Rumors about the ghostly residents of this cemetery have been around forever. It was named Pleasantview Cemetery for decades but has now changed its name back to Soop Cemetery. It’s located in Belleville, Michigan. Chris Bailey, Director of Grimstone-Inc. wrote on The Spirit Society Haunting Report:
Soop Cemetery is one of the most misunderstood haunted cemeteries in Michigan. It is often associated with victim Jane Mixer, 23, of serial murderer, John Collins, being left on a grave in 1968. However, this did not occur at Soop. Jane, a law student at the University of Michigan, was left shot and strangled in a cemetery in Denton Township; not a cemetery on Old Denton Road. This belief even further unravels when new information and a DNA match, acting as a criminal people finder, in November 2004 linked Jane’s death to the murderer, Gary Earl Leiterman. (Detroit Free Press, January 14th, 2005). Leiterman was convicted. However, the legend of Collins and the body resting at Soop continues among haunted location websites and ghost “research” groups in the area.
The second common myth told about Soop Cemetery is that Elizabeth Soop was a dark witch in life and now enjoys scaring visitors in her afterlife. Elizabeth Soop did practice some form of witchcraft. However, her living ancestors who keep the family history have no information about her supposed witchcraft (as reported by family member Andrea, from the now defunct Ghostzoo.com). People also report that the tombstone with the two hands pointing down is Elizabeth’s stone and a sign of her evil practice. However, there are two tombstones marked Elizabeth Soop in this cemetery. Neither has this image. The “Elizabeth’s” grave in question is near the rear of the cemetery, next to the tombstone of Federick. In addition, hands together in prayer generally mean “devotion” in tombstone symbolism. Hand(s) pointing downward means God reaching down for them.
Because of bad info posted on the Internet years ago, Soop also gets confused with the haunted Butler Cemetery but Butler is located in Westland. With all these false rumors and allegations, this does not mean Soop is not haunted. There are numerous reports of paranormal mists, apparitions, EVP, and thermal shifts for decades to warrant this as a good research spot.
Emails sent into Mysterious Michigan over the years
Back in 2001, some friends and I used to frequent supposed haunted places in Wayne and Monroe counties. We had heard the stories of Elizabeth Soop and really wanted to go check it out. Naturally, we went at dark and it was about10pm. We got to the cemetery, parked the car and began our trek towards the back of the cemetery where Elizabeth is buried. During our hunt when we walking, the strangest thing happened: three shadowy figures began moving towards us! Only two of us saw it happen and we ran right back to the car at the same time and our other friends followed suit when they saw us running. The shadows were about 3-4ft tall and moving quickly at us. We drove away and circled around a few more times but we did not get out again. We tried to see if something else could have made the shadows but there was literally no explanation for what the two of us had seen. – Tiffany
I went on an investigation at Soop cemetery a couple of years ago. It was summertime and quite warm. Another investigator and I were walking in the back of the cemetery when I get hit by a cold spot. The temperature had to drop twenty degrees and the hair on my arms was standing straight up! I could not move at this point. The other person with me took a lot of pictures around me but nothing came up. – Kenneth
Recently, my friend and I visited Soop Cemetery after dark. We had been to this cemetery many times before and are very familiar with it. No other vehicles were there or around during the duration of this visit. We got out of the car with our flashlights and camera. We then walked down the drive to the east (back) side of the cemetery. We were there awhile, totally alone…we thought. We stopped to take a picture and suddenly heard a very clear and close “shout-like” noise. It’s hard to describe. My friend called out, “Who’s there?” as we both panned the area looking for the source of the sound. We heard no reply, no laughing or any other sounds, just silence. We were startled and turned around to head back to the car. As we walked back we continued to search the area with our flashlights for movement. At that point, I assumed there was someone there with us. I then heard someone quickly walking beside me. I turned my light that way to see what it was, but nobody was there. I felt very uncomfortable and wondered if there really was a spirit with us that night. I just can’t believe that someone, a person, would sit in a dark cemetery waiting for someone to show up to scare. It was just too quiet and “dead” in there. – Jeannelaine
**All cemeteries should be entered with respect. Leave them as you found them. Don’t litter, don’t vandalize anything or so help me, 10,000 demons will strike you down. If the cemetery has hours posted, respect that or find out how to get permission to be in after hours. Many times a simple phone call to the right person will grant access to a cemetery after it’s closed. If you can’t get access, enjoy the cemetery during open hours. I am a firm believer that spirits don’t just come out at night. I think it’s just “ghost hunters” who only come out at night. Respect nearby private property and don’t trespass where you do not belong.