Empowering Michigan https://empoweringmichigan.com Fri, 19 Oct 2018 18:51:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Minority-owned firms in West Michigan learn how to become DTE suppliers https://empoweringmichigan.com/minority-owned-firms-in-west-michigan-learn-how-to-become-dte-suppliers/ Fri, 19 Oct 2018 15:53:05 +0000 https://empoweringmichigan.com/?p=8322 Nearly 50 entrepreneurs representing 16 companies learned how to do business with DTE Energy at the inaugural DTE Greater Michigan Diverse Supplier Immersion Day earlier this month in Grand Rapids. The firms are poised to join the 225 West Michigan businesses that landed $59 million in DTE supplier business last year. Six suppliers that attended […]

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Nearly 50 entrepreneurs representing 16 companies learned how to do business with DTE Energy at the inaugural DTE Greater Michigan Diverse Supplier Immersion Day earlier this month in Grand Rapids. The firms are poised to join the 225 West Michigan businesses that landed $59 million in DTE supplier business last year. Six suppliers that attended the October 5 event in Grand Rapids have the potential to become direct suppliers to DTE and an additional nine are poised to contract with the company’s top-tier suppliers.

DTE has conducted similar events in Detroit resulting in more than $9 million in supplier business awarded to minority-owned firms. Because of DTE’s large customer base in West Michigan, the Grand Rapids gathering focused on spurring more partnerships with minority-owned businesses in the region.

“The journey to become a DTE supplier is different for every business but starts with events like this,” said Jaspreet Singh, DTE supply chain director. “By offering information and networking opportunities, we’re building future relationships with minority suppliers in West Michigan.”

To ensure community awareness and involvement, DTE’s faith-based outreach team worked with the New Faith Temple Church of God in Christ and other Grand Rapids-area churches.

“After successful supplier events in Detroit, we wanted to offer the same opportunities to minority businesses in West Michigan,” said Mark Jones, manager of Faith-Based Outreach at DTE. “The faith-based community knows businesses and entrepreneurs with the potential to be DTE suppliers. We’re grateful for the interest in Grand Rapids and look forward to seeing those that attended our event grow their business by joining DTE’s supply chain.”

DTE’s first diversity supplier immersion event in 2017 was at Fellowship Chapel in Detroit.

In April, the Edison Electric Institute recognized DTE with its 2018 Business Diversity Innovation Award for the company’s efforts to engage diverse suppliers. So far this year, DTE has spent $322 million with minority and women-owned companies.

At DTE’s supplier immersion events, local business owners learn how to become a DTE supplier by meeting DTE buyers and networking with other suppliers. In Grand Rapids, potential suppliers connected with the Andy J Egan Co. and Utility Supply and Construction Company, both top-tier DTE suppliers.

Many DTE suppliers have also evolved into doing business with one another, further multiplying the results of the company’s contracting practices and its emphasis on contracting with suppliers in the Great Lakes State.

“This work – the focus on diversity and economic growth – is part of our DNA,” said Tony Tomczak, DTE’s vice president of Corporate Services. “Having a diverse supplier base gives DTE a competitive advantage and more importantly, by creating opportunities for small businesses, we’re helping families, growing the economy and building stronger communities.”

Tomczak is also chairman of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council and DTE’s chief procurement officer.

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Lighting for safety and convenience https://empoweringmichigan.com/lighting-for-safety-and-convenience/ Wed, 17 Oct 2018 16:55:13 +0000 https://empoweringmichigan.com/?p=8312 A home that’s considered safe allows families to live comfortably and without worry. Anyone who owns a home wants to take every step possible to deter break-ins and theft. In 2016, there were an estimated 7,919,035 property crimes including a total of $15.6 billion in losses that was calculated by the FBI. The need for […]

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A home that’s considered safe allows families to live comfortably and without worry. Anyone who owns a home wants to take every step possible to deter break-ins and theft. In 2016, there were an estimated 7,919,035 property crimes including a total of $15.6 billion in losses that was calculated by the FBI. The need for home security is evident. We’ve listed several ways that you can efficiently use lighting for safety around your home.

