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16 July 2008, JellyBean @ 4:33 am

South of Bond Street in Niles, Michigan, stands a beautiful Greek Revival 1847 mansion said to be haunted by the ghost of a child long-dead.

Strother M. Beeson, an attorney and business man in South Bend, Indiana bought the mansion in 1850. The mausoleum was built by after the death of Strother’s mother, Judith Ann Lewis. Her name is inscribed over the entrance to the vault.

The inside is of marble, the outer walls are sand stone. The whole area is surrounded by an artfully cut field stone wall. A well maintained garden and park like setting with lovely large trees surrounds the mausoleum.

Anecdotes, folk lore and legends have surrounded the Beeson Mausoleum and home. Over the years it has become hard to divide fact from fiction. Top of the list is the story of Job Withrow Beeson, the grandson of Strother Beeson, who was born in 1869 and died a year later, in 1870.


The child was interred in the family crypt over the road from the mansion and it is said that every night his mother, Harriet, would visit the crypt to light candles and lanterns as her son had always been afraid of the dark.

Eventually, the Beesons installed their own carbide gas plant with a a pipeline into the crypt to keep an ever-present flame burning. The line entering one of the exterior ground-level vent on the crypt’s south side can still be seen today.

Legend has it that each night she would walk over to the crypt, then bathe, clothe and rock the baby’s corpse “until his eyes fell out”. She had lost her mind and was subsequently taken away to an institution where she died shortly after (1875) of grief and a broken heart.

Surviving family members have disputed that she manhandled the corpse or that she went insane. Harriet did die young, however, at age 28, and rests in the tomb with a total of 12 family members.

It is said that at night you can hear the crying of the child as he waits for his mother to come and light the candles to chase away the dark.

The mansion is also said to be haunted by the ghost of a young sobbing girl. Records do not show that any young girl died in the mansion. Could this be the ghost of the mother looking for her son?

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