Day 3 of my 13 Days of Spooky Blogging for Halloween –
Haunted St. James Hotel, Cimarron, New Mexico
The history of the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico is rich with Old West stories and legends. The hotel is also known for its paranormal activity. Investigations of this otherworldly activity has been featured on the television shows Unsolved Mysteries and A Current Affair. Psychics and ghost hunters have spent time in the hotel, too.
The St. James Hotel, which is still open for business, was a popular stopping place on the Santa Fe Trail, the St. James Hotel was built in 1872 by Henri Lambert, who had been President Abraham Lincoln’s personal chef. The hotel’s original name was Lambert’s Inn. There is a saloon and a restaurant and many guest rooms in the hotel.
The rooms were added in 1880. During it’s early years, somewhere around 25 murders occurred in the hotel. You can still see the bullet holes in the ceiling of the main dining room, which, legend has it, were put there by the likes of Clay Allison, Black Jack Ketchum, Jesse James, and Buffalo Bill Cody. The list of guests reads like a Who’s Who of the Old West. Thirteen guests rooms have been preserved in their historical state, and they are named for the notables who stayed in them.
The second floor has the most paranormal activity with Room 18 being off-limits to guests due to the violent spirit identified as Thomas James Wright who died in the room after being shot in a poker game. People report seeing an angry ball of floating orange light in the room, and they have been pushed down by an invisible force while in the room. There are unsubstantiated stories about unexplained deaths occurring in the room when a guest did insist on sleeping there.
Room 17 is haunted by the spirit of Henry’s second wife, Mary Elizabeth, who is reportedly the benevolent protector of the hotel. She died in the room in 1926, and her rose-scented perfume is occasionally detected there. Tapping is heard on the open window until it is closed. Every now and then, a transparent apparition thought to be her wanders the hallways.
There is a poltergeist type spirt called Little Imp, because of his ‘gnome-like’ appearance. He takes things, moves objects, plays tricks on people, and is sometimes heard laughing.
Two young girls have been seen playing and running the hallways. They died of diphtheria. A young boy who is often seen with them was badly burned and died. It is likely he is a son of Mary Elizabeth’s.
Guests have told of hearing late night poker games. One man saw a woman dressed in a red dress of the 19th century and she was holding a serving tray. The man followed her and entered the room where the poker game was going on with several men around a table. He found out later he was the only guest in the hotel at the time.
Staff report things fall off shelves and walls and electrical gadgets malfunction. Feeling cold spots all over the premises are common. Lights turn on and off by themselves. People commonly say they feel like they’re being watched.
(All images are mine from a visit to the St. James Hotel in 2014.)
Day 4 – Spooky Blogging – My collection of ghost-related books
Until next time,
Find Kaye on…
Legends of America
St. James Hotel, Cimarron, New Mexico