Fort Shelby Hotel

The old boarded up Fort Shelby Hotel has stood abandon for over twenty 
years on Lafayette Street near the outskirts of Detroit's business district. 
For years it was shelter for homeless men who would find there way inside the 
building to find refuge from the brutal Michigan winters.  For years the only 
tenant in the old hotel was the notorious Anchor Bar a favorite watering hole 
for reporters from the areas two newspapers. For years it had been known as a 
place where police, politicians, priests and pressmen could go for a cold 
beer, a greasy hamburger and place abet on your favorite horserace or 
football game. 

A local street person who was known only as Moe found part-time work doing odd 
jobs at the bar. After leaving the bar in the early morning hours he would 
leave the bar and make his way to the rear of the hotel and enter the building 
through some boards that he had loosened.  Moe was a one eyed black man who's 
face showed the results of years of drinking and living on the street.  He was 
quiet and polite but he was often seen driving away other street people who 
might try to make their residence in the ruins of the old building. 
Sometime during the early 90's some rotted plumbing gave out in one of the 
hotels basement levels and unbeknownst to the bar caused all of their sewage 
to flow out into the hotel basement.  For several years people that worked in 
adjacent buildings noticed and complained about the smell to city officials 
but it was blamed on sluggish sewers in the area. The bar itself was spared 
the odor because it was totally sealed off from the hotel proper. 

During an unusually rare building inspection the startling discovery of years 
of human waste was discovered. They say that it was well over four feet deep. 
Inside one of the rooms they found the skeletal remains of Old Moe.  He did 
not drown in the sewage but it is suspected he became mired in the sludge as 
he came down a stairwell and could not free himself while in the dark and 
probably inebriated.  

Strange as his death may seem the strange part of the story is that people 
that work in the area still claim to see old Jim walking through the alleys 
near the old hotel.  There are reports of seeing Jim late at night sitting in 
the alley behind the old Fort Shelby Hotel and some claim to have seen lights 
moving through some of the lower floors of the building.  Some even swear they 
have heard noises coming from inside the building. 

The bar is has moved out long ago and the building is now well boarded and 
secure. Is it the city steam that pours from the manholes and pavement that 
people mistake for someone moving through the alleys or is it Old Moe still 
standing guard defending his turf at the old Fort Shelby Hotel. 

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