Occupancy sensors

More often than not, if a burglar thinks you’re home, they’re less likely to break in. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately 72% of burglaries take place when no one is in the house. Leaving lights on all day and night can give a burglar a sign that no one is home, and is also not energy efficient!

By using either ultrasonic or infrared technology, occupancy sensors detect when an individual is in a designated area and turns lights on and off depending on whether they are entering or leaving the room automatically. When lights turn on and off as the burglar approaches a home, it could give them a sign to stay away.

Leaving lights on in an unoccupied room can waste a good amount of energy. The nationwide average cost of keeping your lights on can amount to roughly 12 cents per kilowatt an hour. That can add up! By installing this type of technology you’re not only one step closer to keeping your home safe, but you’re also saving both energy and money.

Purchasing ENERGY STAR®’s smart lighting not only will allow you to have occupancy sensors, but you can even turn lights on and off from your phone and pair the device with security systems. This allows your lights to be put on an energy-saving away mode, which operates lights as a security measure while also minimizing energy use.

Security lights

Security light systems can also be installed to provide your home with extra protection. One major study conducted by the New York City Police Department concluded that outdoor lighting provided a 39% reduction in index crimes. When installing security lighting outside of your home, select a Light Emitting Diode or LED light.  LED lights use 70- 90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last up to 25 times longer.

Porch lights

Like outdoor security lights, utilizing technologies such as occupancy sensors and pairing them with porch lights can potentially scare away those with bad intentions. Burglars will most likely try to break down a door before shattering through a window. By keeping areas such as your front and back porch lit as someone approaches, you could be saving yourself from home invasion.

By following these lighting safety tips, you can take effective measures towards keeping your family and your belongings safe. To learn more about how you can efficiently and safely light your home, be sure to read up on more of our lighting tips.

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DTE Energy teams with Global Detroit as a force for growth https://empoweringmichigan.com/dte-energy-teams-with-global-detroit-as-a-force-for-growth/ Wed, 17 Oct 2018 14:02:40 +0000 https://empoweringmichigan.com/?p=8303 DTE Energy and Global Detroit kicked off an energy waste reduction partnership with an annual gala. The event recognized regional leaders for their success in fostering more inclusive regional community building and entrepreneurship efforts. Global Detroit is a nonprofit that catalyzes city and regional progress by building a more inclusive economy for immigrants. The organization […]

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DTE Energy and Global Detroit kicked off an energy waste reduction partnership with an annual gala. The event recognized regional leaders for their success in fostering more inclusive regional community building and entrepreneurship efforts. Global Detroit is a nonprofit that catalyzes city and regional progress by building a more inclusive economy for immigrants. The organization helps revitalize neighborhoods, create jobs, and expand regional growth and prosperity.

“Having Global Detroit as a partner allows our programs to reach a more diverse and inclusive customer base. Their drive for placemaking and community development fits perfectly with DTE Energy’s force for growth initiatives,” said David Delind, principal marketing specialist, DTE Energy. 

The partnership focuses on the delivery of DTE Energy’s energy efficiency programs.  Introduced earlier this year, the program has provided more than a dozen first-generation immigrant families and their neighbors with extensive energy efficiency installations. Some customers identified for participation in the pilot program qualified for complete home weatherization services, as well as furnace and refrigerator replacement.

Sloan Herrick, Deputy Director of Global Detroit explained, “Working with DTE is vital to the families in our communities. Our partnership means that we are part of educating families about energy usage, while also reducing the pressure valve on family budgets, making life easier in some of Detroit’s hardest-hit neighborhoods.”

Global Detroit is involved with every part of the process including helping identify, coordinate, and build new connections to customers. During the installation process, DTE’s contractors are accompanied by Global Detroit representatives to translate when needed, explain the work being done in the home, and point out changes a customer can make to reduce their energy usage.

