GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While some patrons may visit the West Side’s Mitten Brewing for the beer, others visit for the chance to be part of a paranormal activity.

Owners Chris Andrus and Max Trierweiler said that when they bought the old Engine House No. 9 on Leonard Street west of Turner Avenue in 2012, the former owners warned them about an unwanted guest.

“Oh yes, there’s definitely something up there,” Andrus said. “The longer we stayed here and worked, the longer the nights we were here, we started to notice strange sounds, shadows moving. And we started to question what exactly had gone on in this building for the past.”

Between 1891 and 1966, the building served as a fire station before. A firefighter named Leroy Punches died while pulling out of the structure in an old engine. Andrus said some believe their ghost is that of Punches.

One of his servers said she saw a shadowy figure of a man when closing up late one night.

“She saw a full apparition and heard voices whispered into her ear,” he said. “She went down into the basement and something followed her. She’s had much more experience than I have at this point. She’s been here since the beginning in 2012.”

Others believe their ghost is a child who likes to play tricks on them.

“So far it’s been more of a spooky, poltergeist kind of thing,” Andrus said. “Not anything that seems negative or dangerous. It’s definitely more of a curiosity.”

Andrus said experienced the ghost’s ‘playful’ nature during opening week. He said he was the last to lockup that October night after mopping the floors, but when he came back the next morning to open up, he found footprints walking in circles in the brewery’s lobby.

A courtesy photo shows footprints that Mitten Brewing staff believe are left behind by a ghost.
A courtesy photo shows footprints that Mitten Brewing staff believe are left behind by a ghost.

“The weirdest thing about the footprints … is that they didn’t come into the room or leave the room,” Andrus said. “They started in the middle, went around in a circle and then never took a track in or out of the room, which was the most freaky thing about it.”