Workers encounter unusual events while tearing down historic hotel
Almost everyone who lives in the small community of Reed City has a story to tell when it comes to the "permanent guests" who still reside inside of the Osceola Inn. Now, some of the crew members who have been working to tear down the building can join in on the conversation.
City Manager, Ron Howell sat in on a progress meeting with some of the project contractors who aren't from the area. He decided to ask them what their official position was regarding the s-called ghosts of the hotel. Howell says the response he got back was shocking.
"They talked about being up on the third floor, inspecting the buildings the different rooms," said Howell. "She (female contractor) went inside one of the rooms and the door just closed right behind her."
Howell says the female contractor thought someone was playing a joke on her, so she walked out of the room and looked down the hallway only to find that her co-worker was at the complete opposite end of the building. That same contractor also reported feeling a dark shadow moving in front of her when she was in the basement.
Howell says another contractor spoke up at the meeting about one of his younger employees running upstairs from the basement and that he was visibly scared, and needed to catch his breath before explaining what happened.
"He was in the basement, he was doing work there and again this dark shadow like just moved it's way around him and just moved off into the distance and disappeared," said Howell.
Deb Ahlich-Remus owns the Pere Marquette Catering company that sits just two doors down from the Osceola Inn where she worked in the 1970's until it closed in 2004. She says the building has many spirits inside of it, and that not all of them are good.
"We know that there's at least 3 evil," said Ahlich-Remus. "One of them is in the boiler room and he's a pusher and a shover. And then two are up on the third floor."
Ahlich-Remus says she saw and heard a lot of strange things when she was working at the Osceola Inn.
"There was one Mother's Day morning where I came in early to do brunch and they (ghosts) walked right by me waving to us," said Ahlich-Remus. "There was another gentleman I knew about who went down into the basement dining room to use the restroom and in the mirror there was a face right next to him. We've had stories of housekeepers on the third floor...two of the rooms basically the doors would close on them. It may be hotter than Hades in the hallway but these rooms were always cold. One of our refrigeration men actually did see a lady in white walk by."
But community members say that when the building is demolished, the guests that still stay there will need another place to haunt.
"That is the big debate in the town," said Howell. "Some people have suggested that the Pere Marquette restaurant is very close so we told Deb to be ready."
Ahlich-Remus says she's more than ready because one of the hotel's most popular residents, Audrey, has already made an appearance at her restaurant.
"My electric knife sharpener was on and it was off the night before when I left," said Ahlich-Remus. "And we also came in one morning and the blender was going by itself."
Besides the ghost stories, the building is full of more than a century worth of history. Community members like Ruth Crockett who's grandparents owned it in 1903 have a lot of memories at the building and say they are sad to see it go.
"It was wonderful, we had many good times here," said Crockett. "Mother and Dad ate here many times. It was a very pleasant place for us."