“The pilot has been a great success so far this year and I am looking forward to seeing what opportunities and community revitalization will come from our partnering in the future,” said Jason Kupser, Manager of residential programs DTE Energy. 

For more information on the Energy Waste Reduction Collaboration with Global Detroit contact david.delind@dteenergy.com.

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Protect your family from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning https://empoweringmichigan.com/protect-your-family-from-the-effects-of-carbon-monoxide-poisoning/ Mon, 15 Oct 2018 17:36:24 +0000 https://empoweringmichigan.com/?p=8290 Turning on your home’s furnace with winter’s arrival, lighting the fireplace to “knock out” a chill or running your car’s engine before leaving for a day of errands are all seemingly common tasks Michiganders do every day. However, they also carry with them the potential for a risky situation if not handled properly – carbon […]

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Turning on your home’s furnace with winter’s arrival, lighting the fireplace to “knock out” a chill or running your car’s engine before leaving for a day of errands are all seemingly common tasks Michiganders do every day. However, they also carry with them the potential for a risky situation if not handled properly – carbon monoxide poisoning.

Often referred to as the “silent killer” due to its odorless, colorless and tasteless properties, carbon monoxide is a gas found in the fumes of fire and heat sources such as furnaces, fireplaces, stoves and car or truck engines. If exposed to this gas in excess, it can produce symptoms of poisoning including headache, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and the feeling of being disoriented.

According to the CDC, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized, due to complications caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. While carbon monoxide may not be easy to detect, avoiding the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning is with these tips:

  • Get your home’s furnace serviced annually to check for a malfunction that may cause a carbon monoxide leak and the chimney cleaned to avoid carbon monoxide buildup. While you’re at it, get all gas, coal or oil-burning appliances serviced, as well.
  • Test each of your home’s carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they work properly. If they don’t, be sure to replace all batteries or systems, as needed.
  • Even with your garage door open, never keep a vehicle running inside an attached residential garage. For vehicles with tailgates, keep vents and windows open to ensure exhaust isn’t drawn into the vehicle.
  • Never heat your home with an oven or stove as this can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide.
  • Check your home’s venting. Horizontal vent pipes for appliances should extend upward to prevent carbon monoxide leaks.

Get more carbon monoxide safety tips by visiting these Empowering Michigan blogs.

Photo Credit: CORGI HomePlan

 

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Restoring the wolf population in Michigan https://empoweringmichigan.com/restoring-the-wolf-population-in-michigan/ Mon, 15 Oct 2018 17:20:47 +0000 https://empoweringmichigan.com/?p=8287 Did you know just two wolves are living on Isle Royale National Park (as of August)? Since wolves first inhabited the island more than 50 years ago, 50 wolves were a commonplace but due to the physical and reproductive impacts of inbreeding, the wolf population decreased steadily over the years. Add in changing climates leading […]

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Did you know just two wolves are living on Isle Royale National Park (as of August)? Since wolves first inhabited the island more than 50 years ago, 50 wolves were a commonplace but due to the physical and reproductive impacts of inbreeding, the wolf population decreased steadily over the years. Add in changing climates leading to a lack of ice bridges across Lake Superior to the mainland, and these wolves face a variety of adversity to continue thriving where they are needed.

This decrease has not only impacted the wolf population within Isle Royale, but also lead to a major increase in the moose population – increasing over 16% each year. If the moose population continues to grow at that rate and remain unchecked, it could dramatically impact the island’s ecology for the worse – leading to a massive moose die-off.

What is being done to shift this ecosystem back toward normal? The National Park Service recently launched an initiative to reintroduce 20-30 wolves to Isle Royale over the course of three years. On Sept. 27, 2018, the first two wolves – a male and female – were transported and released on Isle Royale in an effort to restore the wolf population. On Oct. 5, two more female wolves were introduced to the island. Efforts will continue throughout the year and the wolves will be monitored to track their progress and success.

