FLINT TWP. — What’s scarier than a Halloween Haunted House?
Perhaps a real one.
A Flint Township house is or was said to be haunted by demonic spirits, according to an episode of the “Dead Files,” a ghost-hunting television show on the Travel Channel.
The show features two paranormal investigators — a psychic medium and a retired homicide detective — who travel all over the country delving into the cause of supernatural activities.
The episode featuring the Flint Township house aired June 21 but there are no plans to show it again in the next two months, according to a Travel Channel public relations spokesperson.
However, the Travel Channel website is promoting a revisit to Flint in an upcoming episode of “Dead Files” that will feature a “violent exorcism.”
Season five of the show premiers at 10 p.m. Nov. 1. A promotional blurb on the website says: “Season 5 opens with an investigation of Iowa’s Villisca Axe Murder House — site of a gruesome century-old mass murder that still remains unsolved.
Other highlights include a Chicago home where a woman has returned to confront childhood nightmares; violent forces terrorizing a family home in St. Clair Shores that leaves the team questioning the safety of the house; and a special “Dead Files Revisited” episode in which a violent exorcism was recorded in a Flint home after the duo uncovered malicious entities.”
There is a good chance of the latter being the same house in Flint Township.
After filming the previous episode last spring, “Dead Files” investigators advised the family living in the house to move out because it was dangerous to stay there. Several pets had died and the family reported experiences ranging from being dragged out of bed to being choked by an unseen hand.
The show’s format is to uncover the cause of the paranormal happenings. Each investigator working separately before coming together to compare findings. The psychic examines the paranormal activity at the site while the homicide detective researches the history and possible causes.
The homicide detective learned that a little girl died at the Flint Township house in 1936 after falling into a laundry tub full of hot water. The psychic reported finding a little girl’s spirit present in the house along with a shape-changing demonic entity.
Research on the property also turned up historical links dating back to Jacob Smith, Flint’s first white settler.
The homicide detective interviewed Kim Crawford, a local history buff. Crawford is the author of two Michigan history books including the most recent one, “The Daring Trader: Jacob Smith in the Michigan Territory, 1802-1825” published in March 2012 by Michigan State University Press.
“When the production’s researchers looked at the title to that property, they found references to the Smith Reservation, when the land was first surveyed in the early 1820s,” Crawford said. “Most of the land in the Flint area goes back to being part of the reservation, practically all of Flint and some of the suburbs, including a part of Flint Township.”
Crawford said he checked old maps at Sloan Museum for the show’s producers to determine in which section of the reservation the house being investigated was located.
“I told them it was in Section Five of the old reservation, and that it had been designated in 1819 to go to a woman (a girl, really) named Mokitchenoqua,” he said. “Smith’s heirs maintained Mokitchenoqua was his daughter, Maria Stockton.”
Crawford also told the show’s producers about the Saginaw Chippewa tribe and a bit about the War of 1812 when some American soldiers were taken prisoner by the Indians and ransomed back.
Crawford was not involved at all in the “ghost story” part of the show.
“I was not told anything about what exactly they were investigating, other than there was some sort of paranormal activity going on at the house in question,” he said. ”I didn’t know the names of the people who were living in that house, either, never met them or knew anything about them.”
But the producers did tell him they would not have come to Flint to do a show if they didn’t believe it would make a good story.
A township official said she knew nothing about the film crew being at the site last spring but they were not required to announce their presence unless they needed something like police protection.
So the haunting question left to be answered is if the upcoming “Dead Files Revisited” episode will feature a return to that Flint Township house to shoo out the malevolent spirits.