.

The road by the Inn, North Territorial was originally a horse trail and later developed into the route used by coaches and vehicles traveling to Jackson, MI and beyond to the “North Territories”. Mr. Douglas Fraser developed the land, surrounding the Inn, during the 1920s. Known as Park Lawn Subdivision, this development included homes, cottages, beaches, athletic fields, and the Innverness Country Club golf course.

~ History generously provided by Scott Padden

“When change falls on the ground, you have to put it on the rails… to keep the peace,” explains Scott Padden, owner of the Inverness Inn since 2006. “She used to throw knives and plates in the kitchen, glasses would be thrown off the shelves near the bar. When I was remodeling the place, she chased off 2 of my guys, an electrician and a plumber. The plumber told me that she said to get out and that her name is Eleanor.”

Dropped change, respectfully placed on or above the rail. Photo by Michelle Colby.

10 years later, the mystery of Eleanor still at large, a lady brings a picture to the Inn explaining that she thought it belonged there. She happily announced that it was a picture of her great grandmother that used to work at Inverness Inn. The name scribbled along the bottom says “Eleanor Riker Scriven".

Eleanor Riker Scriven, circa 1942. Photo gifted to Inverness Inn by Dave Scriven's relative.

Padden had to gut the whole place. It took 2 years to replace all of the floors, walls, plumbing, and electrical. As you can imagine, this disturbed the peace.  He explains, "I have a deep respect for the history of this place.  It cannot be disrespected.  So many have spent time here.  It was important to me to bring people back."  He soon started acknowledging Eleanor’s presence every time he entered the Inn.  After a couple of years, the activity slowed down.  Every morning, he and the staff still say hello.  He also asks her about her day. When he and staff leave, they tell her to have a good night and explain when they will be back.

The site of shelves where glasses were occasionally swept off to the ground to break. Also, the cash register where a camera watches... and so do the ghosts. Photo by Michelle Colby.

Nothing more is known about the resident poltergeist, Eleanor. Is it the woman in the photo? If you lay something down, it might get moved to another location within the Inn. There is an unaccounted number of ghosts within the Inn. You might find another person in any pictures you take, as has been shared with Padden and staff.  Customers often come in with pictures taken, and when recalled, another 'person' will be there.  Padden explains, “One night, about 3am, while I lived upstairs, I saw ‘somebody’ at my cash register. I kept looking at the body when they suddenly turned to look at the camera! That freaked me out! At other times, ‘somebody’ would just walk through at 4am in the morning.  It is never the same ghost.”

As Mr. Colby and I were leaving, a staff member rushed out to bring me my purse. She said it was weird, because this was the 7th time a woman has left her purse in the Inn this past week.

So, if you find yourself at the Inverness Inn, beware your actions and keep the peace.

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