Coincidentally, National Wolf Awareness Week begins on Oct. 14 which comes at a perfect time to honor these recent efforts and highlight the importance of wolves in our ecosystem. To get involved in the week, the Detroit Zoological Society is hosting a special celebration at the Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness exhibit within the park. Guests will hear from zookeepers and take part in hands-on activities all geared around the zoo’s gray wolves, Waziyata and Kaskapahtew.

For more information on wildlife conservation efforts in Michigan, visit the Department of Natural Resources website.

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Do’s and don’ts of heating your home https://empoweringmichigan.com/dos-and-donts-of-heating-your-home/ Mon, 15 Oct 2018 16:44:30 +0000 https://empoweringmichigan.com/?p=8281 As any Michigander knows, once the leaves start to fall, it’s time to prepare the furnace for the cold months ahead. Heating and cooling a house can be pricey. In fact, heating a home can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 a month depending on the heating method and size of residence. Efficiently heat your […]

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As any Michigander knows, once the leaves start to fall, it’s time to prepare the furnace for the cold months ahead. Heating and cooling a house can be pricey. In fact, heating a home can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 a month depending on the heating method and size of residence.

Efficiently heat your home this season by following these simple tips.  

Do

  • Plug up windows: No one likes a drafty home. Installing plastic window film can be an affordable, viable option. Plugging up holes by using caulk and weather stripping can also be a cost-effective way to keep heat inside your home and cold air where it belongs…outside.
  • Seal heating and cooling ducts: Heating and cooling ducts lose about 20 percent of the air which moves through the system due to holes and leaks. By checking to make sure that your ducts are secure, you are making your HVAC system more efficient, wasting less of the heat you need to stay cozy!
  • Turn heat down at night: Turning down your heat at night or while you’re away can also save energy. Turning your thermostat down by 10 or 15 degrees for at least eight hours a day can save 10% a year on your heating bills.
  • Install a programable thermostat: According to Energy Star, using a programmable thermostat with pre-programmed settings can save you $180 every year. Programming your thermostat to turn itself down during the typical times you’re away or asleep can leave little room for you to forget to do it yourself! It’s easier and more convenient for you and your wallet.

Don’t

  • Close air vents: Many people think that by closing air vents in unoccupied rooms, they are saving money and energy by efficiently heating the rest of the house. Yet, closing vents leads to pressure imbalance in the room. Because of this, your furnace will run longer to compensate for the lost heat energy and thus cause your heating costs to rise. Closing vents can also lead to furnace damage, since you aren’t allowing the air to flow properly between the furnace and home.
  • Rely on space heaters: You can use space heaters sparingly, but space heaters account for a third of house heating fires during the colder months making them a dangerous fire hazard. When using a space heater, always remember to unplug it once you leave a room, never plug it into an extension cord and never use one while falling asleep.

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DTE Energy Foundation helping provide safe water at Detroit Public Schools https://empoweringmichigan.com/dte-energy-foundation-helping-provide-safe-water-at-detroit-public-schools/ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 18:19:33 +0000 https://empoweringmichigan.com/?p=8257 About 56,000 students, teachers, and staff at Detroit Public Schools will have a safe, permanent supply of drinking water thanks to support from the DTE Energy Foundation, which is among 12 corporations and nonprofits responding to a funding request from Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). Nearly 60 schools in Michigan’s largest school district have […]

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About 56,000 students, teachers, and staff at Detroit Public Schools will have a safe, permanent supply of drinking water thanks to support from the DTE Energy Foundation, which is among 12 corporations and nonprofits responding to a funding request from Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). Nearly 60 schools in Michigan’s largest school district have drinking water contaminated with unsafe levels of lead and copper. Water coolers were placed in the schools as an interim solution, which the district recognizes as unsustainable.  

To ensure Michigan’s largest school district has safe, sustainable drinking water the DTE Energy Foundation is supporting a $3 million initiative by the DPSCD to install water hydration stations in all 106 of the city’s public schools. The systems, which attach filtration and cooling units to existing pipes, are similar to those used in other school districts including Ann Arbor, Birmingham, and Royal Oak. The systems filter out lead, copper, and numerous other contaminants.

