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Amberrose Hammond

Amberrose Hammond’s journey to becoming a published author began like so many things do: with a simple Google search.

It was the fall in the early 2000's, and she was sitting at work, thinking that Michigan was a state with nothing haunted, no ghost stories. Then she found a local branch of ghost hunters and discovered that there was a lot more to explore than she originally thought.

“I ended up falling in love with the reason why something becomes haunted, or why local legends and folklore persist, and where they came from,” Hammond said. “Then that kind of just triggered my whole love of local history and state history as a whole.”

Since then, Hammond has published multiple books focused on ghost stories in Michigan, where she does a deep dive into researching the often unknown tales.

Her most recent novel – Mysterious Michigan – is a culmination of miscellaneous stories and research from the piles she had had for years. It’s full of unfamiliar stories and some more familiar ones, but with an extra step of research.

“I got ghosts. I got true crime. I got folklore. It's kind of a little bit of everything that's weird in the state,” Hammond said. “I wanted to look at how the supernatural has played a role in our state history and how often its influenced certain events, and people. “

She loves being able to introduce people to stories they’ve never heard, in Michigan towns they may not have known of.

Those towns love when she tells their stories too.

Take for instance one of the stories on the cover of Mysterious Michigan, with Farmer Riley, who was from Marcellus, Michigan, a town with less than 2,000 people living in it. Their library has already reached out to Hammond to come speak there about her book.

Given that she’s covering real people from real places in Michigan, Hammond has gotten to travel to libraries all over the state to talk about her books. It's right in her wheelhouse.

“I love speaking at libraries, because you always get a really curious crowd,” said Hammond, who has worked at libraries since she was 18, and has spent the last six years working at the Bloomfield Township Public Library. “It’s just fun to kind of experience that, and a nice way to drive around the state.”

Writing and researching these stories isn’t the only way Hammond spreads the word about the supernatural in Michigan. She also does true crime cemetery tours on the west side of the state, an idea that formed after her book, Wicked Ottawa County, was published.

She said often after doing a tour, people come up to her and tell her about their own family history.

Hammond’s history of being interested in things that were a little spooky and weird and strange goes all the way back to her childhood. But that original story doesn’t include something like a physic aunt or growing up in a haunted house.

“There’s nothing that every triggered it, there’s no cool story,” Hammond laughed. “I guess I was born interested.”

Story: Dana Casadei

Photo: Laurie Tennent


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