5 Michigan restaurants believed to be haunted – Detroit Free Press

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Editor’s note: This story originally ran in 2013.

No need to visit a cemetery to dine with the dead this Halloween.
In Michigan, there are plenty of restaurants catering to supernatural guests. And the legends surrounding these dining spots have all the makings of a box-office thriller: heartbreak, scandal, disturbed graves and, yes, even murder.

 The Whitney restaurant. The mansion built by David Whitney in the late 1800's is said to have spirits lingering around. photo taken Monday, October21,2013. Jessica J. Trevino/Detroit Free Press

Why restaurants, you might ask.

“Spirits don’t just hang out at graveyards,” says renowned psychic-medium Kristy Robinett of Livonia, 43, who has visited many of the supposed haunted restaurants around the state and has experienced what she describes as plenty of activity. Ghosts “feed off the energy, and the spirits sometimes need to see those that are taking in that fun time,” she says.

5 haunted sites that promise nights filled with fright

So, today, we profile five restaurants — from Allegan to Traverse City to Detroit — famous for their paranormal patrons. If you’re a thrill-seeker, check ’em out. You never know who — or what — might sit right next to you.

The Holly Hotel

Sounds of a child’s footsteps, glasses falling off shelves and disembodied voices. These are just a few of the eerie occurrences reported at the historic Holly Hotel, which is believed to be haunted by three main ghosts.

One is the ghost of John Hirst, the original owner who built the hotel in 1891. “With him you will get apparitions,” says general manager Tricia Antrobius, 31, of Holly. Sometimes, she says, there’ll be “a very strong hint of cigar smoke throughout the restaurant as Hirst was a heavy cigar smoker.”

The Historic Holly Hotel in Holly, Mich. on Wednesday, July 17, 2002.(

Then there’s the lady of the house, Nora Kane, who Antrobius says lived at the hotel and was the hostess.

“We have guests send us pictures all the time showing a pale-face woman in a dark dress with dark hair” who appears to be the ghost of Kane, says Antrobius. Kane is often seen on the hotel’s second floor, Antrobius says, and people say they get a hint of perfume or floral scent before they see her.

The third resident spirit is said to be that of a little girl who was trampled by a horse at the stable next door in the early 1900s. Antrobius says no one knows her name but that rescuers brought the girl to the hotel in an unsuccessful attempt to save her. It was there that she died. Some suspect the girl may have been Kane’s daughter because a photo of Kane in a black mourning dress hangs in the hotel foyer. (110 Battle Alley, Holly; 248-634-5208;)