Even the name screams Christmas and holiday charm, but Holly, Michigan holds a distinct honor that has nothing to do with Yuletide cheer.

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Most haunted historians and ghost enthusiast will agree, the historic Holly Hotel is the single most haunted building in the state of Michigan. The hotel even embraces the distinction noting on their website that Norman Gauthier, a professor of parapsychology and a world famous “ghost buster,” came to the hotel in 1989 and declared the abode “loaded with spirits”.

The Holly Hotel, also known as the Hirst Hotel, was built in 1891 to handle the slew of railroad passengers passing through Holly back then. Located in Battle Alley, the hotel was smack dab in the middle of all the action. So what gives the charming Holly Hotel, once  actually hotel, and now just a restaurant, all the makings of a boo-filled location? Well, it's been around forever, and has seen it's fair share of tragedies as a building, so the spirits just seem to hang around.

The Fires

The hotel has survived not one, but two fires in it's long history.The first fire, on January 19, 1913 was followed by the second fire, exactly sixty-five years apart to the day and to the hour! Creepy. Even through the fires, much of the architectural elements have been preserved, which may add to the hauntings.

Many who enter the hotel have talked of "feelings" or "vibes", and I will admit, the second floor of the hotel gives me the creeps. Those who have claimed to have seen actual ghosts, seem to see a few more constant "visitiors".

The Ghosts

The inn’s most famous ghost is said to be the former owner himself, Mr. Hirst. Hirst passed away in the 1920s, but many believe he just can't let go of his hotel. According to American's Haunted Roadtrip, he is the most active ghost at the Holly Hotel, and wasn't real thrilled with renovations that have been done to his inn. The rumor is, if you see a man wearing a frock coat and top hat, and smell cigars, you most likely have met Mr. Hirst.

The other most common encounter would be with former hostess, and music lover, Nora Kane. According to the hotel, Nora’s ghost is seen most often in the bar and back hallway, which once was the main entrance to the Holly Hotel. She has been heard playing the piano, or softly singing a tune throughout the hotel, and her flowery perfumes can be faintly smelt when she is around.

There are so many more encounters reported by visitors and ghost hunters alike. Now, I'm not entirely sure the truth behind this, but some say the 3rd floor is closed off not because the former hotel rooms aren't in use, but more because that's where the real hauntings occur. The rumor has swirled for years, with no real confirmation. So.....do you believe?

 

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