Friday, April 29, 2011

Haunted Hotels: The St. James

In the spring of 2010 the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, NM graciously closed its doors to guests so that my group—Central New Mexico Ghost Investigations—could do a private investigation. The present manager and a past manager both took the time to share personal experiences they had at the hotel. I was really impressed they both care a great deal about their town and the St. James.

Judy, an employee of the hotel, also spent a lot of time with our group talking to us about the hotel’s paranormal history. The information these three shared with us could easily fill a book so I will just share some of the highlights here. In another post I will share some of the experiences myself and members of my group had during our investigation of the hotel. But here is something interesting we captured.

We placed one of our DVR cameras on the second floor facing into the Poker Room. We captured this lamp moving when we were taking a break after midnight, on the hotel’s front porch, so no one was on the second floor; the security guard was downstairs in the lobby during this time as well. The window was open but there was no wind.

The word Cimarron means ‘wild and unruly” this is a very appropriate name because both the town and the hotel have a very violent history. Several resident ghosts have made themselves known over the years and even more activity comes and goes because the hotel is right next to the Santa Fe Trail. Also the hotel was used as a make shift morgue in the early days.

Many people died in the hotel or where brought into the hotel to die. One well-known ghost is T.J. Wright. He was shot in the hotel and then taken back to his room, number 18, to die. 

The previous owner’s wife when she entered this room to discuss the renovation of it was knocked to her knees twice by something unseen. Her husband decided the room should be left undisturbed and locked to the general public. The present manager told us he was a skeptic until he had his own experiences in Room 18—the room remains locked to this day.

Pictures of Room 18:

Room 18

The hotel has an entity they call “The Imp.” Several people have caught glimpses of him; he is described as older, short, with a pockmarked face. Judy works the front desk and one day when she returned to her workspace she found that the cash drawer, which she had not opened since early morning, had been emptied. She searched the area and found all the bills stacked neatly under a book on the counter. She has also been locked out of the office area at the front desk several times.

One female guest who stayed at the hotel the year before we did our investigation got more than she bargained for. She later admitted she had verbally been disrespectful to the ghosts during her stay on the second floor of the hotel. 

As this guest walked down the staircase to leave, Judy heard a loud banging, like a suitcase falling down the stairs. When she went around the corner to investigate she found this female guest on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. Flustered the guest asked for help leaving the hotel—which was accomplished quickly.

She later called the hotel and explained what she had experienced. As she walked down the stairs she felt a very angry presence walking up the stairs toward her—this presence that she did not see-- hit her real hard. She then felt a much more positive presence that seemed to protect her as she fell.

The hotel’s protective spirit is Mary Lambert. She was Henry Lambert’s second wife. A past guest caught a photo of what is believed to be her profile; it is displayed on the wall above the staircase on the second floor. 

Henry was the original owner of the hotel. Employees and guests have felt Mary’s presence over the years—while alive she ran the hotel for many years. She announces her presence with a distinct floral scent. Our group had an experience with her—but that is for another post. Her room is just down the hall from T.J.’s.

Mary's Room

Happy Ghost Hunting!

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