Holly Hotel Ghost Hunt Article 2011 http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2011/10/21/news/local_news/doc4ea2018086ea0413980592.txt?viewmode=default
By DAVID GROCKI
Special to The Oakland Press
The Historic Holly Hotel has the reputation of being one of the most haunted buildings not only in Michigan, but the entire nation.Strange things have been observed by staff and patrons alike, from aromas of no origin to eerie noises to full-blown apparitions.Many paranormal groups, independent ghost-hunters and psychics, have visited the hotel over the years, encountering occurrences that simply can not be explained by conventional science.Norman Gauthier, a famous parapsychologist professor, once declared the hotel to be “loaded with spirits.”“I never believed in it until I decided to work here, and it’s one of those things that you have no choice of not believing. There’s just too much activity,” said Alex Cripps, Holly Hotel employee, in an Oakland Press article from October 2010.“It’s just too frequent to just pass it off as something else and act like it’s nothing,” he adds.Built in 1891, the building is no longer a hotel, but a converted restaurant, banquet hall and comedy club that offers a wide selection of dishes from its menu such as tea-time and Sunday brunches.Originally called the Hirst Hotel after its original proprietor, John Hirst, the hotel has a colorfully sordid history. Situated near crossing railroad lines, nearby Martha Street was filled with bars and saloons, fast becoming a venue for drunken brawls so frequent that locals renamed Martha Street “Battle Alley,” and the nickname stuck. In addition to this unsavory fact, the hotel itself experienced tragedy when a fire consumed the three-story, Queen Anne style building in January 1913. The hotel burned again exactly 65 years later to the day and hour.As a result, the Historic Holly Hotel now has a tradition of convening seances and ghost hunts for the month of October. The Michigan Paranormal Research Association Director Samantha Harris will host a ghost hunt at the Holly Hotel Saturday, Oct. 22 complete with laser thermometers, digital recorders, dowsing rods and EMF readers. Guests will be assigned a team leader to supervise the session. The hunt will be conducted in two separate sessions. “The investigation will take place in a group setting and each group will move about the hotel accompanied by MPRA group members. Last year guests were touched, clothes tugged on, items moved, in addition to an apparition being caught on film,” Harris said.“I love the atmosphere and presence that the Holly Hotel has,” she adds.Common ghostly manifestations in the hotel include an aroma of cigars and antique perfume, disembodied voices, apparitions of John Hirst and Nora Kane, a former hostess and musician of the hotel, as well as other phenomena, including the ghosts of a little girl, a dog and a Native American Indian.A psychic medium will be present at the hotel next Wednesday, Oct. 26, through Halloween night to conduct seances to attempt contact with the building’s resident ghosts. Each seance will vary due to the time it may or may not take to contact the spirits, but generally lasts an hour.