This show, “Michigan and other Mayhem”, is a sort of factual, slightly comical, always earnest podcast about interesting stuff in Michigan and around the world. It is done by two sisters-in-law (Ali and Jenn) that like to talk about random interesting stories. Expect cults, mysteries, murder, fast talking, and a couple of mental palate cleansers… and cuss words. Those happen on this show, a lot.
Episode 61: Unusual Assault of Allison Weaver, Spooky Spaces in Michigan
How Michigan Are You? Quiz
- Pretend podcast music because Jenn likes it.
- Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.
HUNU Walking Sticks
Walking sticks aren’t just for pimps. They are good for winter walking stability and self-defense. They have an Instagram feed and incense burners! hunuwoodworking on Instagram. Melvin recreates them by hand with repurposed items. Also find them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unusual Assault of Allison Weaver
On September 17, 2019, in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Allison Weaver allegedly bit off her friend’s ear and started trying to eat her face. (Allison is between 44 and 48 years old, different articles had different ages.) When police arrived, Allison was on her knees next to her friend, both were covered in blood, with her friend gushing blood from her missing ear. Allison allegedly did all of this while on all fours as she believed she was a wolf and her friend was a vampire. Allison stated to the police that the two of them were having consensual sex.
Allison’s friend said that she declined advances Allison made, Allison got upset and then got on all fours and lunged at her. She stated Allison was strangling her and started to bite her all over her body. She was in and out of consciousness during this time. Allison was charged with assault with the intent to do great bodily harm and to maim, and sexual assault.
On September 30, 2019, Allison Weaver posted her $75,000 bond and is currently on house arrest, being monitored by a GPS tether. She is undergoing mental health evaluations.
Spooky Spaces in Michigan
Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit
The Battle of Bloody Run was fought between Chief Pontiac, who warred alongside French forces, and the British soldiers in Michigan. The British soldiers were trying to break Chief Pontiac’s siege of Fort Detroit by ambushing him outside the gates. A contingent of 250 British soldiers attempted the ambush but Chief Pontiac had been alerted and was ready and waiting. July 31, 1763, the two forces clashed. As the tale is told after the battle, the injuries of the dead and wounded British soldier’s blood made the creek nearby to run red. The creek, once named Parents Creek, then became known as Bloody Run Creek. The siege on Fort Detroit continued.
A rural cemetery was created in the area of the battle in 1846. In 1890, it was determined that a formal cemetery would be built in the area where the battle took place. Frederick Law Olmstead, a famous architect and landscape designer, was hired to sculpt the grounds. Frederick and a partner were the architects behind the layout of Central Park in New York as well as the layout of Belle Isle in Detroit. Frederick’s vision for the cemetery was to keep it looking rural to reflect the image of a wholesome and untouched Detroit.
In 2015, Elmwood’s arboretum (are-bore-ee-tum) was certified as a Level 1 Accreditation, making it Detroit’s first certified arboretum. To become accreditated the 91 different species of trees were surveyed, tagged, and provided a detailed report on their location and condition. Elmwood was able to provide proof that they practice sound management and restoration of their 1,450 trees.
Elmwood Cemetery became the first fully integrated cemetery in the Midwest. It is the oldest, continuously operating non-denominational cemetery in Michigan. There are people of varying socio-economic strata buried there including Civil War soldiers, abolitionists, business tycoons and firefighters. Twenty-nine Detroit mayors are buried in the cemetery, including Coleman A. Young who died in 1994.
Jacob M. Howard, who is known historically for the work he did surrounding the Civil War, is buried in the cemetery. Jacob was a U.S. Senator who worked closely with Abraham Lincoln while he drafted the 13th amendment which was written to abolish slavery. Jacob passed away in 1871 and was buried in the cemetery with a sculpture of an unfinished obelisk. Jacob wanted the obelisk placed there as a symbol of is inability to create racial equality before he died.
