Halloween Special The Haunted Hotel

Piddly podcasts are our mini-filler podcasts.  These will include things like corrections, fan base contact shout outs, confessions, and short stories.  These won’t be scheduled, they’ll just be pleasant surprises when they arrive in your podcast queue.

Today we have…

The Haunting of the Holly Hotel

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Warning: This podcast occasionally contains strong language which may be unsuitable for children.

Holly, MI

  • Jenn and Ali went to a séance there recently, but it has been haunted for awhile
  • The Holly Hotel was originally named the Hirst Hotel (named after the original owner, John Hirst) and built in 1891 as a railroad inn
    • Queen Anne style structure building. Three stories, with a brick exterior
  • On January 19, 1913, there was a small fire that damaged the porch
    • The rebuilt porch is the current one you’ll see in our photos
    • The Victorian-styled interior was created during the rebuild after the fires (they’ll be a 2nd one)
  • At the time it was built, more than 25 trains a day were passing through Holly
    • The hotel was considered a hub of activity
    • At one point it served as both a hotel, bar, restaurant and brothel. All your needs tended in one place
  • Carry Nation, who was a woman of historical note when it comes to the temperance movement, once visited the hotel
    • The temperance movement opposed alcohol before Prohibition ever took effect
    • She was famous for breaking into establishments and attacking drinkers, sometimes verbally, sometimes physically
    • She did no less at Holly Hotel, clubbing patrons who were drinking because Oakland County was a dry county in 1908
    • They later named a banquet room after her
  • There was a second fire at the hotel, on January 19, 1978, exactly 65 years to the day and hour of the first one
    • This was caused the structure to sustain severe damage
    • However, they still decided to restore the hotel, saving whatever part of the original structure they could
  • The Holly Hotel has been part of the National Register of Historic Places of the United States since 1980
  • In 1989, Norman Gauthier, a professor of parapsychology, declared the hotel “loaded with spirits”
    • Where did they come from?
  • Possibly Mr Hirst, the original owner. It was believed he still wants to be the house boss and his spirit never left the grounds
    • His spirit is thought to dislike loud noises and renovations to the hotel
    • His apparition has been seen as a man with a top hat and frock, most often in the Carry Nation Banquet Room
    • Hirst was known to smoke cigars and people believe he still manifests the smell of cigar smoke to let his presence be known
    • Disembodied laughter is his most common spirit manifestation, baritone, deep voice
  • Nora Kane. Only in hotel ghost references
    • Seen in photographs from weddings, in the bar and the back hallway (which was once the main entrance)
      • Her perfume scent, sweet & flowery, smelled in turret area of the main bar
      • She’s heard playing the piano and singing soft melodies
      • She’s been heard asking people near the piano to play a tune for her
    • Her portrait is in the main lobby
    • Ghost in the kitchen, one of the most active ones
      • Thought to be one of two girls
        • Died there are being injured in a stable adjacent to the hotel
        • Or ghost of Nora Kane’s daughter
          • The lobby portrait has her wearing a black mourning dress
        • Believed to be between 9-13, happy and playful with red hair
        • Known for moving objects in the kitchen, meat cleaver
        • Running up and down hallways and giggling-second giggle ghost
        • Appeared during a séance in the early 1900’s
      • Side note:
        • Battle Alley.
          • Where the hotel is located. People used to take fights outside to the alley.  Once, drunk locals went into the alley and brawled with carnie workers that had come to town.
        • Ali had her first wedding reception at the Holly Hotel, in the Carry Nation banquet room.
          • Nora Kane is supposed to appear in wedding pictures, but Ali is too lazy to go get hers. They’re in a box under the stairs in her basement.
      • Séance:
        • There was incense smoke from the ceiling to the floor. It was reminiscent of Ali’s first apartment in college—smoky, lots of people, laughing, and a couple of people were into their cups.
        • Jenn is not a believer. Ali believes in spirits and that some mediums are real.
          • The Barnum Effect: people accepting generalized descriptions to themselves
            • Not just in seances but in personality tests
            • Jenn believes mediums generalize too much and the Barnum Effect happens in the room
            • The mediums mentioned a fawn colored dog, which Jenn had lost one a year prior, but she didn’t think her dog was coming through.
            • Jenn also believes they read the room, as far as nonverbal clues from the audience
          • Ali did have an experience with a charlatan who read her palm back in the day
            • She didn’t guess anything right about her
            • Ali thinks she is also hard to read at these experiences because she is a slow thinker
              • Once a clairvoyant asked Ali if she knew a Carrie and Ali kept saying she didn’t
              • From across the room, Ali’s sister, Poppy, shouted out, “Aunt Carrie!”
              • The clairvoyant asked if this Carrie knew a Ken, and Ken was Aunt Carrie’s husband
            • Ali and Jenn were giving off “don’t talk to me” vibes for different reasons
            • Different people at the séance table had different experiences
          • Two mediums worked the room
          • Each Jenn and Ali were glad they went, for the experience
          • Neither of them was allowed to shake the smell of incense and essential oils
          • Jenn didn’t come in with an open mind and Ali tried to be as open as possible
          • The mediums did allow you to take pictures to see if anyone in the room could capture the picture of a spirit

Happy Halloween!

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3 comments

    • Me too! My mom and sister went to days later. My sister said a lady had taken a picture of the hotel’s coat closet before the seance and it looked like there was a little boy visible in the picture. She said he looked like a ghost. I do believe in ghosts and spirits so I was a little let down. I think we’re heading to a haunted house/restaurant next. Wish me luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You had your reception there? I grew up in Holly and was never aware that they did that, hadn’t heard of anyone who had done it there. I had mine at the other end of town in a place that I think used to sell motorcycles in a previous incarnation lol. Would have been much cooler at the Holly Hotel, heck we hung out in the bar downstairs now and then. I don’t think I’ve ever been in the upper part. I really missed out, it sounds like. What year would that have been? Just curious. It may have been closed down from the fire around the years I would have been looking too. Good luck on your next adventure!

        Like

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