Students, teachers, staff, and volunteers like these at Davison Elementary-Middle School in Detroit’s Campau Banglatown neighborhood will have clean drinking water thanks to support from the DTE Energy Foundation.

Dr. Nikolai Vitti, DPSCD superintendent, announced the drinking water solution following DPSCD School Board approval.

“The DTE Energy Foundation is proud to support the Detroit Public Schools Community District’s Hydration Station initiative, ensuring that all the district’s students have access to clean water,” said David Meador, DTE Energy vice chairman and chief administrative officer.

“We’re honored to stand among so many of the region’s leading companies in providing a long-term solution to this critical challenge facing the Detroit Public Schools Community District and its more than 50,000 students.”

Installation of more than 800 hydration stations will be complete by Fall 2019. One hydration station will be placed for every 100 students per school with additional stations in faculty lounges, kitchens, and gymnasiums.

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This month in Michigan history: Detroit sports teams https://empoweringmichigan.com/this-month-in-michigan-history-detroit-sports-teams/ Thu, 11 Oct 2018 18:23:34 +0000 https://empoweringmichigan.com/?p=8243 From weather to sports, October in Michigan brings many new seasons. Throughout our great state’s history, many pivotal moments occurred within October to recognize. Since we are on the cusp of welcoming three out of four of our major league sports seasons to Detroit, let’s take a look back on how our teams faired in […]

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From weather to sports, October in Michigan brings many new seasons. Throughout our great state’s history, many pivotal moments occurred within October to recognize. Since we are on the cusp of welcoming three out of four of our major league sports seasons to Detroit, let’s take a look back on how our teams faired in years past.

Baseball

The Detroit Tigers won their first World Series Championship by beating the Chicago Cubs on Oct. 7, 1935 in Tigers Stadium, known as Briggs Stadium at the time. It wasn’t until Oct. 10, 1945 the Tigers were able to bring home another World Series Championship again outrunning the Chicago Cubs in game seven in Chicago. The Detroit Tigers captured their third World Series title in a seven-game series victory against the St. Louis Cardinals on Oct. 10, 1968. Mickey Lolich pitched three complete games that series and hit a key home run, leading to the Tigers’ win. Winning their last World Series to date, the Tigers led by Kirk Gibson, defeated the San Diego Padres in five games on Oct. 14, 1984.

Football

This month in Detroit Lions history marked the first time the Pontiac Silverdome fabric roof was inflated on Oct. 2, 1975. That same year only four days later, over 80K people watched the Detroit Lions play for the first time in the Pontiac Silverdome and lose to the Dallas Cowboys.

Hockey

On Oct. 16, 1946, 18-year-old Detroit Red Wings rookie, Gordie Howe scored a goal in his first NHL appearance at Olympia Stadium. Howe went on to play for over three decades in the National Hockey League, spending 25 years with the Red Wings, before announcing his retirement in 1980.

Today, Michigan continues to honor Mr. Hockey with the construction of a new bridge connecting Michigan and Canada named the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

Basketball

Making NBA and American history, Oct. 18, 1979 marked the first time two teams – the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks – comprised entirely of African American players played each other. This historic game took place at the Pontiac Silverdome, where the Pistons defeated the Knicks, 129-115.

Fast forward to October 2018. Three out of four Detroit sports teams are taking their respective fields/arenas/courts all within a few square miles of each other, looking to make history in a new season. Check out the upcoming schedules for the Detroit Lions, Red Wings, and Pistons and take part in celebrating the greatest sports city in America.

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Fire safety: Tips for protecting your home from emergencies https://empoweringmichigan.com/fire-safety-tips-for-protecting-your-home-from-emergencies/ Thu, 11 Oct 2018 18:18:42 +0000 https://empoweringmichigan.com/?p=8240 National Fire Prevention Week, observed from October 7 to October 13, 2018, sets out to equip individuals and families with information that will help them avert the devastation that comes with fire emergencies. Created in response to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, it has become the longest-running public health observance in the U.S. When […]

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National Fire Prevention Week, observed from October 7 to October 13, 2018, sets out to equip individuals and families with information that will help them avert the devastation that comes with fire emergencies. Created in response to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, it has become the longest-running public health observance in the U.S.