John Biddle, a Michigan politician was buried in Elmwood in 1859. John had served in the U.S. Army and at one point was the commander of Fort Shelby in Detroit in the early 1820’s. John Biddle served as the mayor of Detroit in late 1820’s and later as both a state senator and house representative. He owned 1,800 acres of land that was south of Detroit where he retired to in 1836, then selling the land to Eber Ward in 1853. Eber Ward built the land up into what is today known as Wyandotte. A portion of Jefferson Avenue is renamed Biddle Avenue as it extends through the city of Wyandotte.
The cemetery has a reputation for being both beautiful and haunted. There is one gravestone that was considered to be cursed. It ended up falling off ships transporting it from Rome to Detroit not once but twice. Crypts with freestanding mausoleums, sometimes lightly overgrown and cast in shadow from the trees around them, provide a spooky atmosphere. There is a chapel on the grounds that was originally built in 1856 in the style of Goth Revival as well as sculptures from famous artists.
There are tours of the cemetery through the Historic Elmwood Cemetery Foundation.
Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse
(pronounced point oh barks)
Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse was first built near the tip Michigan’s thumb region in order to guide ships across Lake Huron in 1848. A separate house was built near the lighthouse for the keeper, as well as a tower. The area was about three acres total. The lighthouse is still used for navigation, making it one of the oldest continuously operating lighthouses on the Great Lakes.
Two years after a lighthouse keeper moved in, he died via drowning. Keeper Peter Shook and three sailors were sailing from Pointe aux Barques to Port Huron for supplies when their boat capsized. At the death of her husband, Catherine Shook became the first female lighthouse keeper in Michigan while raising her eight children. There are rumors that you can see her spirit roaming the shores of Lake Huron in a white gown looking for her husband.
In 1857, the lighthouse keeper’s house was suffering from both exterior weather damage and fire damage in the interior. Another house and tower were built on the land. In 1875, a life-saving station with a Class A designation was built on the grounds. It became the first life-saving station on the Great Lakes. (A life-saving station is a service in the United States that came from private, local efforts to save shipwreck victims. Large ships on the water could help victims in open water, but smaller boats piloted by locals were best at rescuing people closer to shore. They later merged to become the US Coast Guard.)
It was able to remain standing after the Great Fire of 1881 due to a bucket brigade of citizens. They were able to create a buffer between the fire and the structure, dousing the flames that approached them.
Maria Radcliff, who was 34 years and the wife of the lighthouse keeper in 1921, died in the assistant’s home of tuberculosis. She had been ill for quite some time. In the lighthouse logbook it is noted that Maria’s husband, Thomas, took four days off for mourning. The same logbook shows he remarried nine months later and requested a week off for a honeymoon.
In 1934 major events transpired in both the lighthouse and the nearby life-saving station. In 1934 the lighthouse became fully automated. Also in 1934, Viola Liedke, who was 16 years old, died of pneumonia at the Pointe aux Barques Life-Saving Station. Her father, John Liedke, was in charge of the station and was the last keeper. He stayed as a keeper until 1937, when he was transferred to a Lake Michigan lighthouse and the station closed at Pointe aux Barques.
How Michigan Are You?
- Crossed the Mackinac Bridge
- Played euchre
- Made fun of Ohio
- Tried at least six flavors of Faygo
- Rode a bicycle around Mackinac Island
- Ate a coney dog
- Ate a pasty
- Argued about where “up north” starts
- Went to a U-M vs. MSU football game
- Own a piece of clothing with the word “Michigan” on it
- Wore shorts while snow was on the ground
- Pointed to your hand to show someone where you live
- Swam in Lake Michigan
- Found a Petoskey stone
- Went to a Tigers game
- Say “pop” but not “soda”
- Used Vernors as medicine
- Described distance in minutes instead of miles
- Went hunting on opening day
- Went to an apple farm for cider and doughnuts
0-5 points Ope! You’re just a fudgie 6-10 points You’re a one-peninsula person, eh? 11-15 You totally say ‘yes’ to Michigan 16+ Winner, Winner, Frankenmuth chicken dinner!
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Warning: This podcast occasionally contains strong language which may be unsuitable for children.