Case Background and Claims:
Claims at Battle Alley has consisted of; phantom footsteps, eerie feelings, strange voices and a ghost cat
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 http://seekingmichigan.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p129401coll7/id/478650/rec/2)
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”
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.”
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.
- Investigators: Bert, Brenda, Cas, Don, Gayle, , Jason, Kate H., Kate Z., Tim R., Tim W., Guy and Sharon
- Weather: Outside 32 degrees Inside 60.9 degrees
- Equipment: Ovilus, MEL EMF Meters, Natural Tri-Field Meter, K2 EMF Detectors, Sony Nightshot IR Cameras, JVC Digital Video Camera w/ IR, Motion Detector, EMF Pumps, Flir I7 Thermal Camera, EM White Noise Generator, PSB-7 Spirit Box, Minibox Plus, Frank’s Box, Laser Grid, Flashlight, Static Electricity Detector, Trigger Objects (alcohol)
- Time: 8:00pm-1:00am
The team had 2 nights at one of our favorite locations. Friday consisted of Jason, Kate and Don. Saturday night was Tim W, Tim R (T3), Brenda, Bert, Guy, Gayle and Sharon.
Friday Night- Jason, Kate and Don started in the basement. While in the basement Jason tried to get a response by playing old evps that were caught in the building. During the session the team believes that they may have heard a footstep come from the first floor.
Friday Night first floor- The team set up in the room with the dolls. At several points during this time Jason sees a shadow block out the light on the far end of the room. Almost as if someone stepped in front of the light from the hallway.
Friday Night second floor- Jason, Kate and Don set up in the “Casino Room.” Nothing really of note occurred while in the room,but after when they went back for audio review. Kate’s recorder did not record anything and Jason’s shut off 20 minutes into the session.
The team packed up around 12:30.
Saturday night Main floor-Tim R, Bert, Sharon, Gayle, Brenda, Guy, Tim W and Cas were spread across the 1st floor. Almost immediately they began to hear noises on the second floor. A few minutes after Guy saw a shadow on the landing that appeared to go up the stairs While walking around doing video Brenda felt as if a cat brushed up against her leg.
Saturday night 2nd floor- While on the upper level, Bert attempted a Period Resonance and asked questions in regards to the wants of a funeral for the deceased. During the process, Bert had his recorder near the landing, when he went to collect it at the end of it, he realized that his recorder was dead. He put fresh batteries in at the beginning of the night. Also during the Period Resonance 2 creaks were heard behind him.
Saturday night loft area- Tim R, Cas and Sharon went to the library loft . While investigating in the loft Tim R reporting see a ball of light fly into the bookcase.
Saturday night main floor by cash register- Tim W attempted a Franks Box session. Not much communication came through.
EVPs obtained during Paranormal Investigation
“What’s that do?” EVP Class C: At about 15 seconds you can hear a female voice ask ” What’s that do?” While the team was investigating in the doll area.
“Screaming” EVP Class C: At about 7 seconds you can hear some screaming in the background.
“Play” EVP Class C: While investigating the “Casino room” at around 17 seconds we believe we hear a voice say “play”
This was an unusual time at Battle Alley Antiques, both nights did not have the normal amount of activity. On Friday night Pat told Jason, Kate and Don that she has not opened several days this winter due to the extreme weather. So there has been little activity reported. It occurred to Jason that the activity in the old building may rely on customer energy, the constant flow of people. Pat stated that whenever MCGH investigates there is usually an item or 2 that gets brought up in conversation and is then sold fairly quickly after the investigation. Some examples of this is, Kellie in the “map room” wearing an old hat. That hat along with many others were sold that week. Also in the “Map Room” was a doll that the team believed had a little girl spirit attached to it, which also was sold quickly. During an investigation a sled was putting off EMF; that too was also sold. We also have captured EVPs that are associated with purchasing. Such as, “Buy it for me momma, buy it”, “ I need dollars”, “Buy it”.
Let’s hope that the trend continues of objects being sold. Maybe we can arrange another investigation in the summer when foot traffic is up and more objects are being sold.