CADILLAC — Fascinated by Michigan’s lighthouses, Dianna Stampfler started researching them 20 years ago when she worked for the West Michigan Tourist Association.
Now she’s authored a book about her findings and it’s a best seller. The title will give a clue to its popularity; “Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses.‘
“One of the things I picked up on was the ghost stories which intrigued me,‘ she said. “With so many lights in Michigan (and so many keepers) the stories are endless.‘
There are more than 120 lighthouses in Michigan. Stampfler has visited almost 90 percent of them and found that 40 percent of them are haunted. For 20 years she has been telling these historic ghost stories to the public.
“They are always excited to hear the stories about the keepers and their spirits,‘ she said. “I’m always pleased that they laugh at the funny stories and are a bit shocked by those that are a bit more gruesome (nothing gory).‘
Stampfler is “blown away‘ by the response to the 144-page book, part of The History Press “Haunted America‘ series. The book includes stories about 13 of the lighthouses.
After The History Press contacted her about writing the book in 2017, she “dug in even deeper‘ to find photos, historical records, newspaper clippings and other details ... uncovering some facts that contradict what she previously believed about some of the keepers.
“This is exciting to me and hopefully to my readers,‘ she said.
The book was officially published in March and is in its fourth printing, creating a huge demand for her already popular public presentations.
The Friends of the Cadillac Library will host Stampfler at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11 in the Cadillac Library Community Room. There is no admission fee.
Books will be available for sale and signing after an hour of story telling.
“None of the ghosts are mean,‘ she said. “Some are a bit playful or overactive. I don’t believe any intend to cause harm ... I simply think they’re still doing a job they loved and don’t want to leave!‘