Battle Alley, 9 May 2015

Battle Alley Antiques 

Previous investigations:02/21/200907/11/200912/04/2009-12/05/200905/21/201011/06/201102/23/2013; 06/15/2013; 02/21/2014-02-22/2014

DATE: 09 May 2015

CONDITIONS: 78°F High, 59°F Low, Precip: 0.0 in, Wind Speed / Gusts: SW at 3 mph gusting to 20 mph


EQUIPMENT USED: K2 Meters, Mel Meter, audio recorders, flashlights, EM pumps, Frank’s box, ghost touches

THINGS OF NOTE:   Investigation conducted in an older building without sound blocking windows and doors. Outside noises such as trains, traffic and people can be heard. At the Holly Hotel next door, one could hear doors slamming and other noises by patrons/staff of a bar, which could affect audio quality and contribute to contamination of evidence. Power lines running across the length of the building outside, as well as, a large amount of extension cords placed throughout the building create EM fluctuations in most areas. Many antiques are placed around the building but no antique in particular was found to increase spirit activity.


In 1880, an up roar between local rowdies and workers of a traveling circus rendered so many bruised, beaten and jailed, that this street was thus named “Battle Alley.”  The Traveling Circus may be connected to James Anthony Bailey of the Barnum and Bailey Circus.  He built and owned a 3200 sq foot home in Holly (212 College Street). James Bailey was born July 4, 1847 in Detroit. Orphaned at an early age, Bailey traveled with other circuses starting when he was a teenager. Bailey’s circus was first called Cooper and Bailey Circus until 1881, when Bailey teamed up with P.T. Barnum.

According to the 1880c, the John Lacy family was residing at this site. (John, Phoeby Ann (wife), Lydia (dau), Edwin (son), mother-in-law Lydia Potter, and servants Mary Friday and Charles Gale.  John Lacy was a member of the Masons and died Aug 27, 1901 of Throat Cancer.. DC

Next door is Lucinda Rice (this may be the Battle Alley Arcade site).  She was originally from New York and she lived in the building with her daughters Maud and Hulda.  Lucinda appears to have died in Blackman Twp, Jackson Co, MI

In 1904, it is alleged that a wagon cart left the livery stable behind the Hotel, where the “little girl” was injured.  There was no death certificate found that she perished from the accident.

On August 28, 1908, Carry Nation stormed the bars during prohibition at the request of the local prohibition committee. According to an article in the Fenton Press (1998), “Nation would step off the train in Holly and make her first official stop at the Holly Hotel. Making a beeline for the bar, she then used her umbrella to send mugs of beer and other intoxicants crashing to the floor. Nation then saw the painting of a nude woman that hung behind Holly Hotel’s bar. She would scream “Naked Jezebel” Carrie Nation

She was then removed by the owner of the Holly Hotel and “pitched” into the streets.  She would scream out scriptures as she destroyed property.  She regrouped then went to raid several other “Watering Holes” along Battle Alley.

The Historical Marker states, “Wielding her umbrella, she strode through the alley’s bars bellowing about the “Demon Rum” and its sins.” Historical Marker

Rumors stated that men would use a tunnel from the Hotel to the Arcade to avoid being seen on the streets after drinking.

In 1910, Battle Alley became the first brick street in the village.  At that time and Undertaker, Albert Stambaugh and his daughter Edith lived at the site.

On January 19, 1913 the hotel next door had a devastating fire which destroyed much of the structure.  It is unknown if the Arcade was affected at this time. There were many brawls in the bars and brothels and businesses that once stood on the land over the years. Hence the name “Battle Alley”. Next to Arcade Antiques is the Famous Old Holly Hotel that once supported Magician Harry Houdini and other acts of the era. Holly, Michigan is a quaint town that still holds the charms of a forgotten era.

The interior design was constructed using donated materials from countless sources with their own history and energy.

The following info was gathered from an article with the Holly Express (2/25/2014).

Before World War II the site was called the Liberty Theatre. The theatre used to have a piano player who would play as they showed show silent movies.  One of the theatre’s owners was named John A Price of Detroit.

1940′s it became The Detroit Metallic Casket Company.  According to a news article with the Holly Express (2/25/2014), caskets were stored in the basement of the Holly Hotel until and auction in 1978-79.  Mr, Winglemire reported in the article that, the “Detroit Metallic Casket Company once conducted business from a store on Battle Alley after World War II.” “It was owned by Stanley and Meta Hanson – they originally had their business on Elm Street, but in the early 1940s moved to the location where the Battle Alley Arcade currently is.”

With the two World Wars, the Great Depression, and elimination of train travel, people started to leave Holly Township up into the 1970s.

According to the current owner, the site was made into an antique mall in the 1970’s.

The hotel next to the Arcade burnt down a second time on January 19, 1978.

As early as 1990, we can see that the site has been in business as an Antique shop under the ownership of John and Pat Kenny.

Together with the tendency for antiques and articles of sentimental value to draw spirits in, the entire building has the potential for being a hotbed of activity.  Mirrors, display cases, picture frames, and articles of glass created reflective surfaces in virtually every room.  Wiring throughout the building was very old, and electrical fields for display lighting created fear cages on every level.  Occasional sound interference affected EVP sessions from outside the building.




TEMP & EMF: 65.0°F, flat EMF.

PEOPLE PRESENT: Cas, Kate, Donald

Notes: This session was located in the large room adjacent to the Holly Hotel. Kate and Don sat at the end closet to the road while Cas was positioned about 5 feet further into the room. Outside noises could be heard throughout the session including cars, people outside as well as people at the Holly Hotel. 2 ghost touches and 2 EM pumps were used but no unexplained activity occurred during the session. Don’s recorder is on a small cutting table next to him.

EVP’s captured during paranormal investigation

“Who’s There?” Don is talking about where the light near the stairs might be coming from and one can hear a possible “Who’s there?” on the audio.

First Floor


TEMP & EMF: 73.1°F, EMF flat

PEOPLE PRESENT: Cas, Kate, Donald

Notes:  Don sets up EM pumps around the room towards the back with dolls. Don and Kate are seated in the doll area just past the stairs to the reading room while Cas is seated in the next room back. During the session one of the dolls on a rocking chair was used as a trigger object with a ghost touch on her lap and 2 EM pumps on either side of her. Other ghost touches and EM pumps were used but no unexplained activity occurred during the session (the doll did not move and no ghost touches were activated). Voices could easily be heard from patrons at the Holly Hotel both by Don and Kate and where Cas was seated.

No EVPs Captured

Second Floor


TEMP & EMF: 78.7°F, flat EMF

PEOPLE PRESENT: Cas, Kate, Donald

Notes: This session was located in the “coffin room” which is the large room that runs along the front of the store facing the road. Don placed 4 EM pumps around the room as well as 2 pumps near the staircase exit. 4 ghost touches were also used but none of them were activated during this session. Don sat on the floor to left of the entrance and Kate sat on the floor across the aisle from him. Cas was seated on the floor close to the entrance of the room. Many loud noises from people could be heard throughout this session as times sounding as if people were talking on the porch downstairs. About halfway through the session Cas conducted a spirit box session with his Frank’s box.


No EVPs Captured



One comment on “Battle Alley, 9 May 2015

  1. Pingback: Battle Alley Arcade and Antiques, December 15, 2015 - Motor City Ghost Hunters

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