Doherty Hotel

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The hotel was a notorious hangout for gangsters in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and was also the scene of many murders, as well as front for an illegal gambling parlour. Loud knocking noises have been heard in the lobby when there is no one around, and the aroma of perfume is smelt. People have reported seeing shadowy apparitions, and having their doors unlocked and opened during the night by an unseen force.

(Submitted by Callum Swift)

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Geographic Information

604 North McEwan Street
Clare, MI
United States

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43.8199788, -84.76809509999998
Clare County, Michigan
Nearest Towns:
Clare, MI (0.0 mi.)
Farwell, MI (5.0 mi.)
Loomis, MI (5.4 mi.)
Rosebush, MI (8.3 mi.)
Coleman, MI (10.1 mi.)
Beal City, MI (12.6 mi.)
Weidman, MI (13.6 mi.)
Harrison, MI (13.9 mi.)
Beaverton, MI (14.8 mi.)
Mount Pleasant, MI (15.3 mi.)

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Comments (3)

  1. This Doherty hotel is one of my favorite places to stay. I have there at least four times in the last 4 years and a couple of nights each time I visit. In March of 2014 I was there for a conference and as a routine for me, I enjoy reading all the newspaper clippings and gangster stories posted on the walls in the downstairs lobby area. The Doherty family history is pretty cool to read about also. I ran out of articles to read so I went up to my room to watch television for awhile. I fell asleep and somewhere in the early dawning of the day I heard some stirring around near the bed across from me. I sort of a sleepy state I turned my head to see and there seem to be a little old lady, not very tall with gray hair and was sort of bent over wearing a calico pattern dress and I believe she wore an apron. She was moving things around on the bed close and next to me as if she was sorting clothes or something. I recall closing my eyes and turning my head the other way as if I just KNEW this was not happening and thinking perhaps I’m not really awake yet. Shortly after I went breakfast downstairs and shared my experience with some colleagues and laughing it off while they teased me about seeing a lady who may have been the owners Mother years ago. I didn’t believe them and when the waitress was asked about a little old lady who use to live in the hotel, she agreed that it was true. I was shocked but thought this experience was rather nice.
    Yes, I really enjoy the Doherty and would stay there anytime.

    • Tina Barbour  |  

      I only met her a couple of times, but a tiny little old lady does fit the description of Mrs Doherty (original owner). She was a sweet little lady.

  2. I love the Doherty Hotel. This is our third time here from California visiting family. We stay in the newer addition. Going to and from our room to the restaurant we cross through the conference room, I can see people dancing and hear the music of the 30’s. Another thing when walking up McEwen street looking up at the hotel, second floor window, there is a little, old, grey haired lady, cleaning the window and watching the street.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.