When it comes to home fires, a split second decision can be the difference between saving lives and tragedy. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to one every 90 seconds in 2016.

The leading causes of home fires? Cooking equipment, heating tools and electrical/lighting equipment.

Preparation is key! Remember these tips and share them with family and friends as National Fire Prevention Week approaches:

  • Eliminate fire hazards around your home. Lower the potential for fire in your home with a few quick, easy steps. Move flammable things away from the stove, pay close attention to food while cooking, keep candles at least one foot away from items that can catch fire (and put them on a sturdy base) and smoke fire-safe cigarettes outside.
  • Be mindful of appliances. Take inventory on the state of your home’s electrical items. Don’t have more than one heat-producing appliance plugged into a wall outlet at a time and don’t use extension cords to power major appliances. Make sure that all electrical work (e.g. addition of outlets) is done by a professional.  
  • Check on your home’s smoke detectors. Two of every three home fire deaths resulted from homes having no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that don’t work. Make sure every floor has a functioning detector, changing batteries or replacing as necessary.
  • Plan, plan, plan. Develop a plan in the event of a fire emergency. Make sure everyone in your home is aware of two ways to escape every room in the house (keeping all doorways and windows clutter-free) and are familiar with the sound of a smoke alarm.

Don’t take fire safety for granted! Get more tips by visiting these Empowering Michigan blogs.

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Michigan haunted houses to visit this spooky season https://empoweringmichigan.com/michigan-haunted-houses-to-visit-this-spooky-season/ Thu, 11 Oct 2018 18:11:13 +0000 https://empoweringmichigan.com/?p=8236 If you’re in for a real fright this Halloween immerse yourself in the spookiness of the season with a heart-racing adventure at one of Michigan’s haunted houses.  Get scared silly at one of these haunted houses across the state this October. Erebus Holding the title as one of the largest haunted house attractions in the […]

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If you’re in for a real fright this Halloween immerse yourself in the spookiness of the season with a heart-racing adventure at one of Michigan’s haunted houses. 

Get scared silly at one of these haunted houses across the state this October.

Erebus

Holding the title as one of the largest haunted house attractions in the world, Erebus is a four-story climb of terror. This haunted house, located in Pontiac, uses state-of-the-art Hollywood effects to get you scared straight. The location is open from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6 p.m.- 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 6 p.m.-11 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices vary depending on the day. Even though adults do not have to accompany their children, Erebus does recommend it. Also, be aware that this haunted house allows for monsters to reach out and grab you as you navigate the attraction. While this may be fun for some it might not be favorable for everyone!

Screams in the Dark

Located in Traverse City, TheCarefactor.com and Hauntworld.com have voted Screams in the Dark to be one of the top ten scariest haunted houses in Michigan. Featuring attractions such as the Swamp of Suffering, the Grimfell Asylum, Pandemonium and more, this haunted house is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. and on Sundays from 7 p.m.-10 p.m.

Mackinaw Manor Haunted House

This fully automated haunted house, complete with animatronics and special effects, is perfect activity for anyone visiting Mackinaw city. Mackinaw Manor Haunted House is open from 12 p.m.-9 p.m. and costs $7 for general admission.

Scarefest Scream Park

Scarefest Scream Park was once voted one of the ”Top Scares in Detroit” by Click on Detroit. This location offers four scary attractions including a haunted hayride, haunted maze, forest walk, and of course, a haunted house. If you want to stick around, the location also features live music, a beer tent, bonfires, scary movies and more.

If you ever want to get scared out of your wits, these attractions will do the trick. During a season full of monsters and costumes, Michigan’s haunted houses are sure to get you into the Halloween spirit